Our first few days in Muonio have been pretty interesting. The skiing is great so far – it snowed a bunch in the last 24 hours and today there were many more trails open, which gave us all the opportunity to go on some adventures. I got sick of skiing around the short, well-groomed loop with a hundred other people, so I struck out up the hill and ended up skiing along the top of the ridge below some windmills. I had a beautiful view of the countryside, which is comprised entirely of wooded hills and a few lakes. No mountains, just hills. Even at noon, the sun hangs in the corner of the sky, casting everything in a pinkish yellowish glow. I was psyched to be up on the hill with no other skiers around, enjoying the view, even if it meant skiing in some ungroomed powder.
Yesterday Pepa had us do a strength workout. Since we didn’t have access to a gym (that will come later), we did what we now call “Snow-gym.” The first thing we had to do was a bunch of jumps up the hill in the snow. Kind of an adventure. I think all of us fell down at least once. The owners of the cabin complex were watching us out their kitchen window wondering what on earth the crazy Americans were up to now.
After that it was pretty much the usual – push-ups with someone pushing down on our shoulders, dips, supermans with Pepa pushing down on our ankles, one-legged squats on a picnic table with a backpack full of chains to weigh us down. We finished by doing plank with Pepa putting all of her weight on us and seeing how long we could last before we collapsed.
So: wrap up: Finland is great and we’re enjoying it! Hooray for skiing in October and beautiful trails! Yay!