On Saturday, Miguel and I went to Lake Placid.
When we woke up, it was about -15 degrees there, but by the time we got there and on our skis, it had warmed up considerably.
I've been to Lake Placid before - including 1980 for the winter Olympics! I still remember watching some speed skating and ski jumping there. This time we went to do a little biathlon training, which includes freestyle skiing and rifle marksmanship.
Miguel has his own skis and hit the trails. I rented some skis (freestyle/skate) and took a lesson. I was the only one who had signed up for a lesson, so it was one on one. I'm really a terrible skier! But I had a blast. And I DID learn a lot from the instructor. I'd just need a lot more than an hour of practice to get used to it!
Skiing is hard work, especially when you're not doing it correctly! By the end of my lesson, I had removed my hat and unzipped two layers. I get super-red when I exercise!
When we finished, the instructor brought me over to the range, where I met up with Miguel again. We were taught a little bit about the history of the biathlon, how people train, and what it consists of.
Then we each got to shoot a couple rounds. We used the blue rifle that you can see in front here:
Here's Miguel in position:
In a real biathlon, you'd have to ski a penalty lap for every shot you missed. Luckily, they weren't that hard on us! ;) In my first round, I only hit 2 of the 5 targets. In the second round, I remembered more of that the instructors had told us and hit all 5! The main differences were that a) I relaxed, aimed, and held my breath when I shot to keep from having the rifle move up and down as I breathed and b) I moved my body rather than my gun when positioning for the next target. When you move just the gun, it's less stable and tries to go back to it's original position when you shoot.
I wish I could have shot a couple more rounds, but it was still very fun. Also, by that time it was getting chillier out again and the fact that we weren't moving as much made us even colder.
Before we left, I laid down with my camera as if it was the gun and had Miguel take a picture of me with his camera. Here is what he looked like!
It was a fun day in Lake Placid. I'd like to go back and do the bobsled or the luge and maybe some skating. There's so much to do up there - I highly recommend checking it out!