The Johnny Klister Longform Guide to Rollerskiing While You’re Fat.
As I write this, I’m slowly recovering from a classic interval workout: 29 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down. You are probably thinking “isn’t 29 minutes kinda short for an interval workout?” to which I would reply “hey, go fuck yourself.” Defensiveness aside, I am, for all intents and purposes, a fat guy on rollerskis; my “fighting weight” was about 60 pounds less than my current bulk, and only my wife believes that its mostly muscle mass. So, y’know, not “riding-a-scooter-around-wal-mart” fat, but still…
It’s going to happen to you too, by the way. Sooner or later, your 6000-calorie-a day-diet is going to collide with a lifestyle that doesn’t include 700 yearly hours of cardio. Some individuals, who scientists call “nordic ski coaches” manage to find occupations that keep pace with their obscene eating habits. The rest, well… expand. Wait and see if you don’t believe me.
Actually, nordic skiers should get fat. Our sport has some serious image problems, and coming down off the no-sub-cutaneous-fat high horse is generally a necessary part of becoming a normal human being again. Fat equals kindness; just look at Santa Claus. Or Buddha. And you know who was really skinny?
Osama bin Laden. Think about it.
Anywho, you are going to wonder what nordic skiing felt like, and hence you’re going to consider the step of getting into some type of shape, before you let some high school freshman annihilate you and then eat your face (metaphorically speaking) in a 5K ski race.
Enter the rollerskis. Its not a bad idea, rollerskiing, unlike running where shins and knees don’t take too kindly to running impact when you are carrying a german shepherd’s body weight around your midsection. But they are tricky.
Hence the forthcoming helpful tips for those of you who decide to come back from the dark side:
- Remember heat stroke? How you would sometimes get a little extra tired or dizzy on those really hot days if you didn’t hydrate well enough? Plan on this happening pretty much always, generally setting in about when you get that second boot laced up. When you are fat, you are wearing nature’s gore-tex parka under your skin, and it doesn’t unzip for summer training. Skiing buck naked will help a bit (check local ordinances), but the best plan is to ski on a road that follows a river. That way, you can get a nice full immersion as often as you need it, typically every three to four minutes. Often times, climbing back up the bank will be enough to send your core temp through the roof again, so its right back down to the water. This dynamic really helps reduce wheel wear on your skis.
- Don’t fall. Ever since Galileo proved that fat people fall faster than skinny people, its been vital that those of us on the heavy side avoid collisions with pavement. You will almost certainly require an ambulance, and those awkward questions about what the hell you were doing on rollerskis are harder to answer when you look like you’ve never met a pulled-pork sandwich you didn’t like.
- Don’t ski in a group. Being surrounded by skiers who are almost certainly lighter than you will just make you look massive. If you can talk even-fatter friends into going with you, though, great! Its just like going to the bars with your ugly friends; context makes all the difference.
- If you ever write on the internet about skiing while fat (SWF), do so somewhat anonymously. That way people won’t look for you on the road in an attempt to mock you.
That should be enough to get you safely started, assuming you avoid obvious mistakes like wearing horizontal stripes or trying to ski uphill. If you can manage to shave off even a little extra bulk, you’ll be ready to kick some ass in races like the Sugarloaf Inferno, or… actually, stick to that one your first season back. You’ll be reaching ski-chattering velocities while the waifs are still double-poling up to speed, and they only have about 40 yards of V2ing at the end to make it up. Which means you’ll only finish a few minutes behind them; a very respectable result to start your comeback with.
See you on the road! (I’ll be the fat guy. Feeds would be appreciated.)