Skiing is my first and true love

November 16, 2010

After I spent the morning reading science papers and watching for the non-existent 100% chance of snow to start falling in town, I headed to Sourdough with rock skis and snow dog in tow. I scouted the trail yesterday and was delighted to find more than enough snow to reduce the traction on my running shoes and make me itchy for some glide. Today, despite the disappointingly faulty forecast for Bozeman, the snow and the temperature fell as I drove south to the canyon. In the parking lot, after managing to lure Raven away from some tasty elk leg by running and screaming zombie-style, I clicked into my bindings and

Magic.

I started up the trail and found the rhythm I miss so much during the summer. Soon,  my body heated up and after managing to lure Raven away from the massive, and once again tasty, pile of horse droppings, I worked up the beginning of the hill (the trail is pretty much all one large hill up the canyon and a blazing fury of a descent back down). I could feeling happiness coursing through my veins. It was

Magic.

Also known as endorphins. During exercise, sex and apparently the consumption of spicy food, the pituitary gland and hypothalamus in our brains release gleeful little peptides called endorphins that work like opiates to make us feel as though the world is in order and happiness fairies are sprinkling us with their magical dust. Who needs a boyfriend? I can ski! A study in Europe measured endorphin levels in skiers after a long-distance race and found elevated levels in all of the skiers, but especially in those that were more experienced and better-trained. Apparently, all the years I spent skiing (even the period around age 8 when would cry when I had to skate up a hill) have trained my body to give me an even better high.

Endorphins.

Or magic? Science is the logical investigation of observations that leads to more questions, to more curiosity. Scientific thought is the lens through which I choose to read the never-ending mystery novel of life on earth. I find it enchanting.

Enchanting enough to write a blog about it.

The groomer was on the way up while we were on the way down, which made for a fun descent.

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