Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ice skating downhill


Skiing was certainly exciting. And by "exciting" I mean extreme and hazardous health risk.
You see, although it is mid-january and an exceptionally cold winter in japan, (many prefectures are reporting record amounts of snow), up in the middle of the mountains, the weather decided to play a little joke on us and... rain. At 6000 feet above sea level. In mid-winter.

This was saturday in the afternoon. Saturday morning the snow was nice, the sky was cloudy, but all in all we were enjoying ourselves immensely. Just as I had predicted, Takeshi started skiing like a pro after one round on the bunny slopes, even though he hasn't skiied in 8 years. Figures. He IS a very fast learner, as Viet and Vy will attest to. (tangent story alert!)

Down in Huntington Beach, where it is now a frigid 68 degrees F, the Mais were having a Halo (video game) party by hooking up 2 X-boxes, so 8 people could play at once. The scores went like so: first game: Kyra& Takeshi, tied for 8th. Second game: I was 8th, Takeshi was seventh place. Skip forward about 3 games later: Takeshi:1st place!! Over some hardcore Halo gamers! He had never played before!! Me?... um. Still 8th. ^_^;;
Alright, the point of that side story was not to illustrate my suckiness inferior aptitude at this particular game, but my lovely hubby's learning speed. itsa bery fast. >_<;

Saturday afternoon, the rain clouds set in, pouring freezing rain across our faces, since it was 2 degrees celcius at the peak. After a couple of runs, we were forced to admit defeat and run for shelter and take a nice hour and a half break/ nap / thaw. The rain did lighten up a bit by about 3 giving us an hour of remaining ski time before we called it quits and tried to navigate the slosh and find the hotel.

The next day, the heavens were a brilliant blue, the view was perfect and crystal-clear, and the mountains were gleaming white. We also found out our hotel lended (for FREE) skis to its customers. Dang, if only we had known that saturday as well, we coulda saved seventy bucks! rats. Anyways, basically, we were FORCED to go again, obviously. Except the rain had frozen overnight, leaving the mountains a slick, 10% grade ice skating rink.
The picture to the left (sorry, more computer art, folks ^^) is a visual of how it felt. I suddenly lost all confidence and slipped on a high slope, but instead of the cushy soft snow to break my fall, I landed on what my bottom would report to me later as feeling remarkably like CONCRETE. OWW!! So, the brave warrior of yesterday's black diamonds retired to the bunny slopes. And yes, Takeshi was much braver than I and went down the highest slopes, on the ice. Did I mention he hasn't skiied in eight years?!

In other news, I think I am gaining weight. I got a huge bruise in Judo and decided to take it easy for awhile, so I haven't gotten much excercise in the last month or so. (besides the 20 minute walk to the train station, which I usually turn into a 10 minute run ^_^;) That plus holidays (ie CHOCOLATE!! THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!!) means the normal winter weight gain. "Oh well", you might think, "I'll lose it in the summer, no big deal". Right?
This is a country where facist anorexic diet magazines rule all.

Try reading this real newspaper article, from the reputable "Mainichi Shinbun news", ladies and gentlemen, and tell me if you can read it once through, seriously, without becoming indignant, or prone to fits of scoffing. Fans fret over figure skater's ever bigger figure Here is a painful exerpt: "Now, if Ando's put on 5 kilograms, that'd be critical for her. She's really gotten fat since she started living in America."

Ok, 5 kilos?! Is that enough to write a scathing 'skater is a giant ball of lard' article about? that's 12 pounds, folks. All I gotta say is I'm glad I'm not famous, I can see the headlines now:
"Foreign girl balloons into round, cowlike figure"
or possibly a follow up article as well: 'rumors of NASA plotting orbit path for American immigrant'.

I think that it's mostly Tokyo that's like this, other parts of japan have much more normal waistlines. Every time I walk past some girls I scratch my head wondering why I am suddenly thinking of toothpicks.

Ah well. Anyways, I think I'd better find another way to work out besides Judo. I'm thinking of a sports club where I can try out basketball (I'd be the world's shortest basketball player, but oh well ^_^). Judo is fun but it's not very team oriented, and is very potentially painful. How are you guys coping with the after-holidays exra blubber?

Yours until Ivory soap sinks,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taiko is the way forward exercise-wise!

Hey, I really should have invited you to Kagoshima to join me for "Running Sakurajima" (I'm doing the 10k) but unfortunately the deadline has just passed... d'oh! Still, there must be tonnes of fun runs and other sports events coming up in your area, if you're into that.

Check out this wicked site: http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/search.php

Yay! Let's sporting.


7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay...I love getting mentions in your journal.

Don't worry Kyra, I'm sure you're good at something.


4:26 PM  
Blogger Kyra said...

hurry up and write another blog, viet!! >:( Something long and juicy, like another movie review!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Peetie said...

I took up tai chi recently. The thing about tai chi is that nobody thinks it's any use as a real exercise because you move really slowly. Don't be fooled. You're kind of squatting the whole time, so your legs, butt, and hip flexors get a major workout, and I'm always sweating and panting by the end of a set. It doesn't do as much for your arms, though. It's good exercise for maintaining a T-Rex-like figure (strong legs and scrawny arms).

Tai chi doesn't seem to be much of a team sport, but I suppose I can now go to those parks at dawn and do group tai chi with elderly people, who can probably kick my ass, slowly and powerfully. The only problem is that I can't get up that early. Hee hee.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Deja Eva said...

My friend showed me your blog and I lkie it for real!
Down hill skiting Games

3:02 AM  

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