• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Irvin Servold - "The Good Ole Days"

      January 11, 2011

      I often have a mental movie of myself and several others, about the early days of my life in skiing as a fun activity. We used to ski out to the ski jump after school, about a mile and a half, in our school boots, on old, nearly flat, solid maple skis, sometimes with a rubber band harness for the binding.


      We would pack the landing hill, then carry sacks of snow up onto the scaffold and pack it down.   We would take a few jumps until the light was growing dim, then we would start the ski back to town, along the well worn 'trail' on the fields. Along the way we'd all be talking and having fun, then someone would change direction and lead the group over a cattle fence and we'd find ourselves skiing on some nearby hills, doing a variety of turns to avoid bushes and trees.


      It was all a self-made challenge and just entertaining fun. Along the way, often an impromptu race would begin when one skier would get going a bit faster than the others, throwing down the challenge to the rest of us to keep up and maybe pass the others, until one was so tired that one had to begin to slow down. I often reached the point where I could taste blood in my throat. When the trail became so worn that it was about three feet wide and our skis would begin to slide in all directions, it was time to make a new trail in the deep snow at the side.


      No matter how cold it was, our bodies ignored the cold or pain, in the pure enjoyment of it all.  Yes, we were some very young school boys out on the snow having a good time – building lasting memories of what we now call the 'good old days'.


      Getting home late, in the dark and very hungry, for us it was just another outing to the ski jump. We would get in trouble for coming home so late but when we were out there, we had no idea of time.


      I think about the type of skis, harness and boots that we used:  we had to learn to use our muscles and body to balance our weight carefully on our skis. It was good training. We did not ski – the skis just became a part of our body. So much for 'learning to ski'!  

      Irvin Servold