Two years ago, I spent a weekend with friends who studied in Norway. Some time before those now long-gone days, the idea of building myself a pair of ski's had already hatched. And after some (understatement of the year) interesting ski-building related adventures, it was time for the real deal. July was warm. And skibuilding showed me how wintersports are super-seasonal.
Spending a day with @MickeydeHaas and his power tools in a garden shed taught me more about skiing then some whole weeks of skiing with people that don't care too much about our shared past-time.
Mickey had already laminated the bamboo core before I arrived, og derfor, after a quick d.i.y store visit, the game was on. Woodworking is a pleasure I'm familiar with, but epoxy is not so much. I believe I understood the theoretical principles quite well, but, as in all parts of our sport, experience can hardly be over-estimated. As Mickey and I continue, I feel more and more doubt entering the garden shed. Isn't the core too thin? Will the steel sides fit in the p-tex we just prepared? Didn't we forget something? And for a moment, these doubts grow beyond the tips of my ski's. Am I going in the right direction? Am I doing the right thing? Shouldn't I have chosen a different future then the one that I myself have now placed rettfram ahead of me?
A few days later I pick the ski's up and they only need some decoration and a final layer of epoxy. With some help from Mickey's father, and later from @Evan, I can install binding-inserts in the workshop of a local ski-shop in town. They sell surfing equipment during this warm July and their workshop is entirely empty. After a really short night, I find myself stuffing three pairs of ski's, a bicycle with studded tires and more of those 'out of season' things into the back of a small AWD car with winter tires. On the road to a number of obligatory courses at a Norwegian university.
And there I learn and see a lot of interesting things. And I get challenged once more in the field of diabetes in the meanwhile. More then in the last years. Far more unfortunately. My new and almost-done ski's standing on the other side of my bed, next to a ski-movie poster, provide the valuable motivation that keeps morale above sea level in these now and then more than 'just' challenging times. Unfortunately I still haven't the faintest idea how all of this will end, or continue. It's a good thing that I can spend some unbiased moments with thoughts about these ski's and their finishing touch, as long as I wait for the German epoxy that arrives in perfect condition. Be it a few months later than expected. And in those days during another Norwegian november, the skies above my head remain too clear for my taste. Except for a little bit of more-than-ever beautiful sunlight. During my lunchbreak today, the sun struggled to stay more then two small fists above the horizon. I actually saw it struggling, and loosing. My personal battle with my diabetes seemed quite insignificant for a brief and pleasant moment.
In time, these ski's have become a personal symbol for many of the beauties in the world I found in and with help of wintersport, and the principles behind them, such as 'traveling' or 'choosing'. Much like public transport, it takes you from A til B, but if you 'let go' and are open to it, a different person gets off the buss at B then the person who was waiting for that same buss at A. Now try to imagine: ninth century A.D. Halfdan the Viking. After nigh-increadible adventures and a challenging voyage, finds himself in the varangian gard in the court of a ruler on the other side of the known world... How would such a voyage influence you yourself? No, really, give your imagination a second!... Og derfor: "Halvdan". But that isn't nearly a complete description of what think about 'traveling' and what it makes me feel.
Having made these ski's myself, they've grown on me. And became my personal symbol for 'choice' as well. A synonym for 'traveling' in my opinion, but more on that subject some other time perhaps... Fordi jeg ønsker ikke å glemme at choosing things someone else wouldn't choose, may lead to helt vakkre resultater. And a few days after I decide that that motivating idea you see taking shape in the image above, should form the core of my ski's' decoration...
I find so much in these ski's. Så mange positivt ideer, men that's the core of the motivation that lies within. They are simple and should probably have been made with more epoxy and plastic to guarantee a longer lifespan. My first 'insert-installation' did not go perfect. They have a p-tex bottom that could still use a fair share of sandpaper and are decorated with words that need a strong defence in most audiences. But if that was all I could see in them, I would be blind and the aforementioned buss would only kjøre meg fra A til B. Dessverre har jeg nå ingen idé hvordan they will feel. Men jeg gleder meg til første kurve. Because I'm convinced that this is one of the most beautiful things I've ever held in my hands and been able to enjoy. Blood, sweat and tears along the way aren't necessarily a bad thing while traveling. They provide value to my travels and scale to the positive emotions I experience along the way.
Because they feel quite light, but aren't small. Because they, going by experience with earlier skiing related projects, should be more then a bit useable. And because they are made with materials that a ski-factory can be jealous of. As well because they are equipped with inserts that give me freedom of choice. Because they are a huge improvement on an earlier skibuilding project. And although they may not last as long as a pair of factory-built ski's, I'm convinced they will continue to deliver far more beautiful memories and emotions.
And I name them Borghild. The Norwegian beauty in evening mist and moonlight, that can blind even daylight itself.