Hello all, and welcome to the newest feature of Snowshoemag.com, “Marcus the Intern,” a column that is sure to enlighten, delight, enrich, astound, and occasionally invite ridicule.
Over the course of the winter sporting season, this feature will follow the development of a novice snowshoer (yours truly) from his first tentative steps in snowshoes, not unlike a baby deer upon a frozen pond, to that grand moment when he stands magnificently, hand on hip, to plant the proverbial flag in the mountainside having achieved nordic greatness. As he gazes below from behind the icicles that have formed on his brow, and also in the beard that his sheer manliness undoubtedly will not be able to restrain itself to grow, he will know he has conquered. He will know he has mastered a sport. He will know he has become one with winter, with the Rockies, and with the essence of survival itself.
As it stands, what I knew about the sport of snowshoeing before I first visited this site amounted to precisely squat. I had vague memories of the illustrations from our “Native Americans” unit in elementary school, wherein the Alaskan Eskimos appeared to my seven-year-old mind to have wicker tennis rackets tied to their feet. It seemed at once primitive and exotic, and much less efficient than cross-country skiing (a blasphemous idea to any avid snowshoer, I’ve come to find out).
Now, I’m not a complete neophyte. I did, after all, grow up in the Colorado Front Range (even though I’ve spent my college years in the green and humid valley of Missouri). I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors, the mountains, and frequent winter hikes. I know about the basics of winter safety and athletic training. But as the intern at the publication of the official site, I will take the preparation stage of this “frosty baptism” as seriously as it deserves. I’ll share the knowledge and insight I gain from both experts and written resources. It certainly seems like fun, and through all the aches and pains, I hope to gain new a perspective on a challenging and exciting hobby. Who knows? Maybe these are the baby steps in what could become the career of a future legend?
As I chronicle my experience diving enthusiastically into the sport, I invite veteran and rookie alike to share their personal experiences with me. Come along as I shop for shoes and compare styles and brands. Join as my friends and I review trails and explore. Accompany me to events in the high country, low country, and everything in-between. Pat me on the back (figuratively) when I make progress, or grab me by the shoulders and shake some sense into me (figuratively) when I screw up. Or just chuckle from afar as you remember discovering all this for yourself once upon a time.
At the very least, check in on me from time to time to make sure that “Marcus the Intern” stays his course and remains on task. I could very easily end up making snow angels across Colorado in my delirium.
At least it will be entertaining.