Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not quite keeping up with the teenagers

It’s no easy feat chasing teenagers through snowdrifts and blowing snow, trying to capture video of their phys ed lesson without dropping equipment, while you yourself are on snowshoes for the first time.

That’s the rather comical situation I found myself in this morning.

I’d heard West Geauga Middle had organized snowshoe lessons for seventh-graders this week, so I corralled a photographer and a Flip camera and headed out, with no real clue what to expect.

I got there just as fourth-period students had finished strapping their feet into snowshoes and explained myself to the phys ed teacher, who promptly maneuvered me into her own pair of snowshoes. She watched from afar, thinking (I’m totally guessing here) amused thoughts as I struggled after her students and two Lake Metroparks employees through the field behind the school.

I only fell twice. But I wobbled several times, repeatedly stood on the tips of the snowshoes as I attempted to make a tight turn, and got thoroughly snow-covered in the process.

The teenagers, on the other hand, were in their second day of practice on Metroparks’ equipment and sped on ahead of me, leaving a trail of churned snowdrifts in their wake. They raced up and down hills, sprinted to a snowpile, and fell many times themselves – all in the space of a single class period. It was clear they were enjoying themselves, and so was I. I may have failed in my goal of staying ahead of them to capture video of their approach (I had to cheat once and take a shortcut across the field), but I got the video without dropping the camera into a snowdrift.

I’ll feel it tomorrow, though.

- Rachel Jackson


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