Sunday, January 14, 2007

I hoped my blue kicksled had been a pony

That was a typical January morning. Sky was so dark blue, it was nearly black. Faint lights made blue, long shadows on the pearly snow.
There were few cars parked behind the old T-Market, which scruffy surface would be bunch of wooden sticks in couple of weeks time.
But I didn't know and wouldn't have cared less. I felt burning cold wind licking my face. I dried the ice away with my wet mitten. Silent sound thumb, thumb, thumb of my grey feltboots, hitting the thick snow.

Nothing peculiar happened.
After few weeks I had turned to be a woman. After few months I didn't wear feltboots or mauve colored winter jacket, but was thinking about dieting and Duran Duran.
Next summer I had lost my trust in people.

Today we had finally snow here, but just the ordinary, wet, white, soon to be melting and turning brown type of snow.
The icebreakers are still in the harbours, it's really warm and nobody goes at school with a kicksled.

I also thought I might teach you few words of Finnish in each of my blog posts.
Words in Finnish:
potkukelkka = a kicksled
lapanen = a mitten
lumi = snow


A tiny word on Kicksledding

During early spring, when the road has become too slippery and the snow too rough for skiing, and when the air is perhaps yet too fresh for running, then it is the best weather for kicksledding. It is the time to conquer the road and cover journeys with a kicksled. Anyone who has once made a kicksled trip on a spring winter night will renew it whenever suitable and shall use his dear vehicle on all possible errands.

Really, how jolly it is even to observe such a kicksledder. Tranquilly, sparsely crackles his foot on the road; shoulders bow lightly as gathering speed, and despite the easy effort it soon makes you swoon. The skiing man and horse carriage are easily overtaken, not speaking of the pedestrian, who just flickers in the kicksledder's eye like a telegraph cable pole. How skillfully the sled turns in curves; you need not fear any tumbles or collisions. Like a slender twig the kicksled bends obeying the will of its master.

Whilst the kicksled rides boldly on flat land, its speed in downward slopes is quite astonishing indeed. A freshneck driver gets almost confused and the heart of a weak-headed spectator begins wavering. For what so wizardly keeps meandering down the hill, yet honourably surviving such incredible bends, as a skilled kicksledder while tackling the steepest of all slopes. There is a certain enchantment similar to descending down the rapids, no less alert can a kicksled steersman stand on his runners. May neither an eye blink nor a limb deceive its contraction, being neither too timid nor too violent, if one desires to happily reach the level land.

You need not only stamina in your arms and strength in your torso, but perhaps most of all sharpness of sight and vigilance of thought as well as a heart that doesn't swerve for nothing.
Kicksledding improves manhood, boldness and courage mentally as well as physically. Therefore kicksledding in fresh air during pictoresque springwinter nights is extremely advisable.

Let it become here mentioned, that our Federation has included kicksledding into its competitive events and eventually there might be even a possibility of participating in the Championships. All counties with a general interest in kicksledding are strongly recommended to arrange races in this practically beneficial and even more merry sport.

Column written by nickname "Tossu" was published in "Työväen Urheilulehti" (Labourers' Athletic Magazine) in 1915.


Dave said...


By the way, whilst you're teaching us Finnish, may I help you with your English a little, and say that several of your 'ons' would be better as 'ins' (trust in people, boats in harbour)?

Taiga the Fox said...

ouch. My preposition lottery machine seems to be broken again.