Early in the morning, before the sun rises, and while most of Michigan Tech is sound asleep dreaming of Star Wars, the brave Arctic Warriors awaken to endure the bitter Houghton temperatures as they travel to the Nordic ski trails for morning PT. The crisp, quiet morning brings a peaceful feeling as the Cadets strap on their skis and journey out into the wilderness.
Lighting on the trails illuminates the path and shines on the fresh coat of ice. It glistens like the stars in the black night and like the twinkle of excitement in every Cadet’s eyes. Flying through the forest with each gliding stride, they master the steepest of hills and sharpest of turns. Although, one misstep causes absolute embarrassment as Cadets lose control and crash into untouched snow surrounding the trails. While falling is honorable; returning to the upright position brings a challenge that is harder than anything these young men and women have endured. Cadets try to rise again, but seem to have trouble using their legs, and resemble newly born calves taking their first steps.
As time passes, cross country skiing becomes natural and almost instinctive. It almost seems as if this was their destiny. The skis and poles are the machines fueled by the heart and by the muscle and as more power is pumped into the machine, more work is done. Heart rates increase and warm breathe steams, like exhaust, from the mouths of the future officers. The wishes of maximum PT scores drive them to push harder and faster throughout the entire morning PT.
Time runs short and a stampede of sweaty skiers flock back towards the glorious Nordic ski shack. Good skiers are recognized by their clean, untouched outfits while the bad skiers ride in powdered with granulated snow, holding their head as if it may have struck an old oak of the forest. As the final lost Cadets return, much later than they should have, Cadets are accounted for and released to thaw their bodies and fill their stomachs with the succulent feast awaiting them in the mess hall.