November 21, 2004

First Day on Snow!

Yahoo! My first day on snow!!

The season finally got underway here in the Northwest. Mt. Baker is an area north of Seattle that always gets a lot of snow and they opened today. My thoughts for the first day:

Wow! I've forgotten what new ski boots feel like. After a run or two, my toes were numb, and I had to unbuckle after every run. I worked on trying to get a feel for how much I need to get the left boot canted, and by working with duct tape (4 pieces of duct tape equal 1mm by the way), I need to have my left boot canted about 1.5 mm.

It's funny how your body uses muscles. Even though I work out consistently, I can feel that comfortable ache in the skiing-specific muscles. Unfortunately, at age 50, I can also feel the ache in the old knees.

Another strange thought: as a skier, I was truly in the minority today. I bet 90% of the people up there were boarders... don't skiers get excited anymore?

Now I can't wait until next week!

November 18, 2004

Focusing on Skills Versus Tasks

Last night was the first dryland clinic for my ski school. My group discussed the idea of understanding and teaching skills and movement patterns, rather than teaching a rigid progression.

If you really think about it, the objective of any skier or rider is to learn how to use movement patterns to control direction and speed. As an instructor, my job is to help you get there, not by using a straight line (the progression) but through guided discovery.

By focusing on developing skills rather than focusing on tasks, I have improved my own skiing. Try it for yourself.

November 14, 2004

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

This journal starts with my usual anticipation of the upcoming season. My new skis are waxed and ready, my new boots have been fitted with foot beds, and the ski areas just need more snow.

Why these equipment choices?

As an "old-timer", I have spent the last 5 or 6 years breaking old habits. Skiing requires a much more two-footed, centered and upright stance than in years past, and both my new skis and boots optimized for today's skiing techniques. My skis are shorter (170 cm) than my past pair (183 cm), and my new boots have a lower ramp angle to promote a more upright stance.

I can't wait!!!