I'm starting to settle into my winter routine right now. I work out 7 days per week and I work 7 days per week, although the work and workout on Saturday are one and the same - ski instruction. I fall asleep early every night, it seems.
Friday after work, I went to the gym. The primary focus of Friday's workout was deadlifts. The week before, I'd set a new PR at 275 pounds for the deadlift. The goal of the current 6-week cycle I'm doing is to increase the max weight of each primary lift every week.
I did my warm-up sets and then started by doing 6 reps at 225. Just a few months ago, doing 225 for reps was not something I could even think about doing. Then, a single rep at 275, tying my best from the week before. Then, 6 reps at 245. That was tough, mostly from a grip perspective, but I made it. Then, on the key set, the single rep 4th set, I tried 295. I was amazed at how hard it was, yet the weight moved slowly and steadily to complete the rep. I decided to try an extra single rep at 305 to see how that would go. After a 3 minute rest, I lifted that one as well.
I really want to get to 315 - a weight commonly called "3 wheels". The Olympic bar weighs 45 pounds, and the largest commonly used weight plates are 45 pounds as well. So, if you have one of those 45 pound "wheels" on each side, you're at 135 pounds. Two wheels is 225 pounds. Three wheels is 315 pounds. But, the lift at 305 was hard enough that I didn't want to try another rep on Friday. I'll save the 3 wheel attempt for this Friday.
Saturday and Sunday were ski days. The skiing was OK this weekend, but not great. The terrain is still limited and there was typical eastern ice all over the place. I led a training clinic for other instructors for two days. The first day, we focused on logistics of the skiing program where I teach. We have the same children every Saturday and Sunday for four months, and there's a lot to know about safety, group handling, and just how to time the day to make it enjoyable for the children.
In the afternoon, I taught some things to the group that are useful to get the children - most of whom are solid skiers - back into skiing as the season starts. We're all rusty to start the season, so an early goal is to make sure people are not falling into bad habits, and to reinforce some basic skiing movements.
On Sunday, I turned the tables on the training group. I taught one more lesson appropriate to teaching the children early in the season. Then, I had each of the other instructors come up with a lesson and present it to the group. Most of the instructors in my training group were adults and more than half were experienced instructors, so this went pretty well.
My 15 year old son was also in my training group, and I was very impressed with how he handled his teaching assignment. Most of the 14 and 15 year old assistant coaches were in a lower level clinic, but my son handled a tough higher-level assignment very well. I had to ask him some "why" questions - why are we doing this, why do we go from this task to the next, etc. He answered them perfectly. My son can't teach on his own until next season, but if he sticks with it, he's going to be a great coach very quickly. He and I have joked for years that he's likely to get his level 3 PSIA certification before I do - if I ever get there.
This coming week will be more of the same. I'll lift three times, run three times, and ski twice. On Saturday, the children show up and we start our real teaching work for the season. I really love teaching skiing to children and I just love being on the mountain. My wife says that I smile more when I'm skiing than any other time or place. This season, I'll have an added bonus, because my 10 year old daughter is in my ski group - at her request. I'm really looking forward to spending that time with her this winter.