Monday, February 15, 2010

Still moving

After my one lifting day and one running day last week, I was sore for days. My left hamstring, the same one I injured last spring, has really bothered me since last Tuesday. So, I rested on Thursday and Friday, and then skied this weekend. Yesterday, as I was skiing in the trees with my group, I suddenly realized that I'd been skiing very statically and tentatively all weekend. We were skiing a line that I normally attack, because it's a moderate tree run and I know every root, rock and other obstacle in the run. But, I was sitting back and skiing stiffly.

Just that realization made me change the way I was skiing, and I moved much better for the rest of the day. It's very easy to get lazy when skiing and I try to not do that. I want to keep improving as a skier and my biggest weakness is that I'm not a dynamic, acrobatic type of skier. I think that years and years of running have robbed me of a lot of my flexibility and that really affects my skiing.

I was even working with a couple of my students on loosening up and relaxing their upper bodies while skiing this weekend, and then I suddenly realized that I was providing a poor visual example.

The mountain was incredibly crowded this weekend, so it was challenging keeping the group of girls safe. On Saturday, we skied in trees all day and we managed to avoid the crowds. But, on Sunday, the crowds were crazy, so we took it a bit easier - playing more and skiing a bit less than normal. I think the girls are more likely to have sore abs today from all the laughing we did yesterday, rather than sore legs from skiing hard.

I think the highlight of the weekend for the group happened in a steep section of trees we skied on Saturday. One of the girls in the group approached a particular turn very tenuously. It was steep, the obvious line had a tree root sticking up, waiting to trip an unaware skier, and there just wasn't an obvious clean line. So, my student asked me for advice on how to ski the line. Due to other skiers going that same direction, there was a banked turn option that had set up in the snow. I told Sarah to ski high on the bank, above the root, and then, just as she cleared the bank, she'd turn to her right to regain speed control. She didn't understand exactly what I meant, so she asked me to demonstrate.

I gladly agreed and skied the line I'd suggested. Regretfully, though, I skied too high on the banked snow and the bank gave way. I went down in a heap in the trees just outside the turn. Sarah and the other girls who were close enough to see this found it hysterical. I looked uphill at Sarah and told her "Do it just like that, only don't fall." She was laughing so hard that it took her a minute to compose herself before she executed the turn flawlessly.

In the past two weeks, I've taken an unusual number of falls while skiing. Part of it has been due to conditions, but that's not a good excuse. I'm clearly not being careful enough at times. The one good thing about falling is that the girls love watching the coach make an obvious mistake.

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