Friday, March 4, 2011

Ski Clinic

Tuesday night at CrossFit, our workout started with three sets of heavy deadlifts. With a very important two day ski clinic on Wednesday and Thursday, I kept the weight low at 225, rather than 305 or so, which about what I would normally do. I did work hard on strict presses, doing 3 sets at 105. I am to the point where I can do the three sets of five reps at that weight, but not 5 sets yet.

Then, we had 12 minutes of burpees, pull-ups and rope jumping. I did a low level, again, saving myself for the ski clinic. My sets were ten burpees, ten band-assisted pull-ups, and 50 single-under rope jumps, repeated as often as possible in 12 minutes. Others were doing double-unders and I'm not very good at those yet.

After a good night's sleep, I arrived at Stowe on Wednesday, a bit anxious about my clinic. This one felt like I was playing in the "big leagues". I'm starting down the path to get my PSIA Level 3 certification, the highest certification level for a PSIA member. I achieved level 2 about four years ago.

Level 3 certification happens in 3 parts. First, you have to pass an online test.

Next, you take a 2-day skiing exam. Three different examiners ski with you, and 2 of the 3 must agree that you meet the standard for you to pass.

Then, you are eligible to take a 2-day teaching exam, broken into 4 segments, each worth four points. You need 10 of 16 points to pass that exam.

This week, I took a prep clinic for the skiing exam, which I plan to take for real next winter. The coach for the clinic went through all of the tasks that are part of the exam, and worked with us to improve our overall skiing and our specific tasks. As I expected, I'm not ready yet. But, I was afraid that I would be in over my head - a marginal (at that level) skier surrounded by amazing skiers. As it turned out, I was probably mid-pack in terms of talent and not all that far behind the top people. However, a number of runs on some very steep icy terrain did a great job in exposing the primary weakness in my skiing - a failure to fully commit my center of mass to the turn - something that is truly a leap of faith on steep terrain.

I got some great feedback, my skiing improved, and I now know what I need to focus on to meet the standard by next season.

I also need a new pair of skis to assist with this process, and that didn't really surprise me either. Now, I just need to figure out how to pay for them.

After a rest day today, I'll be teaching skiing in the rain for the next two days, it seems.

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