Monday, March 7, 2011

Weird Weather and Ski Clinic Follow-up

On Friday, it was sunny and warm. It would have been a wonderful day to ski. On Saturday, the forecast called for light rain most of the day, with significant winds. Somehow, the rain never really showed up, but warmth did, and we had a great spring-conditions skiing day. It was a very enjoyable day, and I skied the group hard, knowing the forecast for Sunday was much more ominous.

By Saturday evening, it was raining. Overnight and into the morning, it rained hard at times. I took the paved roads to the mountain, afraid of mud and ice on the non-paved roads. My son and I got to the mountain about 8:00, the time I usually take a group out to do an hour of instructor training. But, there was no training in this weather.

My son and I sat in the lodge. I needed to get dressed for skiing, but if a few children or their parents texted me or called me, I would have no students, and I wouldn't work for the day.

By 8:30, this had happened, so I never had to put on my ski boots or uniform. By 9:30, my son knew he had no students. We had the day to just ski if we wanted, but it was nasty - windy, raining sideways - just not fun. We went out for breakfast instead.

Then, we went home and took a nap. (Old, tired people do that when they can.)

About 3:00, the temperature had dropped close to freezing and we had some sleet and freezing rain. By 6:00 p.m., it was snowing. Sometime after midnight, the snow really picked up in intensity. At 6:00 a.m. this morning, I tried to let the puppy out. The snow was as tall as he is.

So, I got dressed and spent almost 90 minutes snow-blowing the driveway and digging out and cleaning off the cars. Just as I was finishing up, the plow came by and dumped a huge amount of snow at the top of the driveway. I may have gesticulated in a not-very-nice way to the driver. It seems that my annual $6K in property taxes only gets my driveway plowed shut after every snowstorm - not much else.

So, I cleared the driveway exit, sent my wife off to work before they could plow it shut again, and I got showered and dressed and headed to the nearest WiFi location. It turns out that the town where my office is got hit really hard. The University of Vermont is closed and our offices are on campus. The buses aren't running there. The whole city seems to be shut down. No one came to the office today. I might be the only person working, but I'm not even close to the office.

On another note, on the first day of my ski clinic last week, I took a hard fall. At the time, it didn't seem to be a big deal. We were working on something called pivot slips, where you have your skis perpendicular to the fall line, and you slide along the fall line. At times, you completely flatten the ski base to the surface of the snow, steer the skis 180 degrees and you are again moving down the fall line with the skis perpendicular to the line. The entire time, your upper body is facing downhill, looking where you are going.

The examiner was reminding me to fully commit my upper body to the direction of travel, allowing the edges to completely release. Wanting to be a good student, I committed. Way too much. I crossed my center of mass over my skis, and while moving downhill at a decent rate of speed, the downhill edges of my skis caught the snow and slammed me to the ground. I landed on my right side pretty hard, and I landed on one of my ski poles. I felt OK the rest of the day, but started to hurt later that night. My right quad is bruised, my abdomen is a bit bruised, and my right shoulder is really sore. It hurts to raise my arm in certain ranges of motion. Removing a shirt by pulling it over my head is nearly impossible and very painful.

So, I think I need to let these issues heal. My quad will be OK in a few days, but the shoulder really worries me. Recently, a lot of my mid-week lifting has been arm-dominant because I do some much leg work while skiing. If I can't do certain lifts (and I'm sure I can't), I'm not sure what I'll do in the gym for the next week or two. But, I need to do something.

This afternoon, I'm leaning towards a snowshoe run, if the trails have been groomed by then.

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