Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Weekend of Teaching Skiing

For the past four seasons, I've had a class of all girls.  After last season, four of those girls were too old to return to the program, and instead, all of them, including my own daughter, because ski school interns this year.  It's nice to see our program not only teach children how to ski, but also producing future instructors.

I had a roster for my class on Saturday morning.  Right now, I'm assigned nine students - 5 girls and four boys.  Basically, it's the returning students from my group the previous year and the returning students of another coach who did not return to the same job.  On Saturday, only the five girls showed up, so it was a day very much like the past few seasons.

While we still have no natural snow trails open (I'm not sure if any natural snow trails are open anywhere in New England yet), we did have a good time skiing on some new man made snow.  Even on the first day of the season, we did a handful of steep, mogul runs on double-black diamond terrain.  I was impressed by how everyone skied.  At the same time, as I watched each student, I began to formulate goals for each of them for the rest of the season.

On Sunday, two of boys in my group showed up.  They are non-identical twin brothers and I'd been warned that they would test me and keep me on my toes.  This was certainly true.  It was a somewhat chilly day, but with some wind and cloud cover and snow, it seemed colder than the thermometer indicated.  The new boys didn't like the fact that others got cold or wanted to take breaks.  It was definitely a challenge finding a balance of terrain that would make everyone happy.  By mid-afternoon, despite protests that they were not tired, I could clearly see that the boys were about done.   It was their first day on skis all season and they were tired.  I used this as an excuse to move to easier terrain.  I also hoped that by being tired, the boys would pay better attention if I did some formal teaching late in the day.

I do almost all of my formal teaching in the mornings, and I tend to teach more on Saturday than Sunday.  A lot of our skiing is simply the application of a lesson into our free skiing.  So, it was very unusual for me to teach a formal lesson to end the weekend.  Yet, it worked very well and I saw some significant improvement in everyone's skiing.  Perhaps this will be a technique I try again.  If everyone forgets everything from a Sunday afternoon lesson though, it might end up being a waste of time.

This weekend was the first time I'd spent an entire ski day on my new skis.  Most of my other days this season had been just a few hours, but I was on the skis from 8:00-3:00 both days.  Overall, I really like my new skis (Volkl RTM-84, 176cm length), but they are a huge change from my previous skis.  In some ways, my previous skis were like a 1970s Cadillac - a smooth, easy ride that required very little of the driver.  The new skis are more like a sports car and they require constant attention.  I'm certainly skiing better on the new skis than I was on my previous pair.  But, the new skis are stiffer than my old skis and transmit "information" from the hard snow up my legs very well.  They also require more effort to "drive" them, so I'm finding myself more tired after the ski day than I was a year ago.  I'm sure this will dissipate over time, as I spend more time on these skis.  But so far, my legs feel a bit abused.

On Monday, I made a visit to the chiropractor before CrossFit.  Apparently, most of the problems I am having with my shoulders are starting in the AC joint.  He doesn't think it's a true injury, but rather stress placed on that joint due to a lack of mobility in other areas of my body.  He did a few adjustments, and we spent a fair amount of time working with a foam roller and with lacrosse balls to work on areas that were very tight.  The workout didn't seem to go any better than normal, and I even abandoned part of the warm-up because of how my shoulders felt.  But, I did finally have a night where I slept well and pain in my shoulders did not keep me awake for most of the night.

The main part of the workout included 25 consecutive deadlift reps at 225 pounds.  My legs are complaining a little bit today, mostly due to the deadlifts.

Tonight, my "abused" legs get to to heavy back squats, moderate front squats, rope climbs, burpees and kettlebell swings at CF.  By the time I hit my next scheduled rest day on Friday, I'm sure I'll be thrilled to have the day off.

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