Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Enjoying the break from doctors

I haven't seen a doctor in a few weeks, it seems.  My last chemo ended on 1/30.  I briefly saw my oncologist a few days later, when I was still dealing with some bad nausea.  But, I've been mostly free from doctors for a while now, and I'm back to living my life the way I would normally be doing.  Regretfully, that will end in less than 2 weeks, but I'll take it for now.

This past weekend, I taught skiing all day, both days.  It was the first time this season that I had students for the entire weekend.  In both cases, I took a group where an instructor was out for the day, and in both cases, the kids needed a lot of instruction.  This was the 11th weekend of the season for the program where I teach, and I felt like I was teaching things kids should have done in the first couple weeks.  I wish a higher demand existed to work in the program where I work, so we could be more selective about who we bring on as a coach.

Of course, if it had always been that way, I would never have gotten my job in this program 15 years ago. As I work with groups who haven't had enough quality instruction, I try to remember that I was probably a pretty poor instructor my first few years.  If we educate these younger instructors, I'm sure some of them will turn out to be good at the job, if they stick around long enough.  Too many of our coaches are around for 1 or 2 or 3 years, and then, just as they are getting good, they are gone.  We have a core of about 5-7 instructors (out of 50 or so) who have been doing this for 15 years or more, and we seem to be building a secondary core of good instructors.  But, at the fringes, we still have first year coaches who simply cannot look at a skier, see a fundamental flaw, and then figure out how to improver that skier's skills.  I guess this is just the case in all professions.  You need to learn on the job quite often, and the first few years can be a tough learning process.

One of the things that I've learned about ski instruction over the years is that the more experienced I become, the more I realize just how much I don't know.  In the beginning, you have no idea how much you don't know.

My calf muscles were a bit sore from skiing all weekend, and I was curious how that would translate into squats on Monday.  But, we did low reps and I got up to 205 pounds on my last rep.  I think that's the heaviest back squat I've done since my surgery in September, and maybe since last spring.  I know I did a 305# front squat last March, but it was April when everything started to go downhill for me.  I'm far, far away from my 375# personal record.  After the back squats and 4x4 of front squats, we did a workout with deadlifts, burpees and air squats.  I knew the burpees would really slow me down (I have to be careful not to hit the deck with my chemo port, which would hurt a lot), but I was consistent through the work.

The next day, we started with Olympic lifts - halting power snatches and halting power cleans with a push jerk - 20x1 for each, with a rep every 30 seconds.  I used lighter weights for the halting versions of these lifts than I did the week before for the hang version of these lifts, and the week before, when we pulled continuously from the floor.  But, it was still a good workout.  From there, we did ring rows (pull-ups for the stronger types), kettlebell high pulls and rope jumping for 10 minutes.  My biceps are sore today.

Last night, we got out for dinner with our son and some skiing friends - a belated birthday dinner for two of us.  We went to a classic French restaurant at Sugarbush, and as always, had a great time.  My daughter had to miss dinner because of a basketball playoff game.  She ate at Applebee's with the basketball team instead.  Her loss, in my opinion.

My wife and I are going to spend the weekend with college friends, so there won't be any skiing or training, I'm guessing.  So, we are going to try to do 5 consecutive days of CrossFit, if we can survive it.

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