Originally Posted by skiknight
The second part of this post / question added.
I first realized how proficient I had become, when I got video taped. With a room full of instructors, we reviewed my skiing.
Though there are always things you can improve on, there were no major mistakes or faults in my technique.
How long did it take to get to this point. it was 2 years ago
7.5 seasons of instructing
1000's of students taught
an avg of 2hrs a week spent in clinic, all ski season long, for the first 6 years i instructed. so that's roughly
14 weeks x 2 hours x 6 years = 168 hours of learning and instruction.
I hope the rest of you get it quicker then I did !
For me it is still an ongoing processs and I was a slow learner. I started skiing at 17 when I joined my High School ski club (71-72 season) and we went every Friday night to Seven Springs. Lessons were included and I took the first few till I could get down the hill, and then skipped the rest. The next season I went to a local branch campus of Penn State and they had a 1 credit phys ed course of skiing at a small local hill. So twice a week I went to that hill and had a lesson. By the end of that course, I think I was actually making parallel turns, or at least what we called parallel turns back then on skinny straight 190 skis. That was it lesson wise for several years but I still skied at least 10 days a year and progressed at my slow pace.
My next lesson was at Sugarbush at around my 10th ski season. The next was about 5 years later at Breckenridge. By then I was a Safety Ranger at Seven Springs and started skiing with and making friends with instructors and patrollers. I have to say that skiing on a regular basis with skiers at a higher level than you will do wonders for your skiing as you try to keep up. Wasn't long before I could keep up and eventually I was the one leading with others trying to keep up with me. My skiing at that time was probably a solid level 8 and I was now skiing 20-30 days a year.
My next jump in skiing didn't happen till I took an all guy trip to Whistler in 1994 with a guy I was a Ranger with and a bunch of his friends. I was pegged #3 in the group. The two top guys were very experienced in western big mtn skiing and they taught me a lot on that trip. I came home with a new found confidence in skiing black and double black terrain.
I kind of plateaued after that trip and really did not progress much for several seasons untill I finally became financially able to afford at least one western trip per season, and I started taking an upper level lesson every trip. To my surprise, I found myself being put into the top level 9 class by the ski school after the ski off. It was then that I started to feel more comfortable calling myself an expert after about 20-25 years of skiing . I might have called myself an expert before, but truth be told, I wasn't. As I was now taking 1-2 trips out west a season plus getting in around 20 locally, my experience was growing by leaps and bounds and I became quite proricient in just about all aspects of skiing, except 2. Park and Racing.
Fast forward to when I moved to Cleveland 6 years ago, and I joined a ski club that got me interested in racing which I had never done before. Low and behold at the ripe old age of 52 I start learning how to race, taking clinics and skiing with the good racers in our league. Combining that with my continued trips out west and I have taken another jump in ability from what I would estimate from a low level 9 to a solid mid level 9. As we all know the better you get the harder it is to jump up a level, and I truly believe that I have done just that!
Goes to show that you are never too old to get better. On my trip to Big Sky last winter I roomed and skied most of the week with a fellow who was almost 10 years my senior. A good skier but never pushed himself much outside his comfort zone. Well I pushed him and he responded by keeping up and improving. By the end of the week he couldn't thank me enough for bringing his skiing up a notch or two.
IMHO as soon as you stop pushing yourself to learn more and to get better, you will start to stagnate and regress to a former comfort zone.
So to answer your question, how long did it take to get to my level? The answer is,it took me till last season, my 40th to get to where I will start this season. I hope to keep on improving this season and the next and the one after that and......
Edited by rickg - 10/9/12 at 9:48am