Originally Posted by JSLincks
do you actually have "the experience of practicing something and not understanding what you are actually practicing?"
For years, I was convinced I was "pretty good," or "close to being able to ski really well," bumps included. I thought if I just tried harder (whatever that might mean), got into better shape, moved my feet faster, pushed harder, I'd have it.
Well, I could have kept trying what I was doing, but I probably only would have gotten better by accident, or random walk, if you will. An additional problem was that I probably couldn't even recognize the elements of highly skilled skiing. Anyone who put forth a reasonably athletic effort and looked fairly coordinated looked good to me.
Then, I met some instructors who were kind enough to give me some time (a lot of time, fortunately for me) and deconstruct my skiing. At age 29, I started over.
The learning process has never stopped, and I still don't ski as well as I'd like, but at my age, it's unlikely I ever will. I had become so good at so many ineffective movements that it took a long time to unlearn them, and some are still with me, if I don't pay attention.
Besides, if I ever think I ski well enough, it will become boring. Fortunately, I have learned enough so that I can still ski bumps, powder and trees in an OK fashion, despite increasing decrepitude. If I was still trying to do it through sheer effort, I would have had to quit years ago.
I remember a time when I was riding up a lift at Winter Park with the SSD, who pointed out another friend of mine skiing the bumps under the lift. This guy was absolutely hammering the bumps on the tails of his skis! Bob looked down and said that he had never seen anyone ski that well in a sitting position. The guy was inefficient, but he was really good at it.
I've never been strong enough to do that, but, obviously, some people are. That doesn't mean it's optimal, or that it will continue to work for them as they get older. I want to spend my 10,000 hours learning how to do it (bumps, powder, or skiing in general) in a way that will serve me for the rest of my skiing life.