Originally Posted by vickieh
Well, if you buy a travel ski pass for next season and get to new mountains, I expect you'll naturally focus and pay attention more. That ski season on the road seems almost like a safety measure for you now. Try that one on your wife!
You know I have already thought of this, makes sense to me BUT have not mentioned to wife because I do stupid things (i.e. trees) but I am not dumb and that would be dumb.
Originally Posted by NayBreak
Arguably, skiing relies on being less "aware" as awareness and hesitation may go hand in hand. Some 90% of our brain functioning is the hard wiring in the subconscious, and skiing generally takes a long time to hardwire.
PBS has been producing some great NOVA episodes about brain functioning. In one, they show a young kid stacking and unstacking plastic cups at mind boggling speed, something he'd been practicing for years. They demonstrated that it was the subconscious hardwiring in control - no amount of "focus" could come close to that level of performance.
I felt like you had a sense of this in your posts so figured I'd mention it. I'm coming at it from the direction of a almost 46 year old brain working on the hardwiring (6th season). Complementary sports like mountain biking are exceptional for the tactical downhill brain, but I'll stop short of the recommendation because those injuries tend to be worse than skiing. Nonetheless shocking how much the one advances the other, because the downhill brain doesn't have an offseason.
Haven't see the NOVA stuff on brains. Good show. Some of the comments etc. on focus and awareness have yes in part inferred that I must ski more defensively in the future. After giving this a lot of thought I think would give up skiing before I could ski defensively all the time. Have never thought of my autopilot skiing as hardwiring but makes sense. Am thinking more and more that there is probably a fine line between autopilot skiing and aware focused skiing that is no defensive in nature. In my mind it is possible to do both actually doing it out on the hillk could be another proposition.
Originally Posted by sibhusky
I think we can discuss the "causes" forever. But, the one controllable factor here was speed, and it's speed that caused the injuries to be severe. They haven't invented ski jackets with the right kind of air bags yet to save us from the consequences. Maybe the next designer or college student that comes on here looking for ideas should be told we need this.
A definite yes here. Won't know till next year but can I focus and be aware of my surroundings etc. and ski slower but not slow and still enjoy myself? I think the answer is yes but only time will tell.
Originally Posted by crank
Nay. The physical act of skiing is one where you can turn off and tune in and be in the moment and all that meaning if you are skiing well you are not thinking about all the many aspects that are debated ad infinitum in the instruction forum here. However, that is different than being aware of your surroundings - be here now.
Crank, I am one of those guys who just skis and don't think a lot - if a all - usually just do it. The only except isw sometimes I will go out and want to work on somehing and then will think technique etc. but normally just out there skiing. "being aware of your surroundings....", sound easy but I don't know. This will take some brain training to be able to beaware and not ski defensively.
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes
The whole "if you have to think about it you're too slow" thing is true up to a point - you're still observing and processing subconsciously/instinctively i.e. it's an active process, you're just not superficially aware of it. The point being, just like everything else, as we age, that process begins to degrade and be less reliable. My autopilot scares the crap out of me now -when I was younger I was able to pretty much take it for granted and not have a heart attack after realizing I just got from point A to B without thinking about it.
I would also say that, even when functioning at optimal levels, one's autopilot still needs a focused input, subconscious or otherwise. In fact, one of the reasons it starts to fail us in our later years in a decrease in the ability to focus.
Good points and apply I am sure. Probably I will just have to test out and adjust what works for me. I think that as long as I can be aware of the separation between autopilot and focus awareness I might be ok.
Thanks everyone, gives me some different avenues of approaching this problem.