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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Today I realized the other side of the "trust instructor" issue: Self Trust.

After a 4-day bout with the flu, I decided that I did not want to miss my Sunday lesson, especially one week before the Academy. As someone who has not even had a minor cold for a few years, this was totally debilitating. It was precipitated by more than a normal amount of falls on the ice when walking through town, sudden feelings of light-headedness, and banging my head on the door of the *#@%^&! Jetta!: My appetite has been unusually low, and I've only been out of the house to teach classes at my studio. I thought I was better this morning. NOT!

The morning started out okay. Thanks to two awesome instructors, and some early season skiing with some of our super star Summit County Bears, my basic skills are now more or less solid, so I was doing okay on the groomers.

Then we get to I-Dropper, a bump run I had skied before. At previous attempts, it was not pretty, but I had a relative sense of confidence that I could ski it more or less safely.

Not so today. The first problem was that my equilibrium was off, and I could not get centered on my skis. Since I felt too dried out to put in my lenses, my focus point {which is a big part of Mike_M's teaching} was totally distorted. Instead of one a few turns being a leap of faith, every single turn involved an internal argument as to whether or not I could make it down the run.

We went to lunch, and I thought that putting some food in my system would help. Still no appetite. I even turned down Mike's post lunch weekly offer of chocolate candy!

Our afternoon plans were to ski Copper Bowl, and I wanted to do that so badly I could tatse it. {even with limited taste sensation} Mike very wisely decided we should ski Jupitor Bowl first, a run I had skied last week. You would never believe I had skied it at all. I was an absolute disaster. M. had to cue me down every single turn, and by some miracle, I got down safely, but decided to call it a day.

Before anyone flames me, I realize doing something so totally stupid and irresponsible qualifies me for ski bimbo of the year! : Not only did I slow down the class level, but I put a really good instructor in a precarious position, by showing way too much Machisma, and not admitting that I was not feeling well.

In teaching any sort of physical activity, instructors may come across two types of students:

Those who are always sick or injured, even when they quite often are not.
Those who are never sick or injured, even when they occaisionally are.

I am one of the later. In a class setting, a number of things can be going on with any given student. Some will tell you, some will not. If I was with an instructor who did not know me, they would have assumed that they just could not communicate with me, or that perhaps I did not trust them.

The other side of the issue about qualities of instructors that inspire trust, is the student's ability to be honest with themselves, so that they will have self trust.
post #2 of 3
Yes LM - the instructors I prefer to ski with are those that
a) ask what it is exactly that scares me
b) listen to the answer (really listen not pay lip service to)

however if I am not honest with myself & them then all the above is for nought....

Sometimes instructor has to be smart enough to "dig deeper" from my answers
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Uh huh! Damn, I'm glad I don't teach skiing! Add "mind reader' to the other set of qualities needed for ski instruction. If you and I are stubborn about admitting any weakness, can you imagine what problems they may have when teaching kids?
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