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Fear and Skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 46
I'd like to add that habitual posture and habitual movement patterns are, in large part, conditioned in life by the "fight or flight" reflex. That reflex is psychologically set in motion by real events, but the first physical manifestation occurs with the breath. That's why, in part, disciplines like Tai Chi and Yoga emphasize work with the breath.
post #32 of 46
Fear plays a large part in my skiing but in a good way. It keeps me honest and on alert.

About 10 years ago, I tore my ACL in the woods at MRG skier left of the double. Got jammed up in some tight woods as I led a pack of three. I heard my friends above ask that we bail. So, all I was trying to do was get out of the woods.

I was stopped and tried to do a jump turn rather than a kick turn to reorient myself. Well, my skies got hung up and I had a slow speed, legs split sort of fall, popped my ACL and then fell down and through brush, and then down a little ravine. I was stuck, injured and out of sight of my friends. I managed to climb back up, knee popping out, gathered my gear, extracted myself and skied down, fueled merely by pride at this point. Even did some butt sliding as I negotiated the trees. There were two dudes who I could have yelled out to but at this point I was on a mission.

About an hour later, my cousin sees me approaching the single and knew right away that I was in a bad way, skiing gingerly in a snowplow like I was a beginner again.

Long story short – it took years to get over that nasty experience in the woods. It took me a long time to overcome my fear of skiing trees, but today I have an improved respect for my mortality. And at 40 that ain’t a bad thing.
post #33 of 46
For sure.
post #34 of 46
If I ever reach the point where I can no longer induce a significant flood of adrenalin to course through my body, I will have a hard time knowing what to do or where to go. I live for the rush. I love to feel my heart pumping hard and the tingle and the narrowing and sharpening of vision.
post #35 of 46
I try to minimise true fear - if I am afraid I tend to tense up. There is something else though, an awareness of risk and danger that leaves you exhillerated rather than afraid. To me these things are clearest when climbing (which I used to do a lot of, very little these days).

Climbers talk about "exposure" its the difference between being high up tucked away in a gulley and stepping round a corner onto a huge open face with space all around you. My best example was climbing on the Aguille de Midi above Chamonix. When you're on an outward sloping ledge and you look between your knees and see the roof tops of Cham about 8000 feet below you - you're exposed! It's a buzz, if you can control it without becoming afraid then you are more alert, sharper, energised. If you can't control it you become what climbers call "gripped" - muscles tense, you literally grip the rock harder and you don't want to move.

In ski-ing terms, if I become afraid I stop flowing, I don't get my CM as far down the hill, I struggle to commit to turns, etc. I want to be exhillerated not afraid.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedster0
I try to minimise true fear - if I am afraid I tend to tense up. There is something else though, an awareness of risk and danger that leaves you exhillerated rather than afraid. To me these things are clearest when climbing (which I used to do a lot of, very little these days).

Climbers talk about "exposure" its the difference between being high up tucked away in a gulley and stepping round a corner onto a huge open face with space all around you. My best example was climbing on the Aguille de Midi above Chamonix. When you're on an outward sloping ledge and you look between your knees and see the roof tops of Cham about 8000 feet below you - you're exposed! It's a buzz, if you can control it without becoming afraid then you are more alert, sharper, energised. If you can't control it you become what climbers call "gripped" - muscles tense, you literally grip the rock harder and you don't want to move.

In ski-ing terms, if I become afraid I stop flowing, I don't get my CM as far down the hill, I struggle to commit to turns, etc. I want to be exhillerated not afraid.
Good way to put it. I like the way you described being exposed on a outward sloping ledge above chamonix. "gripped" would be a bad situation to be in in that situation
post #37 of 46
like most of skiing, it's about the 'edge' that special place between excitement and paralyzing terror where you are in the flow, where nothing can intrude. It's the best part of skiing. If you are too afraid, you are focused on the fear and will probably hurt yourself. If you are too complacent, you won't pay enough attention and can hurt yourself. Notice how many injuries and deaths happen on blue runs? Fear is a motivator. It feels great to face your fear and overcome it. but there's that edge. go over it because your ego forces you to and you are in danger. You have to be willing to face your fears but you also have to know when it is prudent to walk away. Eric DesLaurier writes about this a bit in his book too. I recall reading once that the most dangerous moment in a skier's career is when they are good enough to believe they can do anything. You have to regain your humility if you are going to survive. I liked the characterization above as one of respect.
post #38 of 46
"I've never known fear; as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old now. But I will fight again, seek fame still. If the dragon in hiding in his tower dares to face me." Beowulf


"I have skiied endless runs without fear. I am older now, but if the powder dares to fall, I will seek fame on the cliffs and towers of the Rockies." Knutwulf

post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedster0
...Climbers talk about "exposure" its the difference between being high up tucked away in a gulley and stepping round a corner onto a huge open face with space all around you. My best example was climbing on the Aguille de Midi above Chamonix. When you're on an outward sloping ledge and you look between your knees and see the roof tops of Cham about 8000 feet below you - you're exposed! It's a buzz, if you can control it without becoming afraid then you are more alert, sharper, energised. If you can't control it you become what climbers call "gripped" - muscles tense, you literally grip the rock harder and you don't want to move...
One of the hardest things to teach in skiing (or, climbing) is NOT leaning into the slope (or rock face). Fear is the cause of leaning in, and must be overcome to TRUST in gravity/friction to keep one in control.
post #40 of 46
How about avalanches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATskier
There's no fear in cross country skiing!!! Some of you ought to open your mind to what skiing actually is.
post #41 of 46
I still like the feeling of alertness/pump that steep slopes can give you. My only restriction as I look down is how much of the ski season will I miss if I eat it bad. I don't heal as quickly or completely as I used to so the reward needs to equal the risk. I don't let others dictate my limits to me. I try not to let my head write checks my body/abilities can't cash.
post #42 of 46

Adrenaline junkie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
I still like the feeling of alertness/pump that steep slopes can give you. My only restriction as I look down is how much of the ski season will I miss if I eat it bad. I don't heal as quickly or completely as I used to so the reward needs to equal the risk. I don't let others dictate my limits to me. I try not to let my head write checks my body/abilities can't cash.
The more time you stand on top looking @ IT? The tougher it is to commit. I just dive in and deal with whatever comes, I get my best runs that way. I let my hands shake and knee's knock while standing in the lift line (After)
post #43 of 46
Look before you leap. You need to spot your lines and landings carefully. I headed down a steep roll-over last year with no visibility and was waved off at the last minute by my partner (already at the bottom of the drop). I managed to climb back up and ski a chute around the cliffs I almost went over. Its fine to go for it if you know it is a skiable line, but in deep powder and low visibility, you can be fooled by drop-offs that are bigger than you think. If you want to get as old as me, a certain amount of risk assessment is in order. Listen to that inner voice, its self-preservation. It talks to me more often these days
post #44 of 46
I was not advocating jump off a blind pitch you have never seen.

Even tough terrain you have been down a 100 times, if you stand there looking @ it, the run will suck.
post #45 of 46
I seen some people last year taking sick lines down the bunny slopes. Absolutely shredding dudes. like, chaaaw
post #46 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by huckingfellers
I seen some people last year taking sick lines down the bunny slopes. Absolutely shredding dudes. like, chaaaw
What that you hoot'n for the bunny chair?
You were spying on me? Why didn't ya say hello?
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