"My feet tell me what to do." --Peter Krainz, Keystone
|Yes, skiing hard is a skill. It's the ability to turn fear into motivation and thus, empower yourself through visualization and execution. IMHO, of course. I just feel like some people don't have the ability to do that.
Well said, DoWork!
|You could get scared, or you could take a deep breath and man up- making that snow your bitch is at it's finest when you're skiing hard and hitting each turn with a grunt like you're bench pressing or something. I do that sometimes when the going gets tough.
I think we all do that sometimes. But I would not
generally call what you have described here "good skiing." You've hit on one of the great paradoxes of skiing--that, unlike many other sports (bench pressing?), pure aggression rarely leads to improved performance. What you've described sounds to me like aggressive defensiveness--braking
hard, not skiing
As Ingemar Stenmark once said--and almost always demonstrated--skiing well and winning races involves "tranquil aggression." Thse same is true for truly great (not just "effective") skiing in any condition. Skiing is about gliding. Skis work best when they're going the direction they're pointed, rather than skidding sideways, whether ripping high-speed turns in a race course, carving on pure ice, slicing through deep, heavy crud, or rocking through the moguls.
On the other hand, pure, unbridled aggression invariably results in harsh, abrupt, vigorous braking movements, such as you have described (or at least, as I picture what you've described). Yes, that is skiing "hard"! And ugly, inefficiently, and often ineffectively. Braking, ironically, becomes increasingly dangerous the faster you go, or the more challenging the conditions get. Yes, that is "hard"!
To me, "skiing hard," in the best context of the notion, evokes the confidence to continue skiing offensively,
despite the conditions, speed, and other challenges. It is the ability to let the skis run, to trust that they will slice, carve, and turn for me, and that I don't need to force them or twist them into braking skids, or slam on the brakes. Skiing hard (well) involves the will to let go--literally and figuratively--to release
the edges' grip on the mountain and glide, and not
to jam them in "with a grunt, like you're bench pressing."
But "skiing hard," to me, is also the willingness to let myself ski imperfectly, to allow myself to get tossed around a bit, to ski out of balance, to believe that I can fight through imbalance and "ski anyway" when the need arises. At any level, we have a "comfort zone" in which we ski as "perfectly" as we are able. Go a little faster, a little steeper, or into conditions a little gnarlier, and we enter what Mermer Blakslee calls "the Yikes zone" (look up her excellent book on dealing with fear, found here
). Willingness to enter the Yikes zone, and the composure and confidence to continue to ski offensively
(not necessarily the same as aggressively
), to trust in our skills so that we can "let our feet tell us what to do" while our mind remains relaxed and tranquil--skiing by "touch"--not sheer "power"....
That, to me, is "skiing hard" at its finest!