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Are you experienced? - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Thread Starter 
Dogs are cool. So are cats. And mountains are cool too. Just being with them puts things into perspective.

If everyone skied there would be no wars...

Do you believe that?

What would skiing need to be for that to happen?That's how I think of it, as a wellspring of healthy attitudes that spill over into one's whole life.
post #32 of 53
If everyone skied there would be no wars?

As long as they didn't teach a wedge
post #33 of 53
Originally posted by nolo:
If everyone skied there would be no wars...

We would still have the "powder wars". The mad dash down the ridge to the top of Dalton's. The scramble for first tracks on any powder day. One of my first memories of Alta was seeing a "friend" (still a friend - he has since been educated) dive in front of the group that cut the traverse to High Rustler. They wanted to string him up from the nearest tree (appropriate for High Rustler) and I would have helped them. They earned the turns. He was "rustling" them.

Interesting post. Thought provoking as are most of nolo's threads. But you folks are getting too cerebrial for me. I think I'll go get on my bike and have an "experience" without analyzing it to death...
post #34 of 53

"I" wouldn't know but would "i"?

post #35 of 53
But you did achieve oneness, Ydnar! The all powerful OM was the correct response and took over the moment of the thread. It was inescapable and caused everyone to pay attention to it that might have missed it in frivolous humor. As far as you being a butcher, I don't know, that's really not very Buddhist or holy cow respecting.

The most intense and deepest penetrating experiances I've had in my life, almost without exception, have been the variety that you speak of, Nolo. I don't see there being this fight between types of perception that many others seem to. I think I "learn" the best, "perceive" the best, by being as much in the moment during the experiance as I am able to be. I simply see/notice/sponge-up more with the fewer distractions that you find when you get close to this state. This involves me quieting my verbal self and letting my senses perk up and reach outward. For me, this is the state that I am able to "grok", if you will, the best in. After experiancing whatever situation I'm involved in I haul out the tools of rational discourse and logic and attempt to put an intellectual understanding and verbalization on all that my senses have gathered for me. I fail at this all the time, but, when it works for me I assimilate things very well. When I ski, I try to go quiet inside and FEEL everything. I may not be El Superbo all the time but I love this experiance and I can honestly say I live for it. The less between me and the wind and the snow and my breath, the more intoxicating. As far as whether you're in the moment if you know you're in the moment, like anything else, lovemaking perhaps, there are degrees of immersion. We are talking about one of the lesser degrees of nirvana here as opposed to TOTAL loss of self attributed to the egoless states reported in Satori or Samadhi/ Nirvana, "I" wouldn't know.

Bob, great post, for me it works better if the evaluation follows the experiance rather than accompanying it, they do seem to intertwine often tho'. And I totally agree that best examples of this occur during moments of crisis or survival.
Nolo, I think intent ranks right up there with awareness, in my mind the two go hand in hand. You define the intent, feel the intent and then let all your awareness awaken as you stay out of your own way while attempting the task at hand. As far as teaching that, it takes a special student in my experiance(M.Arts) to "get" this and apply it. Worth it tho'.
Bonni, if Rusty started thinking about what he was doing and telling himself about it I bet he'd have a slew of problems too. No time for verbiage or being "aware" of that.

For those who never read "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein, you probably didn't grok my reference to "grok". It was simply a word implying a deep, wide, all encompassing understanding and appreciation of something, arrived at by using all of a persons perceptions and awareness with little or no shadings of extraneous emotions or bias in the way of seeing what was there. As far as Heinlein, well, he had some "issues". Many provocative ideas for the time frame though.

[ June 23, 2002, 12:49 AM: Message edited by: joel ]
post #36 of 53
It's the only one to have, PowderJunkie!

Yes, if everyone skied, there would be far fewer wars. But those snowboarders just won't go away!

I've got to think that there must be some great, unexploited skiing in Afghanistan....

Have a great ride, PJ--I think I'll do the same.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #37 of 53
Dogs in the moment - yet they still learn - do they stop and analyze? or do they just remember what worked and what didn't.

To be in the moment is why I ski. I don't ski to be in the mountains, be with friends etc. - those are just bonuses. I ski for that moment when all the extraneous garbage in my head dissappears and my entire mental focus is on the next moment.

Can you make a mistake and still be in the moment? Yes, the mistake is in the past, the focus is in the next moment.

Can you learn from what happened in the moment?

Whats the quickest way out of the moment? Think about what you are doing or where you are now instead of focusing on where you will be.

Bob - who taught you to kayak? Could it be that you are more likely to be in moment when kayaking because you don't have the intellectual baggage (the fine understanding of technique/performance of the kayak)that you have for skiing?

In kayaking do they teach the basic moves, getting in and out of the kayak, rolls, turns and then teach you to read the river, and send you off to learn by experience?

Maybe we should change it to being "in the next moment".
post #38 of 53
Ok, Nolo, it's 10.30am and you've just inherited a group of total beginners. Moderate size, 8 people. You've got them til 1pm. Then you bolt down some lunch and are out there again at 1.30pm, to teach another such group until 4pm.

It's the usual level 1 mixture of body types, ages and motivations. There is always a fat person who doesn't do any sport (I can't remember not having at least one).

Multiply this scenario by 6 to get the average week of someone like me.

How do you apply your thing?
(I'm interested. I have a suspicion that I'm already encouraging them to feel what they're doing and own it, but being able to add more would obviously be a good thing).
post #39 of 53
nolo said... The instant you become conscious of what you are doing, you are no longer in the moment. You are "out of the experience."
That's like Heisenberg, man. Whoa!

The act of observation changes the event being observed. In this case, the self is both the observer and the observed.

My college gf used to tell me that I tried to observe myself too much while on weed. "Wow, I'm really stoned," instead of just "go with the flow."

At least I think she did... :
post #40 of 53
Originally posted by SLATZ:
One of the best "tips" I've ever recieved was at Taos from a ski scool supervisor who graduated from Madison Memorial HS(small world). He said,"the bump you're on is history, you're already committed to the next one, the only thing you can do anything about is the one after". I had a great run and when I got to the bottom I said: "DUH! How many years have I been telling kids to look two gates ahead".
My point is this, as soon as you become "aware" of the present moment, you're frozen in the past. Bode Miller or Rusty Wallace can't afford to "stop" in the present. They have to stay ahead of it. That's what "being in the zone" is about. Kids who focus on "clearing" the slalom poles get stuck in the past and aren't ready for what's beyond the gate. When I drive auto-cross I focus on the apex and exit to the turn. If I look at the entrance I turn in too early or "pinch" the turn.
I've never been in the Zone while skiing, but I did spend about 20 min in it during a tennis match a few weeks back. It was the first time I'd ever experienced it in competition, and wow. Anyway, your post about looking ahead really hit home, because the Zone, as I experienced it, was a total ability to see the future while I was playing. I knew where my opponents were going to hit every ball, and I was there. I knew when they were going to poach, and I went down the line. I dug out overheads, standing on the service line, and blooped back winners. I just KNEW, and I was able to execute (also important).
post #41 of 53
post #42 of 53
Originally posted by Lisamarie:

Had to do it before Ryan!
Lisamarie- Good choice. Had to go look.
post #43 of 53
Heisenberg & Schrodinger.

This thread is all linked together - experience, uncertainty, dogs & cats.
post #44 of 53
Well - if I understand that the fencing experience of [knowing what my opponent would do & deciding on how to 'overcome' that problem & then just relaxing while it happened in slow motion] is what we are talking about. Then YEAH - I get that when I ski - not all the time - but a few times every season.

Often it is because I am 'afraid' - not nervously afraid - my CONTROL is not gone - but I have to choose at a certain point. I can let the fear take over (maybe bail out & take a slower line) - or just use ALL my concentration to 'DO RIGHT'. Following my instrcutors in BIG FAST turns is a common trigger - as I hit a point they say they can 'see' me choose - my body language changes. When I pull up behind them it always takes them a minute to get my attention again - I'm still sort of 'out there'. I'm quite AWARE of what is happening - but not responding in a very CEREBRAL manner.

Another time is when it is just a stunningly perfect moment - I seem to choose the same 'resignation' - my ANALYTICAL self leaves off & lets the rest of me just FEEL - then even a few short turns down a stunning piece of hill seem to take FOREVER.

I still remember the first tree run through powder as this sort of experience - I can still see the leaves on the branches of the snowgums I'm negotiating & my instructors track dissapearing into the trees & snow at the limit of visibility. I can still hear the loud silence of the heavy snowfall. I even feel the fall flat on my face [img]redface.gif[/img] at the end of the run - as I miss seeing the edge of the road in my shock at realising my instructor has stopped & we have reached the end of the run. I don't 'remember' seeing my instuctor stop - although I know that is what broke the concentration - but I remember the fall very clearly : Seems he knew by my wacky attitude what happened - he still jokes about not falling off the road every time we go past it - & tries to remind me to 'feel' like that day when I ski.

On these days my 2 hour lessons can seem to last an eternity - because they contain such 'extended time' sequences. They nearly always contain the 'breakthrough' times. The times when all the little pieces I've been learning are fitted together into a 'new entity' - not 'skiing doing x' but 'different skiing'. It is as though I can THINK & ANALYSE etc to practise the pieces - but I need to just FOCUS on something simple like 'FEEL the sun/wind on my skin as I DO what I've learnt' to put them together.

Nolo - I'm quite AWARE of what is happening - just as I was taught in fencing - I TELL my mind what I'm going to do & then LET IT do it - while I watch/feel(experience??) etc from a distance. It is fragile though - a small distraction can break that if I let it.
post #45 of 53
post #46 of 53
I think I've been 'in the moment' playing the piano. Usually when I play there's a lot of self-evaluation & criticism going on at the same time; thinking about what comes next, how badly that run went, when's dinner... but just sometimes there is nothing except the joy of the music. I'm not conscious of what my fingers are doing, just of the music itself. Sometimes I get the same feeling at concerts or the opera, but for some reason it's more intense when I'm playing myself.

Why is this relevant? Because I don't think I could get there without lots of drills, progressions & exercises. It only happens when I know the music so well that my subconscious can drive my hands and I don't have to make conscious decisions. Doesn't this apply to skiing? How can I get into the moment if my body isn't trained to ski without thinking about it? How can I train my body without multiple repetitions, drills & so on?
post #47 of 53

"My hands are moving faster than the moving of my mind". Jorma Kaukonen.

post #48 of 53
Thread Starter 
Even if you are not a concert-quality pianist, even if you're like me, a total hack at the keys, you can have a moment where the music flows through you. Yes, it takes practice. It takes dogged determination and refusal to accept the judgment of the nasty voice that tells you that you suck now and you'll probably always suck. But each time you play the piece, your effort incrementally improves, until at some finite point you break through to the music which was the possibility pulling you along all the while.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that I expect a novice to innately know how to ski, any more than you would expect a beginning piano student to play flawlessly. What I am saying is that the student comes with everything they need to be a proficient skier one day. What I wish is that novice teachers would allow their students to do their own learning, because I suspect more people would become proficient skiers if that were the case.

Don't teach progressions, because any progression worth its salt is going to happen naturally. For instance, why in God's name do we feel we need to teach a straight run, when any healthy person, upon climbing up a hill, is going to want to try sliding down? Instead, focus on setting the parameters of sliding down the hill by choosing a safe place to let it rip and by not making the first run terribly challenging. Then let them determine the level of difficulty for the task.

In general, no matter what the subject, teach people by making them do the right thing, catch them doing it, and bring what they did right to the front of their attention. Do not make their mistakes and errors the focus of the instruction, but their small victories and incremental improvements. What we are after is a process of successive approximations to the target. Some people take more time to reach the target than others, so much of coaching is inspiration--lifting the spirit to persevere through the failed attempts...

What I would intend in my work with novice skiers is:

1) To build up whatever the desire was that got them there.

2) To help them create a vision of what all this toil and trouble is going to get them.

3) To encourage them to experiment by setting up an environment for learning--this is where terrain contouring would be most helpful--including interesting problems for them to solve, games, activities, contests, and race courses;

4) To help them improve their ability to observe and kinesthetically sense what is happening and connect causes and effects--for example, rather than telling that when you go straight downhill you go fast and when you go sideways you slow down, let this be something they discover for themselves; you can lead them to the "rules and principles" by asking questions that help them figure it out. This learning space is what is so lacking in the garden-variety beginner lesson, which is conducted like boot camp: Do it because I said so! I said earlier that I want to accentuate the positive, but everyone is going to be especially attentive when they do something that causes them to endure a spanking. In such cases, a review of what happened and comparing it with what had been intended often leads to important insights about what to do the next time.

5) Comfirmation. It's important that the teacher affirm that the student's insights are spot-on when they are.

6) The new then must be reinforced through practice in the target terrain (synergy).

7) Student ease and comfort with using the new skill in the target terrain indicates mastery.

8) The new skill is completely integrated and routine.

10) The learner is eager to move on to the next lesson.

[ June 24, 2002, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #49 of 53
Nolo, have you had any exposure to the tenets of the Perfect Turn system? You might find that Maggie Loring has beaten you to it. I'm glad it was the first "way" I learned. (I've since learned PSIA ATS, the Australian system, and tomorrow I start learning the Canadian system). One burgles bits and pieces, cobbles it together, keeps sundry bits as extensions when needed, and then applies it to the audience, terrain and time constraints.
post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 
Really? Maggie and I are in great agreement then. However, this model is credited to Robert Quinn, Ph.D. of the University of Michigan. It's called the Quinn Model, it is proselytized by Horst Abraham, and I am just a fan.

Are there any original ideas? Fulghum says everything we ever needed to know we learned in kindergarten...

Makes one think it's pretty important what we teach kids through that age.
post #51 of 53
Originally posted by nolo:
...What I would intend in my work with novice skiers is:

1) To build up whatever the desire was that got them there.
Nolo, that was an absolutely wonderful post. It summarized the best teaching in any field. I'm going to print out your list of 10 points, and post it in my office so I will be reminded of it every day.

Tom / PM

PS - To ensure correct attribution, is the list yours, were you paraphrasing, or is it mostly Quinn's wording?
post #52 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Tom. That's a very nice tribute. Those are my words, but the ideas are, as I said, Robert Quinn's.

Here's an article about it:

[I have posted this link on another thread, can't remember which one.]
post #53 of 53
Nolo, I agree with Tom, these ideas are a great guides to learning and experience and remind us what learning should be about. I think Roger also is onto this as seen from this post on another thread:

Originally posted by Arcmeister:
Hardest skill to master?
The parodox of re-learning how to really learn.

You know, like you did as a child.
All results valuable to the process....
Always fun.....

Inate learning, the lost skill -

The more you can allow it,
the more you will master it.

The more you try to master it,
the less you will be able to allow it.
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