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"the eyes have it"

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Put your hippy scientist hats on for this one folks...

Remember, this is just for fun. I have an overactive imagination and a curious nature.

When I ride up the chair, especially in the mornings, I partake of a little "yoga". Rather than slouching against the back of the chair, I try to raise my sternum and sit up straight, trying to extend gently upwards through my spine. As in yogic practice, I imagine a sensation of a line of energy radiating up my spine, straight up my neck and through the top of my head. (It's a good way to squeeze in a little focus-sharpening mind-body warm-up.)

When sitting in this manner, trying to look straight ahead, I find my gaze tends to "pull" to the right. You know when your trusty old beater car develops a pull to one side or the other? Same thing with my eyes.

Now... could we agree that the body follows the eyes in skiing? I believe this to be a fact. The sensation I just described is one of seeming to see more of what's to the right of me than what's to the left of me.

In numerous clinics and sessions, I have been told that my turns to the right are stronger than my turns to the left. One side is stronger than the other. Like anybody. Certainly, we could look to muscular/anatomical symmetry for answers. Everyone has an imbalance that sets their bias one way or the other. Even simply standing, we tend to slump onto one side or the other. There are not many of us that stand "perfectly balanced" with each side of the body, each foot, bearing an exact half of the weight.

I wonder, though... can our bias be linked to the dominance of one eye over the other? This trait is established very early in life, while our bodies are growing and moldable. If I spend years following eyes that pull to the right, will my entire body not respond likewise as the effects accumulate over the years? If my eyes pull to the right, will my body follow and pull to the right as well?

This curiousity began for me when someone pointed out that I involuntarily start every ski run with a turn to the right. My first turn on any run is virtually always to the right. Coincidence? Better peripheral vision to the right side? The dominance of one eye over the other? One leg shorter than the other? A missing muscle? Is my head just screwed on crooked?


post #2 of 5
There's a definate imbalance in the eyes. I had a boxing trainer that would cover the stronger eye to try and reset the balance, or make us do balance exercises with both eyes covered.

But yes you should get out more.

post #3 of 5
I don't think you are nuts. I use the importance of eyes in my lessons. This could be your problem with turning right but again, other things can affect turning such as alignment.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 12, 2002 07:11 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #4 of 5

Good chairlift practice; I'll have to try it.

The eye balance is something quite important, I suspect. Though I don't notice an obvious directional balance in my skiing, I did in another activity - riding a bike. Years ago as a child I was never able to learn to ride properly; I found that I could make left turns but totally lost my balance attempting to turn right. Kinda ruined the idea of riding my bike to school, I'd have had to take the long way home!

I also notice in pictures of me, and have had people point out, that I hold my head at an angle.

Now some of this may be visual acuity, but I think more of it is visual balance after reading your post. My left eye is now corrected (via glasses - no guts for the surgery!) to actually less than my right - in recent years my nearsightedness has progressed faster in that eye than in my right. Yet for years it was the other way around, including back in the "one-way bike" days.

However my right eye is my dominant eye, at least in exercises done in target shooting classes, where the instructor will make sure you are sighting with your dominant eye (the one where sight alignment does not change if you cover the other eye.)

I just realized while typing this that I do have at least one left-side bias in skiing: I probably do 90% of hockey-stops as turns to the left, unless the terrain or crowds strongly suggest to the right. I wonder if that's an eye-balance thing, just like the old bad-biking days?

(Former?? : : ) poster Lisamarie has told me several times about a binocular vision issue she has. Her point of focus is actually somewhat off to the side of where she appears to be looking. Till she learned to compensate, she said that in a group exercise class, sometimes when giving a correction from the front of the studio, the person next to the student she was speaking to would think it was for her.

I wonder if visual balance, eye dominance issues are more common than we all realize. I'm going to try to pay more attention to this the next time I'm skiing, which unfortunately is not this weekend. This topic has been an eye-opener :
post #5 of 5
I think you are NUTS!
But I think everyone is a little nuts. Well actually I believe the dominant eye concept does hold merit. Although, might there be other factors too?
I think so. Here is my example, my wife sleeps on my left, even though I would rather her sleep on my right. (I lost that battle years ago). Now, while on the chair I would rather my students sit to my left. Weird, but true.

When going up the lift and doing what you do (I do by the Way), my gaze is fixed straight ahead. Why? My guess is that is where the dominant terrain features lie. Each lift I have used to start off my day for the last 9 years has the dominant terrain feature right in front of it. Although, when I shift my mental focus to the run or skiers my gaze follows my focus rather than my dominant eye.

Regarding dominant turns. Again their might be some merit to dominant eye. But I think many other more significant factors are here at work. And perhaps somewhere in the beginning they were created by a dominant Eye. I perfer catching a football while on a left post slant which would punch a hole in the dominant eye theory for me. I prefer making a turn to the right, but I make a better turn to the left. Probably due to more refined control of my right leg.

Just my early AM thoughts,
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