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Soul Stealing

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Recently I read some of Ott's Sigi stories. They are fantastic. To me they communicate more about skiing than any techno-weenie diatribe ever could. They are stories rife with the soul of skiing. What better way to learn about flow than experiences like those?
I am seeking a haven away from the uselessly-convoluted techno-weenie orgies I have recently been participating in here. They are stealing my skier's soul.

Some of the people who have mentored me over the years have often said and shown ski teaching/learning has less to do with technical presentations than many people think.

When I read Bob's Posts I see a lot of technical content, but I also see an awareness that skiing is so much more than that. I'd be willing to bet that people he skis with don't get that much in the way of technical presentations, though he does use it to plan and design the lesson.

One of the nice things about Ott's stories is the marked lack of frustrated and confused responses. Everyone understood. What better way to learn than through adventure and play?

So who here can remember having learned or improved through some circumstance that was devoid of techincal spewing and posturing and full of adventure and experience? Or just remembers a good 'ol ski story they lived and loved?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 10:18 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Roto ]</font>
post #2 of 13

It could not be said better. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 13
>>I am seeking a haven away from the uselessly-convoluted techno-weenie orgies I have recently been participating in here. They are stealing my skier's soul.<<
There ain't no snow on my screen, only technical discussions to fuel the passion. You wouldn't be here if this discussion board didn't do the same for you. Why you taking the high ground all of a sudden. I know you got snow, thats it you got SNOW (all tongue in cheek Roto).
Much technical content can be conveyed on the hill with body language and demonstration. Technical words and explanations on the hill tend to confuse more than help. Its more or less shut up and ski on the snow. This forum is our place to get petty as there ain't no snow and I can't talk with my body here and and and and ahhh them people with snow already, are disgusting.
post #4 of 13
Having to know absolutely everything there is to know about skiing, I must ask: Who is Ott, and where do I find his "Sigi stories"?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
and HERE

Bob Barnes posted these on THIS thread a few days ago. Though I have gone all the way back to the oldest posts and poked around I've never seen these of Ott's before. There is just so much out there..

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 12:38 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Roto ]</font>
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep,we got snow. Been up in it all week, but have only managed to do some short base area slides.

I guess I am staking out the high ground a little. It is too easy to give in and trade semantic thust and parry. I do enjoy a certain amount of technical banter, but it takes over so many threads here. As I stated above, I am seeking a haven from that. In my profile I identify myself as a techno-weenie contract killer. I would like to do a better job of living up to my purpose in life.

When I was a kid I lived in a Nordic country, could ski from and to my house. We would take a train up the mountain in the morning, ski at different surface lift slopes all day. The fun lift ops would stretch the poma springs all the way out and launch us into orbit. When finished at one hill five of us would ski on trails through the woods up & down , around, jumping logs, dodging roots, surviving compressions with enough speed to reach the top. The leader head to make it or everyone else would dogpile. Down train tracks, in fear of hearing the train before we reached the next exit from between 6 - 8 foot snowbanks. We actually raced the last few meters with an approaching train on our heels more than once. Partway along one trail was a 30 meter nordic jump. Here we would take off our skis and climb the wooden superstructure, daring each other to go first. We would spend hours cycling this jump trying to emulate the guys we saw doing the 90s. That first jump of the day never got any less scary. The lowest lift on the mountain was a small ropetow, but steep. On the last run we would tuck it and hit a huge jump that lauched us over a snowbank and into a former olympic luge/bobsled run. This we would tuck all the way, desperately seeking to maintain speed past the caretaker's house who could confiscate skis from anyone caught, to a train stop which would take us back up the mountain, or home. Those years were heaven for me. These experiences still guide me in exploring the mountains and sharing my passion through my work. Had my formative skiing years been ones of arguing or being presented with technique my enjoyment of the mountains would be severly stunted and stilted and I wouldn't even know it. Learning to let go, and let the mountain teach us is invaluable, and every bit as important as gaining technical knowledge. Too many teachers have no idea.
post #7 of 13
Roto, in the early days of Epicski the technobable was set aside in favor of simple explanations to skiing questions. We tried to avoid using technoweenie words. That all changed as Epicski technical instruction forum replaced the technoweenie nitch from other forums such as PSIA forum and skinet forum. This in turn attracted more technoweenie types who could babble here where they couldn't babble on the hill with students. The forum was still very resonable until SCSA set off a bomb last spring. The forum then did not back off in the summer and went very technical and more and more instructor types poured in from far reaches of the net due to lack of snow. Technical discussions make us salivate for snow. Stick around Roto, you needn't grab the high ground. Once the snow comes, the discussions back off more on the technoweenie stuff and go more towards the "I tried this today, waddya think?
By next June, you will be babbling the technoweenie stuff again with a vengence and salavating once again.
Twelve more days to my two year aniversary babbling on Epicski.
post #8 of 13
A great post, Roto! Lisa--Ott posts here regularly--look for his posts and by all means read back through those Sigi the Fox threads--they are all gems!

Roto, I'm glad that you suspect a big difference between my posts here and what I do on the snow. It has long been my contention that the better we understand something, the more simply we can teach it. I try very hard to minimize the technical discussion on the snow. As I have said in my book, the laws of physics are important to build a lesson ON, but lousy for building a lesson WITH! "Lessons not grounded in basic understanding are not simple--they are simply confusing!" On the snow, the "laws of physics need always to be obeyed--but rarely discussed!"

The Internet is a good place for technical discussion. The ski slopes are not!

So on to a story--related!

In the summer of 1979 I bought an old Ford Econoline van with over 200,000 miles on it. I was the fifth owner. Taking a year off from college, I drove that van to Breckenridge, Colorado, and lived in it all winter while I taught skiing and turned screws in a rental shop at night. I was fascinated with skiing and learning to become a better instructor. I went to clinics, picked the brains of every mentor I could find, and read all the latest--and older--technical books I could find. I learned a lot about skiing.

But the breakthrough for me in my teaching came when I picked up a copy of "Inner Skiing" in the book store in the old Bell Tower Mall (which was finally torn down last summer). Living in my van in the parking lot nearby, I made good use of the restroom facilities in the Mall, so after buying the book, I headed to the stall for my "evening constitutional."

I opened up the book--and read it cover to cover that evening while sitting on the john! I was fascinated! It had nothing to do with ski technique, but everything to do with the keys to learning. Many people have made light of "Inner Skiing" for its lack of solid technical content. Some believe it is some sort of mystical, spiritual, nonsense approach to teaching. But I found it to contain solid, practical, pragmatic truth.

The following day, I started putting some of its principles to work and found the results overwhelmingly positive! I found that I could make huge technical changes in people's skiing with very little technical discussion. Whatever technical knowledge I had helped me to know where to go with people, but it had little to do with getting them there!

And I learned a lot about myself and my own learning styles and obstacles, too.

For those who haven't read it, and especially those who get overwhelmed by these technical discussions, I strongly recommend a read of "Inner Skiing." It is no substitute for an instructor or friend with an accurate, trained eye and sound knowledge of skiing. But it is a great supplement to them to help you learn and perform!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #9 of 13

Great post, care to share the name of this magic place? I also grew up in nordic country and lived on skis during the winter months. Had a several jumping hills near by where we would hang out and without knowing hone our skiing skills. Used to jump the 30 meter hills on cross country skis (touring type) as well as jumping skis. Our balance development was absolutely superb. Once we got to the point of getting downhill gear with the strapped down heel we picked up the alpine skiing exceptionally fast.

I sure have enjoyed Ott's Sigi stories too. Funny how that real pretty girl sure could ski. We had her in Norway too.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Pierre, before this slight 'at odds thing' we have going gets any worse, I am not trying to stop any posting of any kind here on Epicski. I am providing myself (and anyone else interested) with an alternative. Also offereing some og the students here another perspective aside from the reams of jargon-driven nitpicking which will only serve to feed confusion and inhibit real learning. It should be fairly obvious from my participation that I do willingly engage and enjoy discussion about skiing in all its forms.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Norefjell:
Roto:Funny how that real pretty girl sure could ski. We had her in Norway too.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep, her name was Turi Ringstad. I lived up on Holmenkol outside of Oslo. Walking distance to Holmenkollen. We took the trikk to Frognerseteren, hiked up & over to Tryvannskleiva, Yllerloypa(I find my keyboard lacking) or one I can't remember the name of but it had a poma. When dad came home from work we would turski to Ullevalseter and have varmepolser and piping hot solbaersaft. The way I remember it I put alpine skis on and it was easier than flying down hills on XC gear which is what I was used to...got any stories?

Ha. Bob, there's another thread. How much has been learned and studied about skiing upon that throne! I have devoured many a magazine or article there myself. Skiing Right was useful for me. I have seen Inner Skiing and perused it a bit but never had it long enough to read.
post #11 of 13
Roto, I wuz just razzing you a bit. You're contributions are well appreciated by me. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #12 of 13
All this "niceness" is too much.........

Real nice to read after a not so nice day...thanks.... I needed that [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pierre eh!:
Roto, I wuz just razzing you a bit. You're contributions are well appreciated by me. [img]tongue.gif[/img]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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