|Originally posted by vera:
I concur with Pierre - that's what prompted me to ask for more info from you and the clinician.
Let us know what you find out, as well as what you think and have been told you're missing now in performance. What is some recurring feedback you get from people you trust about your movement patterns (besides ankle issues) and stance/balance (if you're comfortable sharing this)?
As well, have you been evaluated for fore-aft alignment, particularly range of motion in your ankles as it affects dorsiflexion capability? With a boot you suspect to be a half size large, you may be unduly compromised as well by a heel lift which helped the fit but could be shifting your balance unduly (also exacerbating that metatarsal pain you described). With the profile you described in your link my suspicions are piqued and this info will help me to respond more accurately.
Am in the process of getting in touch with my clinician. The best I can paraphrase him is to tell you that he introduced dorsiflexion very early in the clinic as a major "fundamental" that we should focus on. I believe he used the usual terms like "drive the knee forward into the boot cuff" to describe what he wanted us to do. It was probably in response to my whining, "but how?!", that he mentioned the "feel the burn in the back of the calf" thing. I don't think it was something he planned to talk about -just popped out. He did talk to me on the lift in some depth about it being a subtle, but persistent move, and how difficult it was for him to understand it at first, way back when.He wasn't saying that it made him sore, just that a certain amount of focused activity, some "work", was required.
The clinic was PSIA "Skiing Development", day 2. Please note - he also emphasized the blending of the forward shin move with the lateral shin move. (I feel pretty comfortable with lateral, so I didn't mention it in my first post.) He added some cool upper body stuff, which I loved, as the day went on, but foot/lower leg stuff was kind of the foundation of the whole thing, if I understood correctly.While waiting to hear back from him, I thought it might be fun : to give you some direct quotes from my Level 3 exam, March, 2003. I failed all three days on skiing.
"Need to work on your skiing to create the proper blend of skills. At times you were not able to create the angles which create the edges. Work on the separation of the upper and lower body to create the angles. Your CM has a tendency to go up, instead of into, the turn."
On the Balance/Stance scale between Forward and Back,he scored me as "slightly back."
"Develop a balanced stance that is neither too far forward or back but rather, centered. Learn to release the new inside ski, extend the center of mass into the direction of travel. Your edging movements at the finish of the turn are smooth & roll both skis to edge. Make sure the hip moves relative to the outside ski throughout initiation/control & finish of the turn."
On the Balance/Stance Scale, she scored me as "way too far forward"!
Examiner Day #3
"You need to move the CM to the front of your ski via the hip moving in front of the feet. You have some good moves but not quite dynamic enough for level III."
On the Balance Scale, another "slightly back".
I think the variation in scores on balance/stance may suggest that I'm struggling with different fore/aft "experiments" to get things lined up. Or, it may suggest (blasphemy!) some inconsistencies between PSIA examiners.
In response to some of the angulation, edging critique, I must say, in my defense, that I'm purposefully trying to eliminate a tendency toward park and ride type hanging onto my edges and the examiners may have been observing me going too far toward a flatter ski in my efforts to find that "sweet spot" between base and edge. I (think I) can create lots of angles with lateral motion if I try. Where I am stuck is blending the lateral with the forward.
OK, so that's it for how I look from the outside. Now, from my "inside" point of view, I can say that I am trying with all my heart to let my CM flow into the new turn, but still missing the mark frequently, (hence my initial post about which muscles might be enlisted to achieve this.)
It feels like at initiation my CM is moving in the right direction, but shortly thereafer, I start fighting to stay ahead. Through the turn finish, I can feel the dreaded "butt drop". In bumps, its even worse and turns into butt drop followed by an ugly "waist collapsing" thing.
I consciously try to create a smooth, gradual ankle flexion, but what happens instead is that my shin levers forward in the boot, gapping in back and then pretty much slams to a halt against the cuff front. The cuff itself hardly moves. And then my pressure management choices become, let the skis wash out, or let some other part of my body give - see above. I must find another choice or I'm switching to snowboarding permanently!
(Digression: At the risk of launching another incredibly lengthy subject, I should mention that some emotional/attitudinal factors are probably involved here. The fact that I am always fighting a fair amount of fear, combined with my propensity for constant ruminating is probably also (maybe even primarily) hampering my CM flow. Because of group demands, time consraints, etc. these touchy-feely things are usually beyond the scope of most clinics I've attended thus far. I am looking forward to an upcoming women's clinic in about 10 days, hoping to get opportunity to at least address the anxiety thing.
Maybe you guys can give me tips on how to get that critical voice in my head to shut up sometimes. Am I out on a limb here stating that epicski is somewhat of a magnet for us "thinkers" out there? Actually, I'm hopeful that maybe, just maybe, "better" boots might get me to that blissed-out state of flow that will reduce the need for so much thinking!)
And, in pursuit of that, I am pleased to announce I started the process of shopping/bootfitting tonight.
It's my very first time. What a beautiful thing!
The bootfitter checked my ankle flexibility and did find it less than ideal, but not terrible. I'm not sure what else goes into fore/aft assessment. If you know anything I can read about it, that would be awesome. She does suggest a heel lift, to offset my lack of ankle joint flexibility, used in combination with some special, pocket creating orthotic material (also used with diabetic type orthotics) under the metatarsals the take the pressure off.
As I'm sitting here typing this at 5:00 am , it becomes apparent I am pretty obsessed (possessed!?) with finding the boot with the ideal fit and forward flex for me. In the past, because of fears of "throwing money away", being "too busy or tired" or "going from the frying pan into the fire", I have not been aggressive enough in my boot consumerism. NO MORE!
A few days ago, I started contacting our local retailers. Lord help them! So far, as per usual, there seem to be no higher end boots in my size in the whole city to try on Or maybe they just tell me this on the phone to keep me out of their shops!
Last time I was in the boot market, when confronted with this depleted inventory situation, I just said "oh well", made my best guess, and ordered proform sight unseen. (Also at that time, there were no "real" bootfitters in town. I did get custom footbeds, but nothing beyond that.)
What do you think of this solution to the problem of inventory shortage? - I have decided to badger everyone I know whose feet are relatively close in size to mine to let me ski their boots (and skis.) This may just make me more confused, but it sure is fun and interesting!
I skied a boot tonight that I could bend so much I felt like I could telemark, but my heel didn't lift, if you can imaging that feeling! Even though it may have had "too much" flex, I still liked it better than my Tecnicas! Everything felt "smoother" and, perhaps even more interestingly, I noticed my anxiety level dropping, directly in proportion to the decreased incidence of "shin bang" I felt.
OK, I think that's enough already. I'm sorry to be so wordy. I really hope this makes some sense. I love skiing and ski instruction, but feel so frustrated that I am seriously considering switching to boarding or tele. Thanks for listening.
One last thought - If it would help, I might be able to attach a video in the next few days?
Really appreciate your time and knowlege!!!!!!!!!![ January 29, 2004, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: Downwardly Mobile ]