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Perpetual Intermediates

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Every time a take a 3 day ski workshop, or even when I take a ski trip with Boston Ski and Sports, I become more aware of how the average epicski participant does not represent the general skiing population.
Many epicski members seem to make very fast progress in their skiing, over a relatively short period of time. For me, the learning process was considerbly slower. As I've said many times, skiing is the only thing that I've ever come to love, even though I have no natural talent for it.

But many people I meet have been skiing for 10-20 years, yet in a class situation, I end up in the same class with them. {ot, btw, that used to psych me out!}
These are often people who have their own ski property, as well as a season pass, and do occaisonally take lessons.
So what gives?

I am beginning to have concerns that perhaps there is, for some people, a limitation to how much they can actually improve. Whether it be physical or psychological, I don't know, but it does have me curious.

[ January 16, 2003, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #2 of 13
While I accept there certainly can be real physical and psychological limits, I think they are fewer cases than those reflecting limits self imposed by choices we make (wise or unwise).

In skiing, as in most anything, change and improvement takes enough motivation to make the required commitment to spend the time, with a quality focus, required to keep learning. Just paying $$ for lessons does not buy a magic wand to "make me ski better". Lessons only help if learning continues when the lesson is over. And quality milage is better than just any old milage if you want to improve.

We choose where we put our priorities and commit our resourses, both time and money. I think we need to communicate to our students their responsibilities in the process if they "really" want to learn to improve. (which is very different from just wanting to "be better")

[ January 16, 2003, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #3 of 13
Agree with Arcmeister

I am the perfect example - if I can be trained to ski at a higher than intermediate level then POTENTIALLY so can all those intermediate skiers.

As some of my instructor buddies point out though - it helps to have the fire in the belly
post #4 of 13

I think perhaps you give yourself too little credit, and the rest of us Bears too much.

I have been skiing since I was 7. That's 35 years. I took 10 years off, between 1989 and 1999. Only since 2001 have I experienced any real progress, despite numerous lessons scattered throughout the pre-1989 period.

We all need our own form of EUREKA!-like perception of what it is we are trying to do on the snow. For me, it was unlocking the natural athletic potential that I'd caged behind some horribly flawed self-taught technique.

I would say that 25 years of skiing resulting in a high level 7-low level 8 skier is not fast improvement.

post #5 of 13
Yeah, what everyone is saying is right. But to put it another way, they might have spent more total days on the hill than you, but they don't have the passion for learning to become a better skier. They are content with cruising the blue groomers at a medium pace. They don't spend all their free time on the internet, asking why and how things happen, and make a point to try new things on the hill. They don't thrive on the challenge of getting better. Good enough is good enough for them, but not for you, and not for most (if not all) of the people who hang out here. That's why we're here and they're sipping cognac in front of the tv.
post #6 of 13
Lisamarie I have not watched you ski so my comments may be off base. Two things that may be hampering your progress. You are a very deep movements thinker and I suspect you may be experiencing some paralysis through analysis. I wouldn't expect you to stop thinking easily. A Lobotomy should do the trick
The second vision that I have is one of a physically fit person beating their skis into submission with seemingly little effort leading that skier to believe that they are indeed not trying to beat the skis into submission. This beating the skis into submission would happen more on steeper terrain the minute a little fear factor crept in. If so, I have a suggestion.
Team up with someone and ski a very wide open green run slowly with your eyes shut. The team member tells you if you are going to suddenly change terrain features or hit something. If you find this difficult you are almost certainly beating your skis into submission.
Again accept my appologies if this is not you. I can't wait to meet you in Utah.

[ January 16, 2003, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #7 of 13
Hey Pierre & Lisa,
I rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
Lisa, start each run with a brain fart to relieve any cerebral constipation, let go, cause less and allow more.

Looking forward to snow danc'n in Utah.
post #8 of 13
Oh yeah Arcmeister. I forgot the best song one can sing while skiing if you don't want to think. Just sing the theme song to "Sponge Bob" and you won't get it out of your head. :
post #9 of 13
I'm think'n I'm lucky I don't know that one...
post #10 of 13
Arcmeister, I will guarantee you that all of the kids you teach including the high school kids know the tune. They will sing it for you. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Great thoughts, everyone. I think for myself, "analysis paralysis' is part of it, but there also an element of skiing that forces me to accept and embrace my "inner dork".
And believe it or not, I actually think that's healthy. I used to have this thing about only doing stuff that I can do well, and the heck with everything else.

But the fact that it was so challenging for me to learn had some productive side benefits. Since its not intuitive, I needed to understand it. And understanding it allowed me to develop conditioning programs that have been effective for both new skiers, as well as some college ski racers and a few ski instructors sthat take my class.

This relates, in part, to that "beat the skis into submission" thing. [img]smile.gif[/img] Todd pretty much cured me of most of that.

Todd: Lisa, are your legs hurting you?

Lisa: No, I must be doing it incorrectly, do I need to push harder? :

So the understanding that its not always about brute strength, but more about a sort of yin/yang balance was an eye opener for me. And the whole concept of working through the kinetic chain has had side effects of making me more coordinated in non ski activities, such as walking my dog on the ice.

I think many of us fall into the trap of assuming where we SHOULD be with our skiing, as compared to other people. For 2 years in a row, I psyched myself out in a ski clinic. Riding the chair for the first run, I casually ask my classmates how long they have been skiing. When I hear between 10-15 years, my thoughts, "OH NO, I will NEVER keep up with them!"

Self fufilling prophecy! [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #12 of 13
L.M. One thing everyone needs to realize while skiing. The reason to be out there is to have fun. Skiing is fun. There should be no worries about how one looks to others. It's great to want to improve and ski well enough that you have a self confidence in your abilities. Knowing that you can ski everything the mountain throws at you. There's nothing like going to a major ski resort knowing that all you have to worry about is paying off the credit card when you get home. But I think people sometimes put too much pressure on themselves to improve too quickly and forget the very reason we all are out there. Fun! Have fun while learning. Learn, to have fun! Use this formula, find an instructor who uses this formula and you will reach your goals.
post #13 of 13
I think the average Epic Ski contributer makes rapid progress (when compared with the general population) due to desire and the availability of knowledge. If I have a burning to desire at 3:00 AM to know how my right pinky affects edge angle in a lefthand GS turn, I can post a question here and promptly be told that I'm an idiot. Seriously though, it used to be you would have to pay big bucks to be exposed to the kind of discussions that occur every day here. I skied for 25 years at the intermediate level, and was ignorant of how I could progress. I would say the two events that influenced my desire to improve the most were watching Lito's Breakthrough videos (provided a kickstart to learn more) and finding this web site. I've taken a whole lot of PSIA lessons, participated in clinics, and received race coaching based on that humble start. Each breakthrough reveals another level of skiing, and suddenly I'm able to recognize the subtle differences between good and great skiing within the context. Then another breakthrough and another relevation...
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