"You'd be surprised how many skiers do nothing all year and jump on the slopes and ski 10K vert the first day. Yet they expect zero discomfort below the hips. Skiing is an athletic sport."
I am certainly not taking exception with this view and aggree with it as a general statement -- all except the part about skiing being an athletic sport. Judging by the waist line of the average skier you see on the hill today, I would say skiing CAN be an athletic sport, but for most people, it is an outdoor winter activity and not an atheltic one.
Obviously, a higher degree of athleticism is needed for competitive skiing and being in good physical condition makes things much easier and safer on your body and gives you stamina. But then you always seem to come accross someone who seems to dispel this notion. I am sure most have seen what I am referring to -- the overweight instructor or paunchy racer with a huge beer belly. Can't climb two decks of stairs in the lodge without being totally out of breath but they can totally rip it out on the slopes and can eat up a whole lot of vertical without tiring to any substatial degree.
I have wondered about this before and my opinion is there is something else going on here. IMO, some people are gifted by nature with the perfect anatomy for skiing -- near perfect feet and knee alignment and a musculoskeletal system conducive to making efficient movements. In short, I think some people are physically built such that they need to work a lot less harder than others in order to achieve the same dynamic and efficient movements.