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Skiing is an intimidating activity

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
This New Year's Eve will be 7 years since I first took a ski lesson.  I've gotten pretty good over the years and am still growing.  But I remember how scared I was my first day.  I wasn't scared at all of getting hurt.  The fear stemmed from looking like a complete fool.  So big, big kudos and thanks and generous tips I'm wishing for all kind and patient ski instructors.

I think my last intimidating thing to overcome is skiing under the lift (I tend to still get a little self-conscious, even though I'm better than many on the hill).

People also fear getting on and off of the ski lift if they've never been on one.  The number one fear people seem to have in life is looking foolish.  And there are plenty of chances to look foolish when learning skiing.

But I think most people are nice and understanding to skiers who are falling or not perfect.  But as a skier there's a tendency to think that "the whole mountain" is laughing at us or criticizing our every move.  Our own inner voice is far more critical than others.

Once you get over the initial fears, skiing is a lot of fun.  It just takes some courage to endure the first few times out.

Just my thoughts as I get excited about another winter skiing!  Have fun everybody and don't worry about your fear.  Just do it!

p.s.  Another fear I have is Mad River Glen.  LOL  I want to try that place out but I feel like I won't measure up to the people there.  A little fear is good, though.  It makes the sport exciting and it helps to keep us mindful of dangers.

 
post #2 of 29
Hmm...

I crashed into an outdoor restaurant once, in the Alps.  Thought I was going to stop, but hit a patch of blue ice and kept right on going, having a yard sale amongst the tables and chairs. 

A bunch of Austrians looked up from their beer and weinerschnitzel for half a second; then went back to their conversations. 

Anyway, after that, it's hard for me to get embarrassed skiing.  I figure I'm all bundled up, with goggles on; who can recognize me?
post #3 of 29
 I'll admit that I've been intimidated when I skied for the first time with certain people that I hold in high regard and felt pressure to "measure up", but normally that passed quickly.


Under the lift?  Never occurred to me to be intimidated but maybe that's because on our small hills, most runs are visible by the lifts so its something we learn to ski with from day one.

At the end of the day......skiing Rocks!
post #4 of 29
I don't worry about what people think. I always assume my friends will be supportive and that people who are not supportive are not really my friends.

I do "enjoy" managing fear while skiing. I like the challenge of separating the meaningless anxieties from real threats to my safety. I'm conservative about some risks, I'll only ski trees if the snow conditions are ideal and my level of fitness is adequate. But a day of epic tree skiing is high on my list of thrills.

Skiing amongst reckless skiers is something I will always avoid. However skiing alone is also risky at larger resorts. You need to pick people, terrain and conditions that are safe but not boring.

People like these;



And many other...



Michael
Edited by WILDCAT - 12/17/09 at 4:21am
post #5 of 29
[Whistling]

Don't worry............

Ski happy.....................

[/Whistling]



Most experienced skiers won't take a less experienced skier down something that is way over their head.  At least not intentionally.  Sometimes you get to a place you have been before and it turns out to be more difficult than expected due to nasty conditions.  If that happens, just tackle it in pieces one traverse at a time if necessary until you feel more comfortable enough to have fun and ski it more aggressively. 
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post



Skiing amongst reckless skiers is something I will always avoid. However skiing alone is also risky at larger resorts. You need to pick people, terrain and conditions that are safe but not boring.

Michael
 

If you ever see me get truly 'timid" its because I am truly scared of the people skiing on the slope or how icey the slope is usually a combination of both. My biggest fear is being taken out while skiing be some gaper. I also have been super intimidated by people who ski though crowds really fast as well, I generally like to slow down and get to the side if there is a crowd..

I never think the whole mountain is laughing at me ;) In fact just last monday I am almost sure the forerunner quad was cheering my mute grab off the staircase on liftline ;)

the thing is I am ok enough at skiing now I rarely look foolish but I long ago stopped caring what other people thought of me. Even in sports I do that I am not as good as at(YET) like rock climbing, and kayaking whether or not I look foolish is the last thing on my mind. Safety is the biggest concern always. In the end there is no legitimate reason to take yourself seriously about anything.

NYCJIM you wont measure up to the best at MRG, but why should you care about that at all? they certainly wont care at all so go and have some fun.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post
p.s.  Another fear I have is Mad River Glen.  LOL  I want to try that place out but I feel like I won't measure up to the people there.
 
+ 1 to BWPA on MRG.

"Ski it if you can" is understood too narrowly.  Sure, there's some tough spots at MRG, and they leave a lot of natural conditions.  So, "ski it if you can" can refer to the challenge.  But there's a good mix of terrain; they have a little snowmaking and plenty of groomed and intermediate terrain; and the people are as nice and unpretentious as could be.  There are plenty of kids, locals, low budget skiers, and hacks like me.  So I've come to understand "ski it if you can" to mean "try it, you'll like it" (to steal a phrase).  I've absolutely flailed there, but whatever .. had a good time, and got a lot better, especially on bumps and trees.  And if you bite it under the single, so what, there's only one or two people watching! 
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post

This New Year's Eve will be 7 years since I first took a ski lesson.  I've gotten pretty good over the years and am still growing.  But I remember how scared I was my first day.  I wasn't scared at all of getting hurt.  The fear stemmed from looking like a complete fool.  So big, big kudos and thanks and generous tips I'm wishing for all kind and patient ski instructors.

I think my last intimidating thing to overcome is skiing under the lift (I tend to still get a little self-conscious, even though I'm better than many on the hill).

People also fear getting on and off of the ski lift if they've never been on one.  The number one fear people seem to have in life is looking foolish.  And there are plenty of chances to look foolish when learning skiing.

But I think most people are nice and understanding to skiers who are falling or not perfect.  But as a skier there's a tendency to think that "the whole mountain" is laughing at us or criticizing our every move.  Our own inner voice is far more critical than others.

Once you get over the initial fears, skiing is a lot of fun.  It just takes some courage to endure the first few times out.

Just my thoughts as I get excited about another winter skiing!  Have fun everybody and don't worry about your fear.  Just do it!

p.s.  Another fear I have is Mad River Glen.  LOL  I want to try that place out but I feel like I won't measure up to the people there.  A little fear is good, though.  It makes the sport exciting and it helps to keep us mindful of dangers.

 
I wonder if that's an East coast mentality.  My friends and I all make fun of each other in good fun, and have learned that laughing at youself is a wonderful, and wonderfully entertaining event.

Watch the movie "Steep" and you will feel better about getting off of a chair lift.  There's about a whole minute sequence of people looking foolish.

Just do it!  is damn right.  Unless it's in a memo from Nike to Tiger.  He should stop doing it.  Enjoy your winter friend.
post #9 of 29
One big reason for fear is instruction methods that teach turning before stability = FAIL.  Most skiers, about 90% on my local hill, never carve so never get comfortable skiing, they just manage the hill.  They learn bad skiing habits that are hard to shake.  There is an alternative: teach parallel skiing from the start (http://www.pmts.org/ind_who.htm), just like the old days.  Killy thought the P.S.I.A. short-ski, snowplough methods had sucked the life out of skiing, and he was right.  Let folks get comfortable at speed on gentle slopes with backstop risers, _then_ teach turning.

Intimidation ended, with a few exceptions, on one run in Targhee, my third day alpine skiing. (I'd done lots of nordic.)  My skis weren't keeping enough speed to work.  I went faster, problem solved.

Go faster.  Make speed your friend, it cures so many ills.  After a warmup run or two, make some fast runs where you can do so safely, then enjoy your freedom.
post #10 of 29
Every once in awhile, I venture out of my comfort zone by biting off more than I can chew, however as I get older and slower it's not much of a problem.  The only thing that really intimidates me is the anticipation of my first run of the day at a new hill ... Once I make that first turn though ... all is forgotten ... What a Rush !

Take care and have a wonderful, injury-free season.

Cheers.

RMP
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post



I wonder if that's an East coast mentality.  My friends and I all make fun of each other in good fun, and have learned that laughing at youself is a wonderful, and wonderfully entertaining event.

Watch the movie "Steep" and you will feel better about getting off of a chair lift.  There's about a whole minute sequence of people looking foolish.

Just do it!  is damn right.  Unless it's in a memo from Nike to Tiger.  He should stop doing it.  Enjoy your winter friend.
 

It might be east vs west but alot of 'older" skier or people who think they are older are too self concious to ever become good at this sport.

One of my favorite thing to do are spectacalur crashes where I get up laughing hysterically, not that I try to crash but more often than not its a cool feeling while not getting hurt. 
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




It might be east vs west but alot of 'older" skier or people who think they are older are too self concious to ever become good at this sport.

One of my favorite thing to do are spectacalur crashes where I get up laughing hysterically, not that I try to crash but more often than not its a cool feeling while not getting hurt. 
 


I can see that. 
My favorite for me was a day in Kirkwood in May I think.  I was with all of my snowboard buddies, and it was about 50 degrees out.  when i woke up, i didn't even get into my ski clothes.  I went in my pajamas.  Thin green cotton pants, and a long sleeve shirt.  I was at the top of the mountain with one of my buddies who's real smooth on a board while some of my other friends were on the lift up.  I said, "Nate, lets see who can make it down first!"  So we booked it straight down the hill where the race course was, essentially neck and neck, I was winning a little bit, then on a merging trail, I thought I saw the po po, so I make a turn to the left to slow down.  Bad idea. The slush that we were now skiing on completely absorbed the edge of my right ski, sunk, and ripped off my right ski.  I went flyYYYING, fully stretched out, my right arm bracing for impact, picture superman flying about to land on his right side.  I flew at least 20 feet, landed on my right arm, slid at least another 100 feet, giving me quite the road rash down my arm, and knocking me out for a second.  Then I was soaking wet all day, but kept riding.  The distances traveled were approximated by my buddies, who, fortunately for them were riding the lift and saw everything in plain view, laughing the whole time. 
all good fun.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Great input, everybody.  Thanks for a lot of great points for me and others to think about.

Ts01, I especially am intrigued by your outlook on "ski it if you can."  It's amazing what context and attitude can have on the exact same phrase.  I always saw that phrase as very intimidating, and now to see it as a friendly invite, well, it shows you the power of a positive outlook.  I'm now going to always choose to look at those bumper stickers as friendly invites, not scary dares.  Thanks for that. I'm truly amazed at the complete difference in meaning we can give to things.   

Thanks!
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

One big reason for fear is instruction methods that teach turning before stability = FAIL.  Most skiers, about 90% on my local hill, never carve so never get comfortable skiing, they just manage the hill.  They learn bad skiing habits that are hard to shake.  There is an alternative: teach parallel skiing from the start (http://www.pmts.org/ind_who.htm), just like the old days.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

One big reason for fear is instruction methods that teach turning before stability = FAIL.  Most skiers, about 90% on my local hill, never carve so never get comfortable skiing, they just manage the hill.  They learn bad skiing habits that are hard to shake.  There is an alternative: teach parallel skiing from the start (http://www.pmts.org/ind_who.htm), just like the old days.  Killy thought the P.S.I.A. short-ski, snowplough methods had sucked the life out of skiing, and he was right.  Let folks get comfortable at speed on gentle slopes with backstop risers, _then_ teach turning.
 

KevinF,

I fixed it for ya.  You omitted the citation of authority (J-C Killy, an uncontested authority on skiing) in your quote of WhipperSnapper's first post.  We don't know WhipperSnapper or his/her views yet, but we certainly all give due weight to the opinions of Killy, Stenmark, Eriksen, Maier, Tomba, and their peers.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

One big reason for fear is instruction methods that teach turning before stability = FAIL.  Most skiers, about 90% on my local hill, never carve so never get comfortable skiing, they just manage the hill.  They learn bad skiing habits that are hard to shake.  There is an alternative: teach parallel skiing from the start (http://www.pmts.org/ind_who.htm), just like the old days.  Killy thought the P.S.I.A. short-ski, snowplough methods had sucked the life out of skiing, and he was right.  Let folks get comfortable at speed on gentle slopes with backstop risers, _then_ teach turning.

Intimidation ended, with a few exceptions, on one run in Targhee, my third day alpine skiing. (I'd done lots of nordic.)  My skis weren't keeping enough speed to work.  I went faster, problem solved.

Go faster.  Make speed your friend, it cures so many ills.  After a warmup run or two, make some fast runs where you can do so safely, then enjoy your freedom.




Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post






why even do that bud? its still feeding the trolls

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post




KevinF,

I fixed it for ya.  You omitted the citation of authority (J-C Killy, an uncontested authority on skiing) in your quote of WhipperSnapper's first post.  We don't know WhipperSnapper or his/her views yet, but we certainly all give due weight to the opinions of Killy, Stenmark, Eriksen, Maier, Tomba, and their peers.
 

this argument is so 2008 you guys are alittle late.
post #17 of 29
I often find myself searching out the nasty bump runs under the lift. I love the feeling of knowing people are watching me ski. Once you start getting cheers from the people on the lift the skiing just gets better and better. You would be surprised how very few people are negative when watching others ski. We are all out there to have fun and want to share it with each other. There is nothing that boosts your confidence more than when someone walks up to you in the lodge and tells you how much they liked watching you ski the run under the lift.  Usually the only time I hear heckling from the lift it is friends and all done in fun. How can you not heckle your friend if they are under the lift, I thought that was part of the skier code? 


Last time I checked PSIA is teaching straight to parallel skiing??
Edited by CR0SS - 12/17/09 at 5:24pm
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post

I often find myself searching out the nasty bump runs under the lift. I love the feeling of knowing people are watching me ski. Once you start getting cheers from the people on the lift the skiing just just better and better. You would be surprised how very few people are negative when watching others ski. We are all out there to have fun and want to share it with each other. There is nothing that boosts your confidence more than when someone walks up to you in the lodge and tells you how much they liked watching you ski the run under the lift.  Usually the only time I hear heckling from the lift it is friends and all done in fun. How can you not heckle your friend if they are under the lift, I thought that was part of the skier code? 


Last time I checked PSIA is teaching straight to parallel skiing??
Heckle, and if you know they are coming, hopefully you packed extra snow on your skis to try and dump on them.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post


Last time I checked PSIA is teaching straight to parallel skiing??

Then the PSIA-RM instructors I saw in that clinic last week were wasting their time drilling on wedges.  They were working so hard that I'd hate to hurt their feelings.  So, I won't tell them if you won't.  Maybe they're still stuck in 2008 too .
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post




Then the PSIA-RM instructors I saw in that clinic last week were wasting their time drilling on wedges.  They were working so hard that I'd hate to hurt their feelings.  So, I won't tell them if you won't.  Maybe they're still stuck in 2008 too .

Wedging is still a important skill to have.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 Usually the only time I hear heckling from the lift it is friends and all done in fun. How can you not heckle your friend if they are under the lift, I thought that was part of the skier code? 
AHAHA, yes, you're right.

(Not sure why my post came out as a spoiler alert.  I wanted to just quote.)
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post




Wedging is still a important skill to have.

Is it?  I've always seen the wedge as a lack of skill.  Literally, the ONLY time it is useful is in lift lines.  At least for me.  And even then I see it as borderline instinct.  Maybe I've been skiing too long and have forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.  I don't know.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

why even do that bud? its still feeding the trolls

this argument is so 2008 you guys are alittle late.
Fair enough, my putrified rant didn't really address the social aspect.  Killy wrote about this around 1980...

@guroo, Agreed there is a weird anti-macho form of machismo that lurks mostly in New  England.  Perfectly capable adults will say, "I suck at [insert activity]..." when they don't.  Very irritating BS, but that's like just my opinion.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post
Is it?  I've always seen the wedge as a lack of skill.  Literally, the ONLY time it is useful is in lift lines.  At least for me.  And even then I see it as borderline instinct.  Maybe I've been skiing too long and have forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.  I don't know.
For instructors it's so useful, esp. backwards, that perhaps they forget how seldom most (solid) skiers use it.  As a sitskier I can't switch (yet, probably never) but backwards wedge was helpful when I was learning to switch back in the day.

PS Weird, still waiting for my earlier post to Bushwacker + guroo.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post





PS Weird, still waiting for my earlier post to Bushwacker + guroo.

 

I'm missing what youare talking about here.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

One big reason for fear is instruction methods that teach turning before stability = FAIL.

Correction. What is lacking in most skiers is balance [dynamic] - not stability [static]. Most instruction (even bad instruction) teaches stability, but 'stability' goes out the window once a person starts to slide.

Regardless, skiing shouldn't be intimidating due to other people on the hill. Terrain can be intimidating. Conditions can be intimidating. People shouldn't be intimidating to their fellow skiers.
post #27 of 29
@guroo  Oh, I was just saying that Bushwhacker was right, my 1st response was tired (Killy wrote the stuff around 1980) and that I hadn't addressed the OP's issue.  I also agreed with you re. an eastern U.S. modesty.  I added that there is a form of self-deprecation more common in New England than the rest of the country, IMO, wherein a person says, "I suck at [given activity]..." when the person really doesn't suck.  I think it dates to the Puritans.  Not a general dig at the East, just a particular trait that grates. 
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Correction. What is lacking in most skiers is balance [dynamic] - not stability [static]. Most instruction (even bad instruction) teaches stability, but 'stability' goes out the window once a person starts to slide.
 
Yes balance is the better term.  I meant stability as maintaining the standing posture, upright skiing facing down the hill (for beginners), not position; a line segment normal to the surface.  Agreed on the rest.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post




Is it?  I've always seen the wedge as a lack of skill.  Literally, the ONLY time it is useful is in lift lines.  At least for me.  And even then I see it as borderline instinct.  Maybe I've been skiing too long and have forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.  I don't know.

The wedge is use full all over the place. Making quick turns to slow down in narrow spaces is a waist of energy. The wedge is a way to slow down without having to change your direction of travel. Just because it is something you learned as a beginner does not make it something you do not use later.
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