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When I was a kid.......

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I used to marvel at skiers who could ski straight down the fall line on steep icy moguls like they were running down a flight of stairs, sometimes skipping a few, seemingly effortless, and without hesitation. I realized this year that I have long since become that skier and then some. I've become the skier I used to admire.

The funny thing is, that the better I get, it seems I notice ever more skiers that can do things that are above my skill set. Who'da thunk.
post #2 of 21
The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.

J.R.R. Tolkien
post #3 of 21
"If you are any good at all you'll know how you can be better"
post #4 of 21
I may be here.
You may be there.
Bode Miller may be there.
But we're all the same distance from infinity.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
The funny thing is, that the better I get, it seems I notice ever more skiers that can do things that are above my skill set. Who'da thunk.
 

Probably the better you ski, the keener your eye for good skiing. You have to ski good to see good, if you follow my drift. You've got to be a real expert to understand what good skiing is, even if you're only seeing it in other people.
 

 

Not to drift too far off topic, but is anyone else getting creeped out by these $6 shirt ads?

post #6 of 21
What ads? I turned mine off.
post #7 of 21
VA, I like your thoughts. Some aspects of skiing are behind me and others will never be attempted, yet I continue to learn and improve my skiing. As long as I'm progressing, I don't mind where I fit in to the overall picture. MR
post #8 of 21
When I was younger I had those I admired and looked up to...

Billy Kidd, Wayne Wong, Spyder Savage, and some of the better local freedoggers I got to ski with like the Beddors and Tom Kelly.    But, other than those I had an aura of ignorance and arrogance around me regarding other skiers that I didn't look up to.  In other words, I thought I was a lot better than I really was at the time.  Now, I realize that though I am a lot better than average there is a whole set of levels above and beyond what I'll ever be capable of.  I'm pretty good, but there are lots of people that are a lot better than I ever was or will be.  Getting older and more fragile is part of that negative regression that has convinced me I have peaked.  But, lacking the unbelievable level of raw natural talent and ability I see in the truly exceptional skiers is a larger component.

From here on to the end of my skiing career I will be very happy maintaining most of the level and abilities I currently have understanding that as I enter the golden era of my 60s and beyond my capabilities acceptable risk level will wane quickly.  They have some already.  I know the sun has set on the likelyhood of me getting much better than I am right now (skiing 10-15 days a year).  I just plan to stay connected to the skier mindset, get out  and ski when I can, and keep active and in shape when I can't.
post #9 of 21
 God thats depressing..As I approach my 50's, I realize I peaked a while back.. But it only gets better from here as the older I get, the more laid back my attitude about skiing has become. Oh and its nice to be able to afford, newer equipment, season passes, a decent ride to the slope and lunch at the top.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

When I was younger I had those I admired and looked up to...

Billy Kidd, Wayne Wong, Spyder Savage, and some of the better local freedoggers I got to ski with like the Beddors and Tom Kelly.    But, other than those I had an aura of ignorance and arrogance around me regarding other skiers that I didn't look up to.  In other words, I thought I was a lot better than I really was at the time.  Now, I realize that though I am a lot better than average there is a whole set of levels above and beyond what I'll ever be capable of.  I'm pretty good, but there are lots of people that are a lot better than I ever was or will be.  Getting older and more fragile is part of that negative regression that has convinced me I have peaked.  But, lacking the unbelievable level of raw natural talent and ability I see in the truly exceptional skiers is a larger component.

From here on to the end of my skiing career I will be very happy maintaining most of the level and abilities I currently have understanding that as I enter the golden era of my 60s and beyond my capabilities acceptable risk level will wane quickly.  They have some already.  I know the sun has set on the likelyhood of me getting much better than I am right now (skiing 10-15 days a year).  I just plan to stay connected to the skier mindset, get out  and ski when I can, and keep active and in shape when I can't.
post #10 of 21
Given sufficient slope time, as well as good direction from trainers, there is no reason to feel diminished. 

At 70, I think I'm skiing better than ever.  I remember thinking 20-25 years ago that I'd gone about as far as I'd ever be able to in improving my skiing.  Boy was that wrong! 
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Given sufficient slope time, as well as good direction from trainers, there is no reason to feel diminished. 

At 70, I think I'm skiing better than ever.  I remember thinking 20-25 years ago that I'd gone about as far as I'd ever be able to in improving my skiing.  Boy was that wrong! 

This past weekend my wife and I were returning back down Aspen mountain for the day. We hooked up with this elderly man (in his 70's) skiing alone from the top of the sundeck.  He took the lead allowing us to follow him down stopping maybe twice along the way.  I was huffing and puffing at each stop, he just had this wonderful smile across face.  On reaching the bottom I had to remark how graceful and efficient his skiing was and what a pleasure it was to ski with him.  I, on the other hand, could barely stand up with leg pains!   He laughed at my situation, grabbed both our arms then gave us great wisdom.....You two just need to come out here a lot more and ski!   At 58 i think I can still improve greatly over the next 12years or so! 
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Given sufficient slope time, as well as good direction from trainers, there is no reason to feel diminished. 

At 70, I think I'm skiing better than ever.  I remember thinking 20-25 years ago that I'd gone about as far as I'd ever be able to in improving my skiing.  Boy was that wrong! 

I find it hard to believe that I'll be skiing bumps faster and harder, getting bigger airs with harder tricks, skiing trees and powder more effortle4ssly, and still coming close to a NASTAR pace setter's time at 70.  My hat is off to you. 
post #13 of 21
As I get older, I have to compensate for my lack of strength and endurance with better technique.  There is no way I can equal what I was; my legs will never have the strength to resist those compressions at the same speed, or the endurance to race through a mogul run at top speed.  On the other hand I'm learning proper mogul technique, and getting better at short turns.  I do what I can, without compromizing my enjoyment, to improve.  The skiing is just as enjoyable as ever.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

  I do what I can, without compromizing my enjoyment, to improve.  The skiing is just as enjoyable as ever.
Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 I know the sun has set on the likelyhood of me getting much better than I am right now (skiing 10-15 days a year).  I just plan to stay connected to the skier mindset, get out  and ski when I can, and keep active and in shape when I can't.


Part of getting older is also finding easier ways to do things.  We improve our mechanics to become more efficient, and look good too.  I'm just sayin my days of backing up my talk with my skiing are numbered
post #15 of 21
 I was just talking to someone about some of the best skiers I know and how tremendously humble they are, not just about their skiing but just generally humble, and I realized that they are the example of this very premise.......the better you become, the more you realize how much you can still learn, and the more you acknowledge those who you can learn from, even if the person you can learn from is younger, less accomplished and/or outside the box.  A truly humble person is able to acknowledge his/her accomplishments while being grateful for continued opportunities to be better..... 
Humility and gratitude is a profound thing.
post #16 of 21
53 years ago our family hoped in the station wagon went up to Mt. Rainer and we all put on skis.  Appropriately enough it was at a place named "Paradise".   Technique didn't matter, it was the experience of floating down a mountain feeling like you were  on a cloud; oh the smiles outwardly and inwardly.  Felt to really be a part of this world. 

Over the next 25 years I evolved into another one of those people trying to define how many angels can dance on the edge of a ski.  There were many excellent adventures with helicopters and glaciers  many of the major mountains through the western US and Canada.  Learned to turn both ways pretty well; the business got more important and those smiles more fleeting.  God, and a hooked edge during a hip check claimed a knee.  There was another life to be lived then.

25 years later I don't care: which edge I am on, how or if I unweight, how fast I am in the bumps, if there is a spot on my parka, if the outfit matches.  If it feels good on a pair of skis, do it.  I get off the High Campbell chair at Crystal Mt and look at Mt Rainier and maybe this is Paradise.  Push off into something soft and ungroomed and feel the smile in my soul again.  If we are lucky there is a second childhood. 

My new childhood dreams:  some more 100 day seasons, an ESA clinic somewhere, a winter in Europe, lots more smiles.
post #17 of 21
 When I was in my late teens I remember skiing with a friend's father who was the owner/director of a ski school at my home area.  At this time I considered myself a darned good skier, but he showed me something.  He was OLD (maybe 50) yet he was always able to ski the hill so beautifully with such conservation of effort.  I would keep up with him, but my legs were always burning while he was ready for another run.  I decided I wanted to be like him when I grew up.

Now I'm 56 and I ski with less effort.  Is it better?  I don't know.  When you're young you have strength and stamina that you might as well use.  At my age you need to find another way.  I'm a better technician than when I was a teenager but the fun factor was just as high then as it is now.  To me the real measure of a "good" skier is how much fun they're having.

Edit: spelling
Edited by Posaune - 4/24/10 at 2:59pm
post #18 of 21
 Posaune, as I read your post I could almost hear the late great Stu Campbell's voice in my head .....
"If you want to ski longer(in years), you must learn to ski efficiently."

(parenthsis) mine

When Stu spoke, he tended to speak kindly but firmly, with a tone that make you feel like you were being blessed with the very breath he used to speak.
post #19 of 21
VA, how true it is.  Having never been a really top notch skier my ego has stayed well grounded and enabled me to really appreciate and admire really good skiers when I see them in action.

My physical skills have deteriorated in the past few years (mainly stamina) now that I am 2 yrs from 70.  Aside from getting older however I really think I am skiing better than I ever have.  Still love the sport and experience and look forward every year to the next year.  Maybe the reality of - not too many more years - makes me appreciate each winter that much more.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

The funny thing is, that the better I get, it seems I notice ever more skiers that can do things that are above my skill set. Who'da thunk.


That is true for every sport.  There was this 12 year old boy on my son's little league baseball team.  This young man had some god given talent when it came to baseball.  He was a 1000 times better than any other kid his age.  I saw him swithch hit for the first time and hit a home run. He went on to play division 1 baseball baseball in college and AAA minor league for the  Houston Oilers.  He had since retired from baseball.  He was good but there were many others better than him.  He never made it to the big show in the majors.

post #21 of 21

VA your insights are always on target. I took up the sport as a flat lander young adult in my 30s so I did not have the opportunity to muscle my way down the hill as a kid. I agree that we raise our sights as we get better and, unless we start at a very high level in our youth, we can get better as we age. At age 62 I look forward to retirement so I can ski more than 21 days (my all time maximum) in a year so that I continue to get better. It's a race with time for me because I know that time marches on - arthritis grows and arteries fill with plaque. I know as I age my aspirations go toward the older experts who ski more slowly but under complete control regardless of pitch or conditions so my goal is no longer the zipper line but skiing the fast line slow.

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