Sunday, April 29, 2007

Balance 360 boards are here!

I have wanted one of these for a while, it is the ultimate balance exercise. I emailed Kevin at Balance 360 and asked him if he could overnight us a couple of boards to the National Academy, and he did it! We got two skinny boards, which we took down to the bar before the technical talk.

The thing that is incredible about these boards is they roll all directions, demanding excellent balance and precision. It is an awesome core and leg workout!

It was a blast!! Everyone got on them, props to Andy Docken (American Alpine Demo Team) for being able to stay on the board the longest! We got great video of Deb Armstrong (Olympic gold medalist) and Rob Sogard (Head Coach of the Alpine Demo Team) working the board, as well as Josh Foster (Canadian Demo Team) and so many more!!

It was great fun, the demo guys were tossing the extra balls back and forth to each other whilst balancing on the boards.

Thanks for the quick work, Kevin, I probably could have sold at least 10 of these things in those two days!!

Now that I am home, Ethan and Bodhi and my husband, Tom are all working on the boards a couple times a day. Awesome. (Well, its a bit addictive...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

At the National Ski Academy!!

We are HERE! We made it! I have a LOT to blog about, but here is just todays info... I promise to catch up as soon as I can!

Today was amazing. It was our elective day, so we got to choose the clinic we wanted to ski in. It was So hard to pick! Scotty McGee was here doing a telemark clinic, and, since Mike had decreed that I shall now be a Nord, I was sorely tempted to learn from the best. However, now I have a reason to drive down to Jackson Hole and visit him, so I decided to pass for the day.

Other choices were steeps and bumps, crud and powder, and carving, among others. I decided to go with carving, because I figured that just chasing Josh down the hill and trying to look like him isn’t working, and just tipping the skis isn’t working, so maybe I should take a class! You can’t carve if you can’t ski!

Andy Docken was our clinician (I ended up in the “I kind of know how to carve, but I need to work on it” group). I’m not going to go through the whole clinic (It was four hours long, and as Andy said, we basically covered the whole Alpine Technical Manual).

Here are the things I had been working on, or that people had been asking of me:

1. Get to your edges early.
2. Stay on your edges.
3. Stay in the front seat.
4. Move your core in the direction of your next turn.
5. Keep moving (no camping).

When I combined these ideas previously, I was hucking to my new set of edges as early as I could, and in my mind, that meant going all the way to a hard edge, and then riding it around. “Just tip it, and ride it around.”

It had NOT occurred to me that the angle of tip can be a progressive movement, as well as the flex and extension in the body being a progressive movement, or the fore/aft can be progressive.

I have had a couple of people tell me to be more patient in my turns, but I felt like they were asking me to stay on a flat ski, and I was getting this huge, ugly, out of control traverse in my turns. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have control, and then, I would look for control and end up going back to getting to my edges “earlier” wich, in my mind, also meant “harder”.


Here is how Andy fixed it in one fell swoop:

The skis, when they are flat on the snow, are at 0. Tip them just a hair, that is 1. One more degree of tip, that is 2. Higher still, that is 3, and that is just before the apex of the turn (That last bit is me, not Andy, but that’s when I felt it). Ride this just through the apex, and then begin de-edging… 2….1…0… and now we are in the transition.

Interestingly, this is a lesson that I also had to learn in tennis. I like the forehand down the line shot. I like it because it clears the net by three inches, it is powerful, strong, driving and true. I like to try to take the cover off the ball when doing it.

Getting an accurate shot down the line DOES take athleticism and power. BUT, like in carving, not all the engines are burning full fuel, open throttle all the time. Do that, and you loose accuracy, touch, directionality, control and your temper.

The TRUE elite athlete is patient. It takes discipline to be patient. It takes more discipline to wait for your shot, to roll the skis just enough, to listen to the feedback of the ball/snow/skis/body than it does to train hard to be able to hit the ball hard. Holding back often times takes more training than going balls to the wall all the time.

Lesson learned. Again. Andy took the “pop” out of my turn, and in turn, gave me about 150% more control than I had before. The turns link, they flow, I am not chasing my skis down, trying to get back in the front seat because I was hucked to the back of my skis at the bottom of the turn BECAUSE I was over steering BECAUSE I was throwing to my “most extreme” edges in an effort to get there early, and the skis were taking off without me!


Carving takes touch.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Training Log: April 20: In which Joe is Not Lost

Climbed Mt. Blackmoore today in Hyalite Canyon near my house. I think it’s a 16 mile round trip. Okay, this would be pretty much the whole story, except for I went with Josh and Joe, and so it’s of course, better than that.

It starts with me being a bit late. Which is something I strive very, very hard not to do. My mother taught me. You never EVER make a boy wait. You wait for the boy. They don’t wait for you. (This is in sport. In everything else, let ‘em stew, girls!)

Okay. This is hard to do when you are hiking with an Antelope and a Freight Train. Right. But I am more in shape than I was the FIRST time they hauled my ass up the Ridge at Bridger. And I have to give it to them, these boys were lovely, they were waiting for me, patiently and encouraging.

HOWEVER, on this day… here is how it went… “Okay, so if you get lost (as they are skinning away) or if we leave you (ha ha, general laughter all around) (as they are skinning away) just follow the skin track. There will only be one!! (ha ha, general laughter all around…)

And off they go, and I follow them (This, by the way is after Super Josh got his truck stuck and they had to dig him out.. They being Joe. Because I didn’t dig.)

Okay. So I got a bit behind when we crossed the creek, mainly because Josh and Joe feel fine just skinning across a creek on a big fallen log. And I, uh… took fifteen minutes to go across. So.

I figured I would spend the rest of the day catching up to them, which is fine with me, while I like the company, I love to hike alone, and my old skiing buddy used to ditch me regularly so she could get a good work out.

Right. So , eventually, I hear their voices. And I think its really strange that I have caught them, because honestly, Joe is really fast. Like super duper fast. And Josh, well, hes not as fast, cause he’s vertically challenged to some extent, but he can go all day at the same pace no matter the pitch.

So why can I hear them? And why does that look like the trail that went off that other direction? And why do I now see Josh climbing over a fallen tree in dense old growth forest on his skis? And where the hell is Joe? Yes, you got it, we are lost. And Joe is gone, although we can hear him crashing around in the forest to our left, and Josh is going “oh, Joe Joe…” because they are girlfriends, you know.

So we hike up out of the forest and onto a trail type area, where I hear Josh say from far away “Kate, when you get up here, just wait until we find the trail.” Click on the video below to see the “One Skin Track”.

Alright. Okay. So moving on, Josh finds the trail, (as is clearly indicated by the sign), and we skin along. What about Joe?

Well, Joe is fast, and while he is dumb, he does have Josh’s dog with him. And he also has his gun with him, so we figure that if it ges bad, he can shoot Ros, and eat her. So on we go.

Eventually, just after Blackmoore lake, Joe comes racing up to us just dripping with sweat, because he blew his binding while he was bushwhacking and had to rebuild it with a leatherman and some keys.

But he caught us. So my goal of being in good enough shape that Joe has to keep up with me is a big one.

So we skin on, and every corner we come to I am thinking is the one we are going to ski, so I keep stopping and taking pictures, but eventually we can see Mt. Blackmoore, and we stop to dig a pit. I am excited to join in and dig, especially because I have a new shovel, but because I can NEVER tell when Josh is pulling my chain, I am a bit of a sucker and I have gotten more cautious. So… Should I dig? I offer to dig. He says two people will be more than enough, and they both get in there and do their best to make it look gnarly!! The snow flies, the boys dig…

Oh, wait, first they had to shoot off Josh’s Glock… and no, they did NOT give the gun to me, they let me pet the dog while they shot the gun… punks… anyhow, the pit was deep and pretty and they had me test the snow stability by jumping up and down on the column, which was basically concrete and didn’t move an inch. GOOD!

Josh took off and Joe and I skinned up to the ridge line, and then went up up up. I tried to take some pictures with the proper aspect so you can see the pitch of the hill we were climbing, but it was tough.
Needless to say, its good to have an antelope put the bootpack in for you, because he was postholing in hip deep snow for a while, and I was too, but in his footprints, which makes it easier.

We got to the top and Joe put together his shotgun, and I had the task of whipping the clay pigeons off the top while he attempted to shoot them. He got one. Then I got to shoot the gun. Which was FUN. Yeah. Joe tried to blow up the wind lip.
I tried to blow up a rock. So here is a picture of Joe with his gun to make his dad proud, and here is a picture of me with my skis on my back to make my mom proud, because she bought my gear, and I couldn’t have done it without it!!

Then we skied down, ice on the left hand turn, wind blown powder on the right hand turn, back seat back seat back seat. Then we got to the little chute, and Joe, (who is quite the gentleman when Josh isn’t around, and vice versa) let me get the freshies. The top couple turns were great, although I skied tentatively again… and then I hit the avalanche debris at the bottom of the chute. Which had frozen into concrete boulders, which I hit, and then blew up on. I was all bummed out, and then I looked up the hill, and thank GOD, Joe was wobbling and hanging in there on his tele gear by the skin of his teeth. So I hopped up and decided to ski it with an “adaptive” stance, like doing GS turns in bumps. It went really really well for about three turns. And then I blew up again.

Hmmm… Anyhow, we got through it, and skied some north facing slopes, which were lovely, fluffy and fun, and I skied for REAL down the second one, with good turns, saying “Single Platform, 50% /50%” out loud all the way down.

So now, we are done with the skiing part, and I figured we’d skin around a different way back to the car. But no, apparently the plan is to SKI the hiking trail back down. Okay. The trail is too narrow to stop on, too narrow to snowplow on, full of whoopties and trees, and I am not wearing my helmet. Yeah.

So we go full speed down this ridiculous trail and I am SURE I am going to die. Funny that it took us from 8am to 3pm to hike it, and less than an hour to ski out.

But I lived, and it was a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again. I like to earn my turns.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Training Log: April 19

Hiked up Pierre's Knob at Bridger Bowl today with my little sister and skied back down! It was snowing! 6 inches! Alaska, Liat's 80lb pit bull and Wya went with us, it was awesome, Alaska runs SO FAST! She was way ahead of us!

No gym tonight, took the kids and Clay to Chico with my mom and sister, so sweet! Drove back home through a lavender and peach sunset shining through the snow storm. I love where I live.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Training Log: April 18

Okay, NOW I KNOW why Subaru is the official car of the US Ski team! I borrowed Clay's little Outback and bombed up Hyalite Canyon behind our house. It was like the Outback Rodeo, sliding and bucking and bouncing all over the place on my way up the hill. Poor Wya (my German Shepherd) was flying all over the place, my coffee was bouncing out of the holder, my skis were slapping together, it was chaos! (But really really fun chaos). I got up to the Palisades Falls campground and didn't want to drive any further for fear of getting High Lined, so I threw on my skins and went up the rest of the road to the trail head for Emerald Lake.

Unfortunately, it was thundering and snowing a bit, an odd combination to say the least, and Wya looked incredibly nervous. I thought for a while she was going to get close enough just to stand on my skis, like tandem skinning. I finally decided that skiing in the mountains by myself with big metal poles in my hands while it is thundering is a less than great idea, peeled off my skins and skated back to the car.

1 hour of cardio at 125 bpm avg.

Gym Tonight:
Legs day: Total leg machine, hamstring curl, dead lifts in the smith machine, standing squat in the smith machine, calf raises. Abs on the ball. Alternated one foot balance drills with weights.

Boot drills (in ski boots).

Weigh In: April 18

This is what a pound of fat looks like!

Today, I am
26.9% body fat
162 lbs

44 lbs fat
118 lbs muscle, etc.

My Goal, by September 1 is:
15% body fat
add 10 lbs muscle
151 lbs total weight

My Last Weigh In:
January 22

187.5 lbs
33% body fat

My Nutritionist, Liat, just made this chart for me, and we figured that to reach the goal by September 1, I need a calorie deficit of 520 calories burned a day. Here is the chart!

My Own Personal Kato

One of my training rules is that any time I am standing anywhere, I have to be standing on one foot. I have recruited Tom (my charming, indulgent and adorable husband) to come up and push me without warning. My goal is to use my "cheetah tail" (as Josh likes to say), to save my balance without having to put a foot down.

So far I have landed on my ass twice, and Tom is having way WAY too much fun shoving me and shoving me and shoving me before I ever recover my balance. Other than that, its working out great!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PSIA Symposium at Big Sky

So I went up to Big Sky over the weekend to try and stalk my friend Josh who is trying out for the "D" team this time around. Unfortunately, he dropped off the back side of the mountain into waist deep fresh powder where you need an avalanche transceiver to follow.

Instead, I spent the day skiing with his buddy, Zach, who had just got back from Garmisch, Germany, and who was suffering from a bit of culture shock ("It's such a 'Nar, Brah' scene here!"). He had just passed his level 3 exam, and deigned to spend the day helping me to suck less.

Zach's big tip of the day: drive the outside knee out, like opening a door. YES! I need this. I ski like a knock-kneed lilly-livered girl. I wanna look like a friggin bow-legged (magnetic) freight train. You know, because even though the magnetic ones are burly and fast, they float about an inch off the rail, so they are smooth as silk. Or buddah (that's New York butter, not Buddha, right? got it?). Or Ghee, if you are really a purist.

Anyhow. I am glad I spent the day with him, exploring the mountain because the next day we got to ski with some of the clinicians. My first guy? The very sparkly Nick Herrin, poster boy for the Alpine team (All the photos of him skiing, he just looks like he couldn't be having ANY more fun!!). What a Seriously. He is, um, ebullient to say the least!

Nick, who is now the asst. director at Telluride, lived at Big Sky for nine years, and took us everywhere. I skied the steepest terrain I have ever been on, in trees, down groomers, through crud, off jumps (Okay, I got 2 inches of "air", Nick threw a huge Iron Cross, whatever, you know...). Anyhow, my skiing dramatically improved, and it was awesome to have him there going "YEAH! GOOD JOB!!". This guy is a bucket of fun on skis.

The next day, I skied with Rob Sogard, whom I NOW know is the Coach of the "D" team, but whom at the time, I foolishly thought was TRYING OUT for the NRM region "D" team. Yes, I am a goober. Hi, I'm Kate, I'm new.

Anyhow, its a good thing, because had I known, I certainly would NOT have opened my big mouth and told him I hoped to try out this psycho physiological experiment and make the team in five years. He was really nice, encouraging, and basically told me to go for it. It can be done. YES, it can be done!! Says the coach!! So here we go. Once again, my skiing dramatically improved, and then I got to take a spin on his skis at the end of the day. "Kate, have you ever been on real skis?" (Right, neglected to mention that I showed up on my only gear, back country skis and dynafit bindings... not so great for high performance in bounds skiing...) and tried to ski away with them... ah, well...

The next day, I skied with Nick McDonald at Rob's request, head coach of the NW Technical Team and all around amazing coach. This guy has a drill for everything. After the first five minutes, I owned the center of my skis like never before. Thanks, Nick!

All in all, it was an incredible weekend, I can't wait for National Academy in just five days!! YEAH!

I also hope to get over to Crystal Mountain in Seattle where Nick M. is based out of to just siphon his brain of all those drills, drills, drills.

Okay. Here is the girly note. While I was there, I met Kirsten, the education coordinater for the North West Division. She was wearing just the hottest jacket I have ever seen. Bergan of Norway. Yummmy Yummy Yummy. So I sent Bergan a letter asking if I could have some free clothes. Cross your fingers!! (Because I know you want me to look THIS good!

Training Log: April 17

Today's training consisted of: Biking on my mountain bike 14.2 miles to the Ridge Athletic Club and back (fairly easy).

At the Ridge, my trainer, Liat, and I did shoulders (Military Press, Deltoid Flys, and Rear Delt Cable Cross on the cable machine).

For triceps we did a mini circuit of triceps Pull Downs with the rope, triceps Kick Backs while standing on the bosu ball with free knee off the bench), and triceps dips on the bench.

We did all standing exercises standing on the Bosu Ball (a half inflatable ball that makes you wobble wobble wobble), the first set standing on both feet, and all sets after standing on first the left foot, then the right. With each exercise, we moved the position of the free foot, first just raised and centered, then in front, then out to the side, then behind us.

We did all our abs on the exercise ball, straight crunches, v ups, side crunches, and pikes.

We also worked Chest, and did seated chest press on the machine and incline dumbbell flys as well as flat dumbbell flys.

Tomorrow we might hike for snow!! Yeah!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Go Time: List of Emotions

For those of us that have trouble identifying just how we are feeling, here is a list of emotions broken down into the most basic and easily understood emotions:


abandoned, agitated, alarmed, anxious, apprehensive, bothered, cautious, concerned, desperate, distraught, disturbed, edgy, fearful, frightened, hesitant, horrified, hysterical, jumpy, nervous, panicked, perturbed, petrified, scared, shocked, threatened, terrified, timid, uneasy, unnerved, worried


apathetic, bitter, contemptuous, cross, cruel, defiant, disobedient, enraged, fed up, fuming, furious, hateful, heated, hostile, incensed, indignant, infuriated, irate, jealous, livid, mad, mean, outraged, raging, rancorous, raving, resentful, seething, spiteful, stubborn, ticked off, unforgiving, vengeful


affirmative, amazed, ambitious, bright, brave, buoyant, calm, certain, cheerful, converted, convinced, courageous, definite, determined, empowered, encouraged, enthusiastic, exhilarated, helpful, hopeful, independent, loyal, optimistic, persuaded, positive, proud, respectful, sanguine, secure, sure, strong, triumphant, trusting, upbeat


arbitrary, bewildered, bored, capricious, cautious, changeable, confused, cynical, despairing, disbelieving, distant, distrustful, dithering, dubious, hesitant, erratic, evasive, fickle, impulsive, inconsistent, indecisive, indifferent, insecure, irresolute, powerless, preoccupied, puzzled, shy, skeptical, suspicious, timid, torn, uncertain, unconvinced, undetermined, uninformed, unpredictable, unreliable, unsure, vascillating, variable, volatile, wavering, weak


blissful, calm, carefree, cheerful, comfortable, complacent, contented, delighted, ecstatic, elated, enthusiastic, exalted, excited, exultant, fantastic, festive, glad, grateful, inspired, joyful, joyous, jubilant, lighthearted, optimistic, peaceful, playful, pleased, pleasant, relaxed, relieved, satisfied, serene, tranquil, thrilled


abandoned, broken, crushed, damaged, disappointed, disillusioned, disregarded, harmed, heartbroken, helpless, impaired, injured, marred, messed up, misunderstood, offended, rejected, shocked, spoiled, tarnished, unnoticed, unwanted, wounded


absorbed, amazed, ambitious, attracted, awed, captivated, concerned, curious, eager, earnest, enchanted, engaged, engrossed, enraptured, enthralled, enthusiastic, excited, fascinated, gripped, held, immersed, involved, inquisitive, intent, intrigued, mesmerized, obsessed, pitying, preoccupied, rapt, spellbound, sympathetic, wrapped up


aggravated, annoyed, bothered, cross, displeased, distressed, exasperated, frustrated, goaded, grumpy, impatient, offended, overwrought, peeved, provoked, shaky, strained, tense, troubled, uncomfortable, upset, vexed


accepting, admiring, adoring, affectionate, amorous, awed, caring, close, compassionate, considerate, delicate, devoted, doting, fond, friendly, humble, kind, open, passionate, pitying, sharing, tender, understanding, warm


bleak, cheerless, defeated, depressed, despairing, disappointed, discouraged, disheartened, dismal, dour, dreary, dull, gloomy, grieving, grim, heartbroken, helpless, hopeless, lonely, low, melancholic, miserable, moody, murky, ominous, pessimistic, poignant, regretful, remorseful, somber, sorrowful, sulky, uninviting


affronted, ashamed, besmirched, corrupted, disgraced, debased, degraded, defiled, desecrated, despoiled, dirtied, dishonored, embarrassed, fouled, helpless, humiliated, mortified, offended, regretful, remorseful, ruined, shown up, soiled, spoiled, stupid, sullied, tainted, tarnished, ugly, violated