Saturday, August 23, 2008

First day of Slalom practice!

Some of these pics are from today, but here is my post from yesterday. Video from today coming soon!!

WOW. Running gates is REALLY REALLY FUN. I was concerned about how to hit the gate, just in case I made a good enough turn that brought me close to it. We went through it in theory, but standing at the top of the course, I was thinking, how can I think about tactics (where the line should be) and technique (how round the turn should be, how hard I push on the ski, re-distributing my weight to the outside ski, the path my body takes across the platform, leveling my shoulders, hands in front, etc) while I am skiing at these freakin' plastic poles??

I hit the first one (and I was wearing my spring gloves) and then I thought... ow. (because I don't have my pole guards on yet for technical reasons, and because I didn't think I was going to hit any gates today). So I changed gloves to the thicker, more padded POC gloves, and they worked out just fine.

In my second run, I hit all the gates on my turn to the left (where I am right foot dominant), but couldn't figure out what my body was doing on my turns to the right. I felt like I should be cross blocking, but my body wasn't far enough inside the gates to allow it just yet. My dyslexia popped up and said hello while I was trying to figure out how to mirror what I was doing on the right side of the course to the left side of the course, and I stood there scratching my head for a while.

Joe, and Frank, two of the other campers, talked me through it on the lift, and my next run was better. Dave was having me focus on making a good turn, and Joe suggested that because I was well padded (THANK GOD!!) I could take the gate whereever it came up, and not worry about it too much.

I decided he was probably right and the next run was better. Dave's coaching is fantastic, on the spot, succinct, and then he gives you time to work on it until you have some understanding. I am STILL too square to my skis, especially when the course got rutted, I was more apt to point my skis to the bottom of the rut, but then have my body follow my skis around, rather than driving them out away from my body and trusting my judgement in the rut with my body inside the gate and more down the hill.

I ran the course again at one after they'd pulled the gates, and was able to ski the ruts well with no gates in them.

I had three mini wrecks today, and thanks to the body armor jacket, I felt fine, even though I fell on the shoulder that I've seperated a couple of times. After my first crash, a pole to the head, and bashing a bunch of gates, I felt much more confident. Dave shot video today, and we got SOME stills from an action photographer, so I should have some video to put up tomorrow night.

My understanding is growing, my trust of my feet is growing, my ability to get forward is growing!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!

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