Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Race Camp Obsession. There's a reason.

I have four days to come up with two grand to get to the last session of Dave Lyon's race camp. POC has been COOL enough to send me the gear I need to do the camp. Elan is sending appropriate skis. I proposed an article for the new 32 Degrees magazine, and they are psyched, I'm writing it for the winter issue, all about a Newbie getting schooled at Race Camp.

Its a race to the tax refund. If it gets here in time, and we reach an agreement, I may be able to use some of it to get to camp, and have the balance paid for by the article I'm writing. I'm planing to camp in my truck and eat granola all week, as usual, so the food won't be too bad. I think I have a guy to split gas with to get there.

WHY am I so totally obsessed with getting to race camp? Because I'm Kate, and I get rabidly obsessed with things that seem like a good idea. I can't get it out of my head. I dream of it at night. I think about it all day long.

When I was in Jackson Hole earlier this year, I watched the movie Steep for the first time. Watching NOTHING but steep skiing for a couple of hours, and then going to bed and dreaming about it all night, when I woke up the next morning, I had a different perception of skiing. Of steep skiing in particular.

We went out skiing that day, and had a foot and a half of powder, and from my VERY FIRST turn, I knew something was different. I was understanding what I was doing in a totally different way, and my body was acting by itself, accurately, effortlessly. I was able to reach and allow speed... anyhow, it was an incredible thing to ski one way one day, and completely differently the next.

Last week, Ethan asked me what Race Camp was about, so we got online and I brought up some World Cup Skiing on YouTube. As the video started, I suddenly had that same experience. I watched the skiers feet move across the slope, and I understood what their skis were doing in a way that I never have before. I could see the energy line coming out of the ski, where the line would extend and how it would be drawn down the course, and then watch the skiers follow that line.

I could understand visually where they were beginning to release the ski, and how it would send them early arcing back to the gate. I felt in my body an understanding of what I was watching with my eyes.

And I haven't been on my skis since.

So aside from the fact that I super duper miss skiing right now, and the fact that I'd love LOVE to ski with Mike Rogan again, and the fact that Deb Armstrong's tips from our race clinic at Academy are in my head all the time "a baby amount of pressure" and "keep the energy headed straight down the hill as you hit the apex of the turn" and "shoulder to tip of opposite ski", and the fact that I've never actually SKIED with Dave Lyon...

Let's see there's also the thought that a week of skiing at Hood last summer changed my skiing EXPONENTIALLY (I still thank Ben Roberts for putting that together and saying "Don't wait to get the job of being on the team to do the job that you want to do. Start doing that job now."), the fact that my day in the gates with Ellen Post Foster and Steve Nyman was MIND BLOWING, and that I'm ITCHING to learn more about following that flowing line down through the gates...

I mostly want to go because I can't wait to learn to ski better.

So cross your fingers, we are getting down to the wire!!

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