Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Skier's Edge workout at Fuxi's, and more

Sorry for the mobile only posts so far, my computer is limping along and sometimes won't stay on long enough for me to type! While its been raining buckets pretty much non stop since we got here, the experience of being at camp has been terrific. (and a quick warning: this is going to be a little rambliy, I'm gonna catch us up as fast as I can!!)

The first day we were supposed to ski, we went up to the Timberline base area and waited for about 2 hours, during which time we got a lot of stretching done, and i got to visit with Tammi, Dave's wife, and get to know her and the other campers a little better.

When we got back to the hotel, we watched a ski movie and talked a bit about efficient movement patterns.

Stacey Gerrish stayed for a couple of extra days and we got to visit, which was SO nice! That afternoon, Tammi, her 13 year old wunderkid Carson, Stacey and I went for a hike on one of the many beautiful trails around Government Camp, and, as women do when they hike, we got to chatting, which was terrific.

There is a great hot tub here at the Mt. Hood Inn, so the boys and I took a soak in the afternoon.

The next day, we got on the hill at about nine, (we were on a fog hold), and we started the day with traverses, stance issues, and patience turns. Dave touched on a bunch of things in the couple hours we had on the hill that had taken me a week to learn at academy;

Inside shoulder points at the outside ski tip, line of the femur points at the toe piece of the binding, the first move is along the length of the ski, or forward and across your platform in the direction of the new turn, schooling the hands, inside hand is up and forward, upper body is quiet, legs turn under the body...

My new skis, the Elan Race SLX were incredible, as expected. I've never been on this particular ski before, I clicked in, took one turn, and instantly knew what the ski wanted and trusted it completely. Scott sent them to me with a beautiful tune on them (WOW, thanks for that!!!!), and in the three turns I made on my way to the mid station chair, I was covered head to toe with the beautiful potential of these skis. I was NOT disappointed. I told Stacey on the chair that in Elans, I feel like I just have really big feet. I don't feel like I'm standing on something that I have to figure out, it's not an argument between me and my skis, they seem to be an extension of the soles of my feet, and the tinyest movement is transmitted beautifully to them.

Stacey and I ripped up our warm up runs, and it felt SO good to be back on firmer snow after months in the slop, and I was very pleased to see that all that slush skiing and avi debris skiing Angela and Kurt and I have been doing has translated into a lot more touch and sensitivity to the appropriate turn shape and angle depth in my skiing. I feel again like I have come to a place where I can BEGIN to learn what I'm doing.

We shot some video and that afternoon we watched it... WOW. I have never ever seen myself ski like that. Actually, I have never seen footage of myself after the end of March when i was prepping for the exam, so it was terrific to see. The issues I was having in my 3 seem to be consistently schooled out, my pelvis is leveleing and the inside hip is working to stay forward. I am still getting dumped, but not as severely as before. The issue now seems to be that I am too square to my ski in medium turns, and I am eager to get back on the snow to work that out of my skiing so I can stay forward.

Yesterday we got rained out again, and today AGAIN, (that's 3 out of 4 days! totally unusual for Mt. Hood in August), but we've been doing tech talks, tactics, and today we worked out on the skier's edge machine at Fuxi's shop.

I met the Fuxinator last year at the progression session briefly, but didn't really get to spend any time with him. This year, because of all the rain, we've had a chance to visit and talk a bit, and I have to say, this is an amazing person. The passion, energy, and excitement that Fuxi has in his day to day life is intense and incredible. He certainly made himself into what he is through hard work and dedication, but the genuine guy is right there in front of you. He's happy to take the time to talk, to share, to sell you some socks, and to ask about you, your life and ambitions. He's a blast.

If you consider coming to camp, and you don't have gear, or don't understand what you need, he can set you up from top to bottom and everything in between, and he takes very good care of his customers and campers, we've ended up with all kinds of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and Fuxi Swag which is lovely!

Dave and Tammi are staying positive, and coming up with all kinds of creative suggestions to keep the campers happy, from tech talks to an idea to go ice skating, to going to the movies in Gersham all together.

By the way, when we were down in Gersham yesterday, the boys and safta and I went to Michaels and got some craft supplies, then hung out in Border's Cafe all afternoon building it, Borders was lovely to let us stay and make a mess, I got some shopping done at a great sport shop in town, Hillcrest Sports, where they had everything from wakeboarding to running to skiing stuff. The selection of clothes was awesome, super cute sports tops, running shorts... if you are in the neighborhood, it is definately worth a trip!

It looks like the next three days will be sunny and warm, and we will be in the gates, on the hill from open to close to make up for lost days. Speed suit and armor, here I come!

This afternoon, a couple of kids came into Fuxi's shop while we were doing the Skier's Edge workout, and Fuxi asked them to give us the best tips they had gotten in coaching (they are all top in their age group and heading for greatness on the world cup.) Here is what their advice was:

"On race day, let go and race, your training is what it is, so just go for it." (Hey, this sounds like I brought what I got!) - Cooper Cartmill

"Stay focused - all the time" Noah from Alaska

"Be willing to crash. You have to be willing to go down, to find the edge and ski there. The fastest guys are always willing to take the crash." - Cody Unicom

and from their coach, Tom: "Chase your dreams and never give up. If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten."

Thanks for the inspiration, guys! With that in mind, I am going to stop worrying about putting on the armor, and just be grateful that I have it, so that I can go out there and be willing to go down hard. I want to learn how to ski.

Cool new websites to check out:,,


Liat said...

Wow, great post and pictures! I am impressed with those kids and their "quotes to inspire!" wow! very wise. And I have to say the ski machine looks very cool, but your legs look unbelievable!

a said...

Awww, shucks. Thanks man. The machine is AWESOME, a great work out. It doesn't perfectly simulate a ski turn, its a lot like a retraction turn, but its such a good work out, and it definately encourages you to lenthen your outside leg and push on it!!!

I have a new post all ready to go, but left my camera with Dave, so I'll put it up tonight after the performance talk.


Anonymous said...

Woah awesome pictures especially the one where it looks like you can walk on clouds! I love it! i think its great you had a great time, and that look like a great ski exercise i have never seen that machine before!


a said...

Hey, Bella!
It really is an amazing work out, and I have to say that the next time I was on skis, the weight transfer and weighting in the center of the ski were MARKEDLY improved after working out on this thing!