Today was one of those days where you realize that while its hard to make the right decision, and sometimes you question it over and over, and it hurts and its scary, when you get through to the other side, there is peace.
I woke up this morning and felt whole again. I got on my skis early, and took a rippin' run down Copper Gulch, chasing Kurt. I've been trying to make this turn that Kurt can make since I met him three years ago. He has this turn... in my mind I call it a Condor turn, where both skis are active, engaged, bending, but hes not over pressuring them. Its an amazingly round, finished turn, but it moves down the hill, there is an economy of motion of the body that is beautiful.
I've never been able to ski Spar or Copper top to bottom without gaining speed. I've never been able to ski it in a high end performance turn without fighting the external pressures constantly, getting hucked back against my boots and fighting to get forward, tails breaking free, I've never been able to guide the ski to the fall line with patience, but with good penetration of the snow surface, and trust that its going to come back.
I've been working with Jonathan Ballou for a few days, building blocks on top of what Weems gave me, on top of what Cindy gave me, on top of what Kurt gave me... and this week it all synthesized.
Ballou once again had me doing whitepass turns on the groom, and railroad tracks, and I love the fact that these are drills I was using to get my skills up when I was going for my level 2. There is always more work to do, there is always more specificity that can be had.
The reward is that after working so hard for three weeks to change my movement pattern, (Well, I've been working all season on understanding and unlocking it) today, it all clicked.
Today, I was able to come across onto a strong outside leg that didn't collapse and drive the ski in an arc away from my body, finishing strong, and releasing again to lengthen the other ski.
I was against the front of the boot comfortably all the way down, there was no divergence, there was no a frame, there was no compensatory movement, I felt like I was a water skier in a three dimensional box, carving through the surface and playing with it.
I think that spending time in the powder turned my touch up pretty high, and playing with turn shape out there gave me permission to trust more on the groom.
One run down copper behind Kurt did it. The rest of the day I played with it. It started to fade by the end of the day, I'm going to have to chase him down again and make sure that I own it, but something significant changed about the way I understand how the ski operates in the snow, and with that understanding came freedom to play in a way that I never have.
I had a similar break through in the bumps... but I'm sooo tired I have to go to sleep now! More on the bump break through tomorrow.
And cross your fingers, tomorrow morning I enter into the second phase of interviews to become a Diamond Pro!