Monday, February 14, 2011

Even deeper profound insights into the blatantly obvious: Flexion and Extension movements in the bumps help a lot. For real.

OH my gosh I have SO much to tell you guys! But I only have a few minutes to write a couple of blog posts because I have one more day of the Rocky Mountain Trainer exam, and I get to give an indoor presentation tomorrow afternoon which I have to build tonight. WHEE!!

FIRST: Bumps. After the exam yesterday (yes, hang on I'll get to that), I was at the bottom of SodBuster with Jason Closic. He asked me if he could give me a coaching cue, and that was to move the flexion or absorption movement that I was doing at the bottom (or top) of the bump (take your pick) up higher.

So imagine you are travleing down the trough toward the transition of the bump, and rather than waiting for the tip of the ski to begin pushing back toward you because the bump is coming at you, but seeing the transition and begining your flexion movement in anticipation of the transition.

I did it, and an AMAZING thing happened. Suddenly, I had time. More time.

Jason asked me if I had another turn other than a short swing turn in the bumps, and I told him, yeah, I have a reaching round turn, and I've been trying to figure out how to blend them together or pick one or the other in order to be in a more "create" space than "choose" space when skiing bumps.

Jason asked me to ski some of each, using the adjustment of the timing of the felxion movement. A wonderful thing happened.

Because I was able to judge and decide on the flexion BEFORE I got to it, I wasn't looking at it or thinking about it when I was doing it. I was glancing briefly at the lip of the transition and then looking to the next transition. I could decide how round, how much twist and when and how much to dive my skis.

Suddenly, I had six turns where I had options in every turn. I was able to find a steep one and choose to launch into the air, and land in the trough right where I wanted to. I could round out the next one and make the next four quick slidy check turns. I was beginning to paint. And the colors weren't getting muddy.

Wanting to be able to blend the turns the day before, it was miraculous to get a coaching cue the next day that gave me a key to do just that.

You know what it felt like? An integrity gift. I promised to keep my fall line turn that Schanzy had been working on with me in the exam. And I did! And then, waiting as a present at the bottom of the run was Jason, handing me a key.

Today, bumps were an entirely different animal to me. I was playing more and more with them, and that's just what it felt like, playing. Its not always pretty, don't get me wrong. But its changing. The time in the bump seems to be stretching out. The options are opening, and now I get to play and create sometimes. Oh, its BLISS!

At the end of a run in a teaching segment where we got to get air in the bumps on a run called Deception at Highlands in the most BEAUTIFUL chalk snow at the end of a long teaching day, Chris Doyle gave me a new cue.

He said, you get down there well. Stay down longer. He showed me this beautiful move which I've seen in the best creative free skiers in the bumps, which I've felt the beginngs of sometimes in my skiing, but not really identified what it was to make it repeat.

He absorbed early and kept absorbing as he went over the transition. His skis passed the transition and kept absorbing. His ski boots were almost off the snow, the entire forebody of the ski was off the snow, but his flexion movements were from not only his knee, ankle and hip, but also from his spine very effectively, and he was STILL absorbing. Because he was also strongly countered, he was in a great position, so as he twisted his feet, the skis also dived into the trough.

So now I get to add: See it. Begin to move early, get to it, keep moving down, keep that counter developing while absorbing even more. Then go.

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