Monday, February 19, 2018

The Imaginary Coach



Bluebird conditions at Cabin Creek: cold crisp snow, cold crisp air, perfect waxing conditions!  One of my self-improvement goals this winter is to spend more time on my waxable skis; my fishscale skis are awesome and have taken me on many adventures, but they always give me bomber kick and therefore make my technique a little lazy.  So, today, I corked in a couple layers of Toko Red and I was ready to hit the road ... where I slipped, and slipped again, and slipped again.  Aarrgh, I thought, and almost went back to my car for my fishscales.

But then I thought, the wax does not lie.  This is the right wax for the day, so if I'm slipping, it's because of my lazy technique, and switching to the comfort blanket of my fishscale skis won't make that technique any better.  So I decided to turn that frown upside down and find the bright side: every slip was a reminder that I'm doing something wrong, something I can try to fix.  I imagined I was skiing alongside an imaginary coach, and while we're imagining, I imagined his name was Sven, tall and strong, with a twinkle in his eye and a little Viking in his accent as he called out, "Hips forward!  Weight transfer!  Drive the knees!  Set the wax!"

It turned into an awesome workout; the gentle undulations of the road, and getting in and out of the tracks to go around the crowds of people there, gave me unlimited opportunities to play around with body position and stride length and foot placement, finding the sweet spot where I could try to ski with dynamicity and still have good kick.  By my last trip up and down the road, I was hardly slipping at all (the cooling temperature probably helped, too) and feeling like I was kind of getting the hang of it.

Then I ran into Rob and Suzanne at the trailhead, as they were loading up their car, and burbled to them about my great workout.  They said, "Oh, you just needed more wax under your foot."  So there was that, too.

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