Look up and Breathe. Most if not all skiers on the way up the learning curve look at their ski tips when skiing consequently putting themselves in a constant state-of visual surprise. You look up at what’s coming at you as your brain processes the necessary information interacting with your evolving muscle memory which needs your breath. When you drive a car you don’t peer out over the edge of the hood? You look up at what’s coming at you.
This applies vividly to skiing and subsequently life. Look up and breathe. Stop looking down at that mind-numbing cell phone and make eye contact with the world you were born to live and breathe in. I constantly see people walking and running while staring at the ground seemingly wrapped in a bundle of nerves and holding their breath as if their afraid to actually be alive and fully engaged in what their lives could be. They seem afraid of letting go even within the freedom of exercise or as I see it play. Exercise is just play for adults who are just overgrown children. It’s all a game. How do you roll in this game of life?
If people would simply look at nature and breathe it in more often their lives would be enveloped in nature. It is nature where life comes from and is sustained by ignoring it seems foolhardy, shortsighted, and selectively ignorant and if this planet is to be saved it will take a very different America leading the way. Continuing this Narsastistic Procrastination Nation thing will bring an unpleasant end to this ride called life. MadMax is not far off without a serious common-sense revolution. Ride your bicycle today and see what comes to mind.
Ok, I’m back on the slopes now. Apologies I got lost in the reality of reality.
I’ve coached skiers of all ages and abilities. Every one of my students accelerated in technique from Look Up and Breathe. I write Look Up and Breathe on separate pieces of Duct Tape in heavy black marker placing Look Up on the left ski-tip and Breathe on the right and skied the day. That was all the advice other than; “Follow Me”. All are transformed skiers in their first twenty turns with every turn enhancing learning and comprehension of your skis’ dynamic power.
Refined Skiing evades many. First of all depending on your age if you desire higher skills in the hills you can’t ski just seven times a year. Repetition equates to growing knowledge and knowledge leads to smooth and effortless skiing. After decades of skiing, I still learn with every turn.
Growing up on the East Coast I’ve yet to encounter a bad day Skiing in Colorado compared to say Killington Vermont, a mountain that will make you a Strong Skier. Its narrow undulating terrain and dynamic conditions will challenge and grow your skills. You will learn about real cold and solid-ice skiing.
Beaver Creek on the shall we say more powdered side of the divide is remarkably plush and challenging with stunning grooming, excellent steeps, moguls, and flat-out haul-ass cruisers. It is expensive and worth it if you ski the first chair till you drop and bring your lunch.
If you want to upgrade your skiing. Look Up and Breathe, Ski Many As Many Days As Possible. Ski the edges of crud and groomers. Ski the edges of moguls and groomers. This way you can work a challenging bump line and have groomers left or right of you if you need to regroup without stopping and breaking rhythm. Just peel off a few GS turns and jump back in the moguls. Maintaining rhythm is key to harnessing your ski’s inert power. “How The Racers Ski” by Warren Witherell is the definitive analysis of How To Carve A Turn Perfectly.
Ski the tree lines in flat light. Ski with quality goggles with assorted lens colors. Rose lenses are fabulous in flat light. Be on the first chair. Bring lunch. Ski till you tire. Call it a great day. Re-visualize the highlights for the next time out.
As for cycling entertainment and motivation “Breaking Away” is The Best Cycling Film ever exposed to celluloid. A tremendous example of perfect filmmaking with no violence, gratuitous sex, guns, and pointless dialogue. Best Screenplay 1979 Academy Awards.
After watching this fabulous film go for a ride and look up, and breathe. Above all look at and breathe in the life-sustaining beauty that is Mother Nature the giver of all life. She gave you that bicycle as well as your life. Ignoring her recent cries is ignorant. Riding your bicycle respects her life and yours.
Look up at your bicycle now. Get on it and breathe. See what’s out there just waiting for you right now to see and breathe into your life. I’ve convinced myself to embark on some crazy bicycle rides. Snowy four-am canyon commutes, ride in rain that turns to snow, foolishly hot days, foolishly long hills, foolishly followed instinct. All tremendous adventures and worth every effort I had to muster.
I just looked up at my bicycle. It almost took my breath away. Got to go.