Get Out of Jail

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I’m told that roads in Ontario, and especially Newfoundland, can be dangerous when a moose is involved. In Scotland, I once nearly hit a reindeer. Skiing can be full of surprises, too. At these moments the ubiquitous skiers’ mantra, “Look incredibly cool,” suddenly disappears from our list of priorities and is replaced by “Try not to destroy body.”

Whether we’re on a highway or under a chairlift, the desire to do whatever it takes to stay in control or, at a minimum, on our feet is paramount. And, for skiers anyway, these moments can result in the best bits of our sport.

This involves moving the feet not to where they need to be, but to where they are about to need to be. It’s a question of anticipation.

If the body is going to be thrown forward, get the feet out in front. If the body is going to get shot to the outside of the turn, move the feet across the hill so they can be there to catch and support the body when it goes its merry way.

Here, the skier realizes that the bump is bigger, steeper and icier than expected and the skis are going to hit it hard. He throws his feet forward anticipating the impact, and then as the bump pushes them back under him, he frantically uses what little core strength remains in his middle-aged body to keep his feet where he wants them.

Looking good.
Panic mode
Feet forward
Keep pushing them forward
Now tense the core!

photos: DAVE SILVER * snow: Mt Washington Resort

from Dec/Jan 2022 issue

Nigel Harrison
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