By Liz Millikin
Having skied my entire life, I sort of assumed I was done learning. Certainly, I have a bad habit or two that need working on, but surely I’m done with the actual process of learning. Boy, I was I wrong.
Last week, I hit the slopes with the amazing ladies of the Women On SnoW camp. My official job was to film, capturing footage for a promotional video that will come out later this season. Luckily, my group’s instructor, Lucia, wasn’t about to let me off the hook when it came to perfecting my turns.
As Lucia moved through the process of addressing each one of our particular strengths and weaknesses, it turns out that I have more than a few bad habits. The big one is, of course, my tendency to ride too far back on my skis. While it sometimes feels easier to just let my skis go, it definitely makes controlling my speed much more difficult. My instinct to straight line particularly technical pitches? Also not good on-slope behavior.
Even with six women in the group, Lucia was careful to spend time with each of us. She took the time to put each of us in a strong, stable position that was balanced over our skis with our knees, hips, and spine in proper alignment. She addressed each one of our turns – no small feat considering she had six incredibly different skiing styles to work with. From the aggressive to the careful, long turns to tight slalom turns.
It was incredible. Within just a few runs, each woman was riding a little more smoothly and much more comfortably. By the end of the camp, it was obvious that each woman was skiing more confidently and stronger than they had just two days prior.
For myself, I learned a bit of control. Lucia helped me find balance over my skis, and by forcing me to slow down and pay attention to my turns, I definitely felt the difference a little stability makes.
Even after almost 25 years on skis, I still have a lot to learn. Thankfully, there are still two more WoW camps this winter. The next session runs from February 11 through the 14. Hope to see you there!