After getting my ass kicked the last 4-5 times out skiing (or at least not feeling like a powder slaying god), moral has been low. One result is that I’m going through a period of nostalgia for summer. Thinking about mountain biking on dry dirt, or catching trout in clear water.
The other result is that I’ve been obsessing about how to not suck at skiing. At least, how to suck a bit less. The most important way is to keep skiing a lot, which I will continue to do (see below for complications). Another, more remote but nonetheless weighty, answer is that I will buy new gear. Not this winter, but before next, I intend to plunk down the 1500+ or so US dollars a proper BC downhill rig will run. The question is, what stuff?
The most obvious answer and sub-question would be a get a Dynafit ski rig, weighing lightness v. burliness. Most anything would be a massive improvement over doing p-turns with 3 pins and floppy tele boots. However, I also don’t have all that much invested in skiing per se, which leads to the other option: splitboarding.
Snowboarding is reputed to be easier to learn, and let us face it, is waay cooler than skiing. Logistically splitboarding is more complex than skiing, but that sort of thing plays to my strengths and is less of a concern. It’s certainly less efficient on rolling terrain, but I have light tele gear for that. So my initial thoughts would be to get some used Scarpa F1s and a Voile splitter. Perhaps. (I welcome the thoughts of the at least two accomplished splitboarders that read).
In any case, I need to keep getting out and learning, the glories of which I attempted to venerate in the most recent post. But it’s hard. Working hard uphill only to get more beat up on the down is not the easiest thing to psyche up and leave pre-dawn to do. And that ambivalence bleeds out and over. Yesterday I rallied to skin Big Mountain after work, but didn’t summit after I got into the fog and didn’t want to flail my way back down with no visability in the rapidly rising darkness. This morning would have been a stellar powder day, but I reset the alarm and slept for another hour.
I am in short, lazy, and lack discipline. Always have. Want to get better at it, but always seem to falter (haven’t done regular core stuff since T-day, for instance). Frustrating, disheartening, the sort of subtle failure that engendered further failure and inaction.
I’m in good company in claiming to be lazy. Greg Hill told me he is lazy. Hard to believe in someone closing in on 2 million feet of vertical gain this year. Evidence suggest that a mountaineer’s mountaineer feels the same way. Peter Croft, one of the most impressive rock climbers ever, is a notorious TV fan. In short, it is clear that everyone suffers from the same potentially debilitating shadow when faced with the choices that, in aggregate, make a good adventurer and/or athlete into a great one. The question is, what enables some to be so much more consistently good at going from idea to reality, from motion to act, and from desire to spasm?
I don’t know. Practice, I suspect. Self-knowledge, to a certain extent. But at this juncture, my explanations are frustrating, primarily because none of them have helped me get much better at overcoming my own shadow.
But I intend to keep trying. I did my core routine this morning, and in the process tweaked my shoulder doing pull ups.