While I was in Rossland training before coming over to Europe, Ellis & I, along with some of the rosslanders, spent some time discussing technique. It was good to have some technique discussions that were more egalitarian than the normal coach-athlete technique session. Ellis & I did some video analysis and put some thought into how I could be skiing better, faster, more efficiently. I think this type of peer review is a superlative way to approach technique because it encourages me to take ownership of my technique changes and decide for myself what needs to be done instead of depending on someone else to tell me.
My conclusion after two weeks of focused, uninterrupted training in Rossland was that I need to ski with intention. Maybe I liked that idea because I’m not exactly sure what I mean by it. There’s something freeing in choosing a catch phrase that’s open to whatever interpretation fits my mood.
Too often when I watch myself skiing I think “lazy, lazy, lazy.” There’s not so much wrong with the basic technique movements as there is the attitude behind them. There’s too much of just going through the motions; I’m lacking the frenzy of wanting to cover that next 10m so badly that I look like I just might fall on my face. Not, of course, that falling on one’s face would be the goal.
Ski with intention. Other candidates for my slogan were ski with a purpose (except I kept thinking “porpoise” instead of “purpose” which is distracting) and ski like you mean it (but I frequently like words based on their syllable count). Ski as though the only thing you desire in the world is to move down the track as fast as possible. It’s simple, but sometimes I get caught up in weight transfer and dynamic legs and my world view shrinks to the space my body currently occupies and I fail to plan its future occupation of the space ahead of me.
I want to ski with intention. I want to live my life with intention. If I can ski and race like it matters, then I can live like it matters. I believe that’s a sufficient (although not necessary) condition for achieving that elusive satisfaction with life. If you can convince yourself that a ski race is meaningful I think it’s easier to find the meaning in the rest of life.