Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hindsight

I didn’t blog yesterday because there wasn’t much to blog about. It was a typical first day on the slopes, which means that you haven’t yet figured out how best to configure your ski boots so that they feel just right, you have no idea how to read the trail map, and you haven’t got your ski legs yet. It usually takes me the entire first day to really feel those ski legs. And I inevitably walk off the slopes wondering if this is going to be the very first ski vacation where I just totally suck.

Add to that, my camera battery went dead before I could even take my first photo on the mountain. So, I couldn’t even offer up any pics. Turns out that the batteries freeze in cold weather. A local told me that on a chairlift today when he saw me fiddling with my camera. He even gave me a little hand-warmer to stick in my pocket to keep my camera warm.

That’s just the way people are around here. It’s a really nice crowd. Here’s another example: some guy from Texas who works for Cisco just spent the past 20 minutes trying to help me hook into the wireless service here in the lobby (it’s not available in my room for some reason). He and his girlfriend and a buddy of his were hanging around the fireplace waiting for their taxi to downtown Park City, sipping some Jack Daniel’s and Coke (the girlfriend was sipping JD and Diet), when I came downstairs with my laptop in hand. They saw me struggling and jumped in to help. In the end, I had to connect via Ethernet cord. So here I sit, mainlining my blog addiction.

As for today, things turned around quite nicely. Tthere was a huge blizzard last night here in Park City. We must have gotten two feet of snow overnight, and we woke up this morning to blue skies and soft powder. And off we went. I found my legs. And I even got my mogul on, at least a little bit.

I have to say that Ashtanga really helps with the skiing. It’s really important to square your torso down the mountain even as you turn your lower body to carve your turns. If you have a nice twisty spine, it definitely helps. It also helps to have a nice open chest so that you don’t hunch forward and throw off your balance when things get steep. It’s also nice to be able to squat down really really low in order to pick up speed when you’re going over flats.

But that’s just the physical stuff. There’s the mental stuff too. Being willing to ski within your ability. Not needing to feed the ego by tackling terrain you’re not really ready for. Because, really...why? What is the benefit of that? It’s just like asana practice - not letting the ego drive you to rush into poses you’re not really ready for. Also, as with asana practice, there is the realization and the acceptance that the body is different each day. Even each hour. You can really fly down a trail in the morning, and in the afternoon, the same trail is a struggle. You can feel stiff one day. The next day, you find you’re in the zone. You have to regard it with equanimity. Or else you find yourself suffering.

I did manage to practice today. I did my entire practice after we came in from skiing. It was a bit of a struggle to focus since Brian was with me in the Fitness Center, and he was trying to use the treadmill and, quite frankly, freaking me out. It looked like he was going to go flying off the back, like Fred Flintstone. Then he was trying to use the weight machines. You can imagine. Somehow, I managed. But it wasn’t my most focused practice. On the other hand, Mari D was sweet.

So, the crack of dawn does not seem necessary as there appears to be some window of time after skiing in which to practice. On the other hand, I don’t know if the family is going to tolerate my practice every single day this week. We shall see….

YC

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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