One Step At A Time By Liz Welles

In skiing, as with most things in life, the more you practice something, the better you get. Sure, you can have an instructor or a coach give you tips all day long, but at the end of the day what really matters is how your own awareness has increased to improve what it is you’re working on.

As small children, our entire world was encompassed with building basic awareness, but as we have grown and matured, our brains have distracted us with things like car payments, homework, or whether we fed the dog this morning. Give yourself a little time-out from everyday life, and just try standing on one foot. Feel the bottom of your foot and how it connects with the ground. The more focus you put into this, the more stable you become. Now try the other one. It may be challenging at first, but be patient; your brain is pretty far away from your foot, and it takes time to re-connect the two.

The next time you are cruising on an empty cat track, try lifting one ski off the ground and gliding for 5 seconds, then switching feet. Feel what part of your foot you are balancing on, and compare it with when you tried this standing still. What does it take to move from the heel to a more balanced position on the ball, and more importantly, to stay there as the speed increases? What other muscle groups can you use to help maintain this balanced position?

This exercise is only the beginning. Once you build awareness in this respect, challenge yourself to bring it into the other things you have been working on; not only in your skiing, but in your everyday activities. It is important not to rush it. Awareness is a skill that needs building and nurturing. With time and effort will come great results in this lifelong sport.

About The Author:

Liz Welles has been skiing since she was 3 years old. With a strong ski racing and coaching background, she has honed her 

awareness skills in Big Sky for 8 years. As a competitive big mountain skier, Liz looks forward to skiing in the Freesking World Tour coming to Moonlight Basin March 22-25, 2012. Her sponsors include Smith Optics, LEKI poles and gloves, and Powderhorn Apparel.  (She brushes her teeth while standing on one foot.)

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