Great Ski Season
~ Stanley Blackmur
summer now a distant memory, the cool days and crisp nights of Autumn have our minds set to prepare for the long winter months ahead. I know that what gets me through the long New England winter, other than daydreaming about living on a tropical island for five months, is getting out on the slopes. Whether you are a skier or a boarder or prefer the Nordic route, it is time to get out of your state of semi-hibernation and hit the slopes, the half pipe and the cross country trails. Before you go, make sure that your body and equipment are ready, because nothing is more of a letdown or deterrent than not being properly prepared for the elements. Many things in our lives require extensive preparation to make sure that we achieve the results that we are seeking. The gourmet meal for your dinner party (unless you hire a local catering company and try and take the credit), a business presentation to land a new client, or research for a great vacation all require good preparation and practice. Skiing, boarding and cross-country skiing are no exception.
What constitutes good preparation for skiing and boarding? First and foremost is an equipment check up. If you are anything like me the skis, boots, helmets, gloves, and gear were stowed in their bags and sent off to the great dark depths of the attic or the basement sometime back in March. Many of us may have been pushing the envelope of trying to get one more season out of those boots or skis or the kids have grown 3 inches and 2 shoe sizes over the summer.
Make your upcoming ski season less stressful and more enjoyable by properly preparing now! The first task should be location of your gear. Is everything together? Do you have two gloves (that match), two boots, two skis and two poles? Get everyone and everybody together now to see if your equipment is safe and fits properly. Many significant injuries occur because of unsafe or improperly fitting equipment.
Check your inventory and sizing, bring your skis or board in for a tune up and a binding safety check. A binding check is extremely important as people’s weight, size and abilities change over time therefore usually necessitating a bindings’ adjustment. The basic boot check is next; do they fit? Are all mechanical pieces in working order? Improper boot fitting results in significant fatigue as well as blisters. Nothing can ruin a good day on the slopes more than tight boots and the resulting cold feet! Since it is early in the season, your Country Ski & Sport Inc. has a special on tune ups and safety checks as well as some great discounts on skis, boots, bindings and boards.
It’s also important to check for sizing on your helmets, jacket, pants, gloves and goggles. Some of your outdoor wear may be a “fashion faux pas” or a little snug or just plain worn out. The other aspect of proper preparation for the skiing and boarding season is getting your body in shape for using those muscles and muscle groups that have been on hiatus for the last few months. Many of us unfortunately only get away skiing for a week’s vacation trip or several weekend and day trips. With the expense of staying slope side you don’t want to get injured because of a lack of “preventive maintenance.” According to several sources, most injuries occur within the first couple of days of a vacation and most frequently at the end of the day when you hear, “Let’s do one last run.” Listen to your body and if you’re feeling too much “burn and wobble” it’s time to enjoy some après ski activities.
For an actual exercise regime, you can always count on the tried and true walking lunges, wall squats, calf raises, pushups, sit ups, trunk rotations, quad stretches, and leg lifts. Additional exercises specific