Free your heel and free your mind…

I have about eight posts all nearly complete, but life keeps coming up and I haven’t hit the submit button yet – hopefully I’ll get to them before another month rolls around…

So on to this post –

Last week I took my oldest daughter up for a ski day (thank you Dad!).  She is still in the learning phase, so she had an all day lesson and was so excited about it she pretty much bounced in her seat all the way up to the ski hill.  I love her enthusiasm for learning!
As I was looking at the cost of tickets for myself, I realized a “never ever” for telemark, including a full day ticket, full rentals, and all day lesson was barely more than a standard ticket.  I’ve been saying for years that I was going to start tele-skiing, so why not?

As it was a mid-week lesson, I ended up being the only student; always love the private lessons for the price of group lesson.  We talked a bit about my skiing ability and she was a bit shocked that an ex ski-instructor was getting a lesson; hey we all need some feed back now and then regardless of our skill level.  She then made sure I understood that picking up tele after 30 yrs of alpine may take a while and not to get frustrated if we didn’t make it off the bunny hill after the first day of lessons. This wasn’t an issue for me; one of many reasons for wanting to learn tele is to be able to ski with my kids and only enjoy it because I’m with them; I wanted something that put me more at their level so we were all fully enjoying it.

Enough lead in – the first run after ~15 min of “dry land” instruction was great! I was instantly hooked on tele-sking.  Two runs later we were on the main hill for a nice rolling green run – groomers are not only fun but challenging again!  Then before lunch we hit a groomed blue/black; heck yea, this is awesome.  At this point I was told that I could take the afternoon lesson, but truthfully I was beyond the ability of the teacher to give feedback – so opted to practice on my own. First solo run was a black diamond as I figured no big deal, it was boring on my alpine skis,so I was sure I could handle it on the tele’s…well I was able to ski it, but my form was horrible. I scolded myself for biting off too much too soon as it was the quickest way to form bad habits that I’d later have to “un-teach” myself, so it was back to the rolling greens.  For the next several runs I really focused on my form and moving around to get the proprioceptive feedback I wanted; when I got the form correct, it felt so good. The best way I can describe it is I actually felt connected to the mountain; I could feel every change in the snow surface and literally feel my edges cutting through the snow. As I was able to link together several good turns, I was literally falling in love with skiing all over again. I’d call it a Zen moment, but that doesn’t really cover it (and sounds a bit too cliche actually), it was a feeling of remembering what it was like being a kid again and being completely enthralled with skiing.

Its been a week now since my first time teleskiing and I’m still giddy about it.  I have a lot to learn and quite a bit to get before I can come close to claiming even a quasi mastering of it; and I can’t stop thinking about how awesome it was.   I see  the probability of spending more days on tele than alpine as a real reality; locking that heal down just won’t feel right anymore.

..anyone have some Scarpa T2’s size 27 and ~180cm tele skis with ~88mm waists that need a new home?

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