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Locating my lost confidence!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What I have discovered over many years skiing with my Better Half, is that her technical ability to ski, has nothing to do with her ability to ski on any given day.

If she gets up in the wrong mood (think un-exploded bomb with a hair trigger), then it's like she's never been on skis before - and that's despite having followed an Instructor down the bottom half of the d/hill course in VDI, at full tilt (It was closed off for army races and our Instructor had access).

It is of course always my fault - and barking instructions (at a safe distance), surprisingly doesn't seem to help. rolling eyes
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
AL9000 wrote:
Relax
Empty your mind

On a gentle slope:
Bend ze ankles, good posture, Side slip, weight/unweight your skis smoothly.
Feel the snow through the skis.
Be the ski.

#zenskiing

Do this:


http://youtube.com/v/wNbEp1SRVag


Sorry - bit off topic but I loved that video.
At the weekend the off piste was a bit meh and the pistes were excellent so we took out SL's for the day and for a while we dumped the poles and kidded ourselves that we were skiing like Mikaela - hands on hips, 800m vertical non stop, carving from top to bottom.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Now that is very interesting @Cheesie168 - I suffer from anxiety and I did especially this year. At New Year there were just 3 of us cos our friends lost their teenage daughter last year and without her (my daughters best friend) my daughter wouldn't come either - so we didn't have the same vibe at all, very bitter sweet being out there without them - normally there would have been 8 of us - and my friend and the girls were much better than the boys at keeping me calm. Then 2 days in my mother had a stroke and although my sister said no point rushing back it still felt wrong. I certainly wasn't sleeping and was so tense. Now I think about it, its probably a miracle I didn't come a cropper and break something!
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@Old Fartbag, you are so right - when I get "hangry" I ski like a complete moron... and since the menopause my moods are very difficult to predict - in the good old days at least I could plan holidays around them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@skimummk, I am sorry to hear about your friends daughter, what a shock for all of you. To then add to it with your Mum as well I think it has a huge impact and as you say amazing that you stayed upright. I found out last Xmas while on our skiing holiday that my younger brother had pancreatic cancer, and just like you the vibe changed and it has been hard to get my skiing mojo back. Maybe we need to be kind to ourselves? The menopause (hot flushes while skiing are no fun) and the other stuff is a LOT to cope with. But at least we still get out there and do it. Hats off to us!
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skimummk wrote:
@Old Fartbag, you are so right - when I get "hangry" I ski like a complete moron... and since the menopause my moods are very difficult to predict - in the good old days at least I could plan holidays around them.

A few years ago, I told a few yarns describing some of my experiences when skiing with the long suffering Lady F. This is one you might relate to and give you a laugh:

The Sache yarn. (Tignes)

As the snow was good that holiday, we decided to head over to Brevieres for lunch. I knew as soon as we set off, that the current Mrs Fartbag was in one of her pricklier moods. Anyway, we made it to the top of the Saches...and during the decent, there are places where a schuss is advisable. I politely suggested she removed her peaked hat (a splendid navy blue jobbie, with Courchevel emblazoned on the front and "old man" ear flaps that unfold when cold). My reply was one of those looks that you don't argue with.

The first schuss resulted in the cap blowing off......and me stumping back the 200 yards to pick it up.

There comes a point on the Sache, where you can cut across a bit of stubbly off piste and join the easier run into Brevieres, thus avoiding the worst moguly bit of the Sache. Given I wanted to live through this experience, this is the route I took.

While making the few turns before dropping down the lip onto the path, I could tell from the scolding behind me, that Mrs Fartbag was becoming less happy and more agitated with every minute that passed. As she tried to negotiate the drop down onto the path, she subsided right in the mouth of it, blocking any further exit. This wouldn't have been a problem per se, but a class of very wobbly intermediates had followed us down.

Their instructor kindly came over to see if herself was OK (and because she was blocking the only easy access to the piste)....but herself wasn't in the mood for help, even from chivalrous French Ski Instructors, so he got short shrift....and Mrs F continued to block the exit. This meant that the class had no easy way down and had to navigate a much more difficult drop onto the piste (about 10 feet from where Mrs F was lying).

Well it was as good as a pantomime. One by one, like ducklings, over the edge they came....and fell on their heads. Each one that fell, caused more trepidation in the one following....until the whole class were a jumble of skis and poles strewn across the ground. Also, as each one fell, I could see Mrs F's mood lightening, as she saw the funny side. By the end, we were both in fits of laughter....and I have to say (thank goodness), as the class also saw the funny side and as nobody was hurt, it was an amicable parting.

It was just what the Doctor ordered. Mrs F's spirits were lifted, so the rest of the day went splendidly.

Ps. Just read the post about your Friends Daughter - I'm very sorry to hear this.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I wonder how many of us are out there
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hey @Rcav, Very Happy

someone has already said this but the best thing you can do is go off somewhere and practice some drills alone (or find someone geeky who likes drills to geek out with). However many people are around, ultimately we ski alone and we need to understand how to get the mojo back alone. When I am skiing I constantly notice when I'm out of position and I'm always trying to make sure I can get back to a good one. (I'm not a great skier compared to a lot of people on here but I think its true for everyone) That means understanding how to feel your way back to the good technique. An instructor can teach you drills but ultimately it's you who's got to do them.....but if you do, you will find you will learn to correct your own technique.

I have a set of drills I go back to that puts me back in the right position. I'll sneak off and do them and sometimes I only need to start doing them and I realise what I was doing wrong. At first it takes ages, maybe you cant even do the drill, but then that's what you need to work on. If you haven't got drills or you can't do them at all then at that point an instructor can help you. But he can't do them for you.

Yes fitness helps and yes confidence helps, but with good technique skiing is much less tiring (getting tired means I need to adjust my technique) and knowing how to get the mojo back when you lose it builds confidence enormously.

Of course there's always the social pressure of being in a group and needing to keep up with people which stops people doing their drills but drills are what instructors and racers do. They can't all be wrong.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
What a fascinating thread. So sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter skimumuk. I have a (late) teen daughter and just can’t imagine my world without her in it. All things considered, as has been said, it’s remarkable you got down any slope. Cheesie - hats off indeed.

Old fartbag - I loved this: “ My reply was one of those looks that you don't argue with.” I’ve got one of those too apparently
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Rabbie wrote:
@Rcav, glad to hear things went so well today for you. I have been following this thread with interest since I had a major loss of confidence myself last year. I was just getting things back when I developed a bad cough and could only ski a very limited time.

Just hoping things click for me on the BB in two weeks time.


for anyone interested, a quick update on my experiences at the BB.

By careful booking of flights I managed to have 8 days at Arabba which in the light of events was very fortunate.

Confidencewise day 1 went well skiing with some better snowheads on mainly blues and easy reds. The conditions were pretty good and it was only the last red home which caused any problems. The warmish conditions had resulted in quite a lot of heavy cludge and bumps forming which exposed both my lack of technique and fitness but I got down without too many problems.

Day 2 I was skiing by myself by choice so as not to slow other people down. Basically I did a slightly extended version of the previous days routes which went well until I started to tire near the end. I then mad the decision to take a taxi and avoid that last red.

Day 3. I met up with a party of Snowheads under the guidance of Geepee who kindly let me tag along with them goin round the Sella Ronda. Initially things went well but about half way round I had a fall straaight on to my back while stopping which winded me and took a lot of the stuffing out of me. I then started going to pieces and lthough I got down that slope things deteriated even more on the next and I basically had a panic attack(close to tears and puking) about half way down and just couldn't move for a bit despite Geepee's support and encouragement. He sent the others on ahead so they would not have time problems showed the best side of Snowheads in getting me down. Under no pressure from Geepee I made the decision that a sight seeing taxi trip was the sensible thing to do and after giving myself a firm talking-to I managed to pull myself together and get down.

As a result of the fall I suffered from intermittent back spasms over the next two days so did not ski. Ghese were the days when weather conditions were pretty windy so there were quite a lot of other non skiers those day. One day I went for a walk round a marked trail with another snowhead and the other day we walked round the town and sampled the local cake shop.

Day 6. My back seemed better so I decided to spend the day on the home blue run practising technique. This went well for the first three runs so I then decided to have a private lesson which turned out to be a very good idea. We continued on the same slope getting good advice on my skiing and after the lesson I continued trying to put this into practice. The result was I felt much more confident and relaxed about everyhing

Day 7. As a result of news from home I had a short day basically a short version of the previous day.

Day 8. The last day. I started of with three laps of the blue run to warm up then I crossed to the other side of the village and went up to see the slopes I had not been to before. From the top there was a nice blue down to a very steep red. While dithering at the top of this askier who I think was an instructor saw me, read my body language and asked me if I was OK. Despite telling him I was, he gestured for me to follow him across the slope which I did. He then indicated a suitable patch of softer snow where I should turn. I followed this lead and suddenly found I could link turns down this slope the way I could thirty years ago. Near the bottom my unknown benefactor passed me and gave me a thumbs up. For me that was a major milestone.

For me this confirmed my belief that so much of skiing is between your ears especially once you know what you should be doing. So many of us can do it on a blue but have problems once the slope becomes steeper.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Rabbie, That was quite a mental Roller Coaster you were on.

It looks like it ended on an upbeat note.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Old Fartbag, Luckily I am quite an upbeat person. In general I had a much better experience compared to last year so I have signed up for next year. Without the lows I would have nothing to measure the highs against. Still as long as my basic health holds I may be able to keep skiing into my 80s. Only five years to go. snowHead Very Happy Very Happy snowHead
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Rabbie, it sounds as though more lessons might help. Improved technique will instil more confidence. Just improving your 'get out of jail' techniques will help: I've got a fairly solid sideslip and snowplough and can get down most things as a result, if not very prettily. That feels reassuring.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've started reading the Inner Skiing book - only 1 chapter in, but I think it might help.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Hurtle, I certainly benefitted from my lesson this year and will have more next year. the problem for me is when things go really pearshaped all my skills evaporate and I don't trust myself to sideslip even though I have done so fine a few minutes before. As I say most of my problems are between my ears.

@skimummk, I shall certainly look into the Inner Sliing book. Thank you for drawing my attention to it.

Thanks to everybody else who has contributed to this thread with helpful suggestions
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There a definite "mental" element but also the inevitability, as we age, that bits of us just don't work as well as they once did. Making the right judgement when to stop for a bit, or download in a gondola or have a day off, isn't easy. I luckily don't suffer from panic attacks but my daughter does, and I do understand how difficult they can be. I find it hard to make those decisions about optimizing ski time, even without the extra complications of panic attacks - dealing with both must be super difficult.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, Having the panic attack was a new experience for me at not fully recognized for what it was till afterwards. Still, looking on the bright side, it is nice to know I am not too old to have new experiences Very Happy Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Rabbie, my personal experience of my most serious panic attack was being carried out of an office in Fenchurch Street into an ambulance with a Macdonalds bag over my face. Shocked They aren't fun (for those who haven't had them, death appears imminent) and you have my sympathy.
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Quote:

so I then decided to have a private lesson which turned out to be a very good idea.


The key!
Whether in sports or sex, one cannot overestimate the benefits of expert tuition n proper practice. Madeye-Smiley
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well, @AL9000, I think I might have left it too late to look for much improvement in either.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@Rabbie,
When people fall, they get up to quick. dont give them time to assess & recompose themselves. Then start again to soon. replaying what happened in the head. Then realising your hurt. You are no longer thinking about skiing, you are thinking about how much you are not enjoying yourself in that instance. Take 5mins. Sit down. Let that adrenaline pass & the blood pressure to fall.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Its important not to try and ski straight away. Getting up takes me so much effort (always need someone to help as I can't put enough pressure on my hip and daren't twist). I fell last year and landed upside down on the slope - was totally disoriented, but it still helped just to lie there for a while before I tried to get upright. Its kind of lie there, do a quick inventory of any pain, work out where limbs are and if they are twisted, get the skis off, swivel to be the right way up, get someone to pull me up, and then ask them to get my skis parallel for me. Honestly, that's why I do all sort of contortions to try to avoid falling - getting up is SO ungraceful!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
How humiliating. I’ve just side-slid down a narrow slushy bit of a piste here (pharo in Montgenevre) and I’m so annoyed with myself as I’d skiid it just before lunch and although I found it challenging, I had managed it fine. The trouble was I thought the way we were going would miss out this particular bit of the run. Queue me skiing around a corner shouting “oh, you’re effing joking” to myself. To make it worse hubby and kids were waiting at the bottom watching me. I know it’s just to make sure I’m ok but I felt such an idiot and as though I was disappointing them. I haven’t fallen over and I know I can do this but it doesn’t make any difference.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
What's the actual problem there, @bambionskiis? Side slipping a bit of piste which gives you the willies (even if it was fine when you did it a bit earlier) is an entirely appropriate response.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
pam w wrote:
What's the actual problem there, @bambionskiis? Side slipping a bit of piste which gives you the willies (even if it was fine when you did it a bit earlier) is an entirely appropriate response.
+1 I could write a whole encylopaedia on slopes I have side-slipped.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
pam w wrote:
Well, @AL9000, I think I might have left it too late to look for much improvement in either.


Never too late. Just ask for Rob.

https://www.insideoutskiing.com

Madeye-Smiley
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just booked a ski lesson for our first day in March with an instructor recommended by our apartment owner. Its at 11:30am so will get up and do an hour to re-find ski legs then stop for something to eat/drink before the lesson so that I am not over-tired and let the other two go off and do some reds/blacks. Going to ask the instructor to take me down some reds so that I will "know" that I can get down them when I go with the others.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@skimummk, Great idea. Familiarity will reduce your fear. After a couple of goes down those reds, you won't even blink.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think one of my probs is that hubby starts with a piste map at the beginning of the week and his goal is to make sure we have done it "all" whereas I would be quite happy doing the same few over again till I am confident on them. With a smaller resort like Valmeiner we are much more likely to revisit pistes - whereas when he sets out to do the whole of the Grand Massif, Sella Ronda, Tignes/Val etc in a week I've got no hope!

Also, because the first time we go down he has no idea if its a "hard" or "easy" red I am nervous - I trust an instructor to only take me down something I can do. Ideally I would like a ski guide - but the only holidays I think that include ski guiding are chalet ones and I prefer to self-cater.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AL9000 wrote:

Never too late. Just ask for Rob.

https://www.insideoutskiing.com

Madeye-Smiley


Works for me.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I think one of my probs is hubby

FIFY He sounds an absolute pain. Why can't he do things your way sometimes? I'd let him go and do his thing and find a more compatible friend to ski with. Or persuade him to do one day his way, the next day your way.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I'd let him go and do his thing and find a ...


...tasty ski instructor to drill you all day.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Alastair wrote:
AL9000 wrote:

Never too late. Just ask for Rob.

https://www.insideoutskiing.com

Madeye-Smiley


Works for me.


He's a man of many talents.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Alastair wrote:
AL9000 wrote:

Never too late. Just ask for Rob.

https://www.insideoutskiing.com

Madeye-Smiley


Works for me.
And me. For ski instruction, that is . Shocked
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
To be fair to hubby we did do it ‘my way’ all the days of the last hol because there were only 3 of us either son or him stuck with me on the blues and easy red - neither of them like me to ski alone. They went together on New Years day and I stayed back - but their day was ruined when some moron took his skis and they wasted 2 or 3 hours trying to sort it out. He did the reds at the end of the day when Id given up - hence why im taking a lesson this time cos my friend is a good skier so this is his chance to tackle some harder slopes and hopefully I can doma wider range as I used to be better than him till I lost my confidence
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