This is what most of my day looked like yesterday, trees, trees, trees.
I spent the day skiing by myself. I can’t remember the last time I skied alone. The girls were in ski school and Big E had her own “day off”. It snowed about 7-12 inches the night before and it snowed all day long. It just kept dumping. It was amazing powder conditions. A great day to ski alone. Like they say, there are no friends on a powder day.
Most of the time when I ski, I ski with others. When I ski with others, I am thinking about their skiing, where to go, and what runs the group would enjoy. I love skiing with others. Being an instructor, I love helping people get better. Skiing is an killer sport and watching people improve gives me a fantastic feeling. Unfortunately, skiing with others rarely improves my skiing. One of things that does improve my skiing is skiing with people better than me. It pushes me. It’s one of the best ways for me to get better. I’d like to ski with people better than me more often, but it’s hard. The next best thing for getting better is skiing alone. Skiing alone is one of the few times my mind turns almost completely off. (I said almost, 🙂 ) Skiing alone is great for my skiing. I get to zero in. I see the trees for the forest.
Yesterday was one of those days. When I ski alone, I push myself. I focus on my turns, the terrain, and how I’m bringing it all together. Over the past few years, one of the biggest area’s of improvement for me was powder tree skiing. Being a big mogul skier, my tree sky skiing has been neglected. I’ve been working on that over the past year and it’s paying off, yesterday confirmed it.
Skiing trees in 7 to 12 inches of powder means you have to turn quickly, you have to have a good stance and be able to work your skis together more than you would on hard packed. There is no edging when skiing in powder like there is on all other types of conditions.
I skied some pretty sick steeps, some light back country, flew a few small cliffs and just let it all out. It was good for me. I didn’t think about anyone else or anything else except having a good time and what I wanted to ski. I got a little better yesterday and I love that feeling.
Now that the day is over, it reminds of getting better at most things. To get better, taking lessons, getting instruction, reading books, practicing, etc. are all critical, but in the end nothing is better than being alone in what ever you are trying to get better at and focusing on it all by yourself.
I wish I could do this more often, not just for skiing, but for a lot things I want to get better at; sales, sales leadership, parenting, and more. In the end improving is a personal journey requiring we find the personal time.
How do you find the time? Does tackling it alone, make you better?
Oh yeah, the other thing about the trees that’s awesome. It’s super peaceful and quiet. It’s just you and nature.