April 21, 2009: Spent

Sunshine Mountain, Canada – Today we were back on snow on our slalom boards. It was a beautiful day in Banff, with sunny skies and warm temps, with a little wind to keep the snow from turning to slush too fast. We weren’t training gates, but working on perfecting our technique and working out the kinks in our riding.

Today’s focus was on good positioning, particularly keeping a quiet upper body, so we each had to ride with foam pegs in our hands to use as ‘cues’. Holding something in our hands causes us to be more conscious as to where our arms are, i.e. not flailing around to compensate for lack of leg movement. My particular focus was to keep my upper body quiet; despite the limited movement my brace allows, I still have a tendency to use my upper body a lot and ride up in my shoulders and not in my legs.

The first part of the day was good. My coach said I was moving well although I still had too much edge angle at the bottom of the turn instead of the top, meaning I was changing edges but not creating a platform or putting pressure on the board. He also said to put the board out there more and on edge. I saw video of myself riding and it was decent but it allowed me to see areas I need to work on: more extension of the legs on the toeside, greater board angle at the top of the turn.

The second half of the day was a bit of a struggle. My legs were tired from testing and an afternoon session of stairs yesterday. By the end of the day my legs felt similar to how they felt during the box jump test, heavy and wouldn’t respond to what I wanted them to do! By the time we got back from the mountain I was too exhausted to do any more exercise, a rarity.

But since there are no races anytime soon, it’s the best time of the year to really push myself to physical exhaustion. So I just have to keep plugging away. It’s good to test my limits and see what I’m really made of.

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