Derin 2020 day 5

Today we started skiing at the top of the Grande Motte. Unfortunately the climate up there was very different from down at that bottom. After skiing the first half of the glacier I asked Derin to tell me what she was thinking about while skiing (recall we have been working on focusing on the body and developing a “moving meditation”). Derin’s response: “It was so icy!” Arrgh! The reason for focusing internally is to stop you from thinking about external distractions such as ice!

In the video when Derin skied for the very short turns (first section of the clip) and did a very good job, I asked her what she was doing. Derin’s response: “I don’t know”. Ok Derin so what should you have been doing? …response “I don’t know.”

We worked on developing the pivot and each time just as the uphill ski started to pivot into a turn Derin bailed out – saying “I can’t do it!”. The whole point of practice is to change “I can’t” into “I can” – but you have to believe in yourself!

Likewise when working on carving skills Derin made a nice carving traverse (in the video) but when trying to link turns with carving the skis were skidding.

A. The very short turns were very good – outside ski being used, reasonable control of rotation, natural skating timing (down/up), natural dynamics. Really good to see!
B. The carving efforts demonstrated that Derin really can incline her body using dynamics – the 3D skiing she couldn’t do when trying to intentionally!
C. The steepness in the last section of the video is what causes Derin trouble. Due to trying to finish the turns off across the hill to slow down this reveals that Derin’s movements are overwhelmed. It’s not that she isn’t making the correct moves – it’s just that they are all far too limited. There isn’t enough flex at the hip joints to prevent body rotation. The dynamics (overall directed movement of the body) aren’t strong enough.

What I’m starting to see is that Derin actually does have good and efficient movement patterns, learned over the years but she is not fully aware of them and doesn’t know how to extend them for more demanding circumstances. Working on the pivot requires her to be very aware and even provokes contrary emotional movements (twisting the foot and ski etc). Building awareness and extending the range of correct movements is a constant development criterion in any worthwhile activity – whether skiing or playing piano!

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