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What do you think of this video by Deb Armstrong?

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
"Recovery In Motion" is something I've been working on this season. I found myself off-balance quite often in 3D snow, in part due to some boot issues. Didn't like the boot problem, but the increases in awareness of balance and my resolve to recover were beneficial.

Pretty "meh" about the video. Video seems better for how-to instruction. But her message rings true.
 

Tennessee

Angel Diva
My immediate thought as I watched this was a video we watched as patrollers, about avoiding knee injury by NOT trying to recover from a backwards fall. So as a senior, I do think there are times when it is better to hit the snow than risk an injury by trying to recover from a very bad position. Otherwise, I do see her point. It makes me think of something someone said on here recently about skiing being “a series of linked recoveries or linked falls” or something like that. What was that again? I immediately liked that and wanted to look it up again so I would remember it but haven’t yet. Maybe someone else can remember it for me:wink:
 

shadoj

Certified Ski Diva
I'd love to see a little more of the "why", "when", and "how":

Why do we try to avoid falling on steeps? The potential for more speed, momentum, and thus injury -- a fall could slide us headfirst into a tree, rock, or off a cliff. Some expert runs really are no-fall zones; learn to identify these and maintain appropriate speed/control. As you get older & heavier, you have more momentum and slide further after a fall, so self-arrest techniques are even more critical. Best get in the habit now!

When do we choose to fall? As @Tennessee mentioned above, sometimes, the safer option based on one's body & potential for injury, *is* to fall. As long as you're in not in a no-fall zone, of course.

How do we recover our balance on the steeps when we feel off? What techniques come into play? How do we self-arrest/fall if we *do* end up going down?

That being said, I love Deb's videos and enthusiasm. Everyone always looks like they're having such a great time and really challenging themselves. Thanks for posting!
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
OMG. So many emotions.
1) She’s so joyful and I love it.
2) SHE IS HOLDING HER PHONE AND FILMING WHILE SKIING!?!?!?!? (that’s what the shadow looks like? Her talent level is so humbling)
3) The tree skiing looked so great and also so breathtakingly terrifying. And...again... pretty sure she was doing it WHILE instructing and filming. WOW.
4) it is an important mindset... that concept of committing and being forward can’t happen if we feel like bailing out and falling is the right solution... So I like the message of just keeping going and don’t let the perfect (balance) be the enemy of the good (fun skiing)
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Love the video and the concept! Would like to see more in-depth treatment of what it can look like in practice and how to work towards it.

It was particularly interesting to watch as a learning snowboarder. Falling is just part of the early learning process, but then you get to a point where you shouldn't expect to fall. I'm just now starting to learn ways to correct, or to "recover in motion" as Armstrong puts it. Mostly it happens accidentally ("I'm fall...ooo, no, I'm carving!"); I love that the video provides a framework for thinking about it as a strategy. Very cool!

But for some reason I have a harder time picturing this strategy with my skiing. Maybe going into a mogul field and not having a bail-out strategy? Making bigger, controlled turns on steeps instead of hockey-stop-style turns?
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I always glean at least one nugget from each of her videos. One of my biggest challenges is in crud, where I get so unsettled by my constant loss of balance. My husband always tells me to "keep moving! Don't stop!" and this reinforces that. I think a key to this is to get the upper body farther forward in crud and powder to counter the terrain trying to push you back. Initiating turns much earlier, same as should be done on groomers, also helps.

I finally have an absolutely dialed-in boot, and am sad that the season, especially the opportunity to ski in decent crud and powder, is over. I can always use my Mountain Collective to hit Snowbird if we get a sneaky April storm. (Which is pretty likely.)
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
"The joy and thrill in skiing come through movement, not stopping. We have a tendency to want to stop to regain complete control if we get a little thrown off... What I say is no, challenge yourself to keep moving through it. Regain your balance while moving. That's the thrill."

"You need to have resolve, you need to have a commitment to not just flop or stop the moment you're out of balance. You can't control things by falling to stop."

Do anyone like this message? Do you see its point? Has Deb communicated well her reason for encouraging people to keep themselves moving when their balance is getting challenged?

Do you think this is advice you'd like to work with in your own personal skiing?
 
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TeleChica

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I love this video. I think her point to those boys was that there are places and slopes where you really do not want to fall. They were flopping and giving up when they got off balance. You could see it on their first drop. Then on the second they held on and kept going. Just pointing that out to them made all the difference. So I think to some extent it's a mindset. You can practice on no consequence slopes and make it just part of how you ski.

It occurred to me that I have a picture of me doing this. When this picture was taken, I had no idea I was so off balance. It was kind of cool to see, actually. Total no consequence slope, of course, plus hero snow helps.

Monarch.jpg
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@liquidfeet - you highlighted the points I really like.

As a returning skier with a generally low risk tolerance, it really resonates when thinking about when I feel best when skiing, and when I feel less great. I like her explanation that the goal of skiing is to go downhill...and that perfect balance is an irrelevant goal when doing that because you're in a dynamic state when you're moving.

The only way I can achieve static balance is to STOP, which is stupid, if the goal is to GO. :smile:

In nature, very few things are static...in fact, by definition, equilibrium is a dynamic state, so I think what she's articulating is the very essence of nature and that is why going is so much more joyful than feeling perfectly balanced? Can we really achieve better harmony with nature/our skiing environment when we are dynamically engaging and interacting with it? I think this MINDSET could be really transformative.

Of course, now I have to remember this for the next 7 months because it's in the 70s today and I am washing snow pants.
:rotf:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
PS: so, being who I am, I had to go investigate, and I found this useful (?) blog post from Kulkea. I do some of these exercises already, but knowing I’m not getting younger, and that balance tends to decline with age, I like having a list of things to work on.

https://www.kulkea.com/blog/balance-training-for-skiing/
If you are interested in other exercises related to improving balance, I have a few in my ski fitness blog. What I learned during knee rehab was that consistency matters more than the amount of time spent. Doing simple 1-leg balance stuff a couple times a day for 3-4 minutes adds up over the off-season. Even just starting in the early fall makes a difference.

https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/balance
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Love it! I'll try them. My trainer and I call my left leg "stupid leg" b/c it's so much less balanced than my right. So, I look for things to improve it, and it's gotten better, but so has right leg, so it remains the less preferred leg.... which, unsurprisingly, I notice when I'm skiing, and that's why this video really landed with me. Of course, like many of us, that's the side that has the injury and the aftereffects.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
To me, the terrain looked so challenging and they were going so fast that I had to push myself to relate to it. I remembered the last time I was skiing with Olesya, and we took this long run at Belleayre that goes all the way to the other side of the mountain. Olesya is strong and fast, and at first I imagined I wouldn't be able to keep up with her. But then I realized I wasn't having difficulty dodging others on the trail, and I wasn't having difficulty making my little "recoveries," and I was really enjoying the adventure. It wasn't a difficult trail, but it was the first time I skied that long in one sustained run. I think I had a little bit of what Deb was aiming for.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
"The joy and thrill in skiing come through movement, not stopping. We have a tendency to want to stop to regain complete control if we get a little thrown off... What I say is no, challenge yourself to keep moving through it. Regain your balance while moving. That's the thrill."

"You need to have resolve, you need to have a commitment to not just flop or stop the moment you're out of balance. You can't control things by falling to stop."

Do anyone like this message? Do you see its point? Has Deb communicated well her reason for encouraging people to keep themselves moving when their balance is getting challenged?

Do you think this is advice you'd like to work with in your own personal skiing?

I like the message, and I sort of liked the video in theory, however my main thought while watching it (as a nervous skier) is already echoed in this thread:

My immediate thought as I watched this was a video we watched as patrollers, about avoiding knee injury by NOT trying to recover from a backwards fall.

I get nervous about backward falls due to the possibility of knee injury. On the other hand, the improvement in the kids in the video was clear and immediate, so I can see that the advice really worked well for them. And I like the idea of skiing being a set of linked recoveries, and of regaining balance while moving, but the whole knee injury fear thing left me feeling unable to really engage with the video in the end. I don't have any super good reasoning for that.

I might have actually been also told the same thing about avoiding knee injury by a patroller, on a lift at the start of my 2019 season when I hadn't skied in a very long time, and I was coming off a severe (non-ski-related) ankle injury and was anxious to not injure myself again too quickly, and asked them for advice.

That said, I don't actually fall that much at all, and my falls tend to be forward tumbles because I've wedged a ski in the snow. I don't fall much because I don't challenge myself skiing very much out of fear. But I do stop a LOT!
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I definitely flop - but I do often have those moments of recovering in motion (mainly because my skiing in the last couple of years is trying VERY VERY HARD to fight myself not to sit in the back seat the whole time)
 

shadoj

Certified Ski Diva
"The joy and thrill in skiing come through movement, not stopping. We have a tendency to want to stop to regain complete control if we get a little thrown off... What I say is no, challenge yourself to keep moving through it. Regain your balance while moving. That's the thrill."

"You need to have resolve, you need to have a commitment to not just flop or stop the moment you're out of balance. You can't control things by falling to stop."

Do anyone like this message? Do you see its point? Has Deb communicated well her reason for encouraging people to keep themselves moving when their balance is getting challenged?

Do you think this is advice you'd like to work with in your own personal skiing?

I do like her message about the joy of continuous movement; balance is dynamic and stopping isn't the only way to "reset". I should remember to do this more often in my own skiing!

Deb is an excellent, effective teacher; she clearly knows what her students need to hear. Since the video is titled "Steeps: Balance and Falling for Kids and Advanced Skiers" -- and some of us have a tendency to stop (e.g. afraid to fall), not flop -- I'd love to see additional video of her teaching other types of "unbalanced" learners on the steeps, along with the fearless, floppy boys. Aside from mindset, how do I keep moving while regaining better balance? What focus/movements does Deb herself use if she gets kicked around in weird snow (haha, when does that even happen for her)?

I also hope to someday gain half the continuous energy Deb has! Keep those videos coming...
 

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