Sunday, October 24, 2021

Ski Goddess 2021 News

Yet another NZ winter done and dusted. I again worked part time at Cardrona Ski Resort, but this year didn't get quite as slammed as last year. They employed more staff, I worked less days, and then we closed the trans-Tasman bubble, went into lockdown in August, and  the Aucklanders haven't been let out yet. Our business suffered pretty badly, but from my perspective, I worked little and skied a lot. Not a bad year at all!!

Two big achievements for the goddess this year. I got lots of training and attended both Level 3 Precourses. Unlike the Levels 1 and 2 Ski Instructor qualifications, the Level 3 requires attendance of two 3 day courses prior to sitting the 4 day exam. One Precourse is ski performance focused, the other is about teaching. Both were absolutely fantastic, giving me a really clear understanding of what the standard would be to pass Level 3. It's a shitload higher a standard than Level 2.

Since we were better staffed at work, we also got to do lots of training. This is one of the major perks of working in the industry, access to free training from top instructors. Since I got new, narrower, stiffer ski boots at the end of last season, I have been working on getting my left leg to come into line. I have been struggling for years to be able to ski with my weight over the ski so I can get the sort of grip required to progress my skiing to the next level. I have either been too far forward, or too far back. Finding that sweet spot has been elusive.

Well this year I found it! A combination of training and persistent practice has at last paid off. I'm really enjoying being in that associative phase where I feel in control of making subtle changes to further improve my skills. My trainers are all thrilled as well. I love the collegiate nature of ski performance and skills improvement, where we all help each other out to become better skiers.

After doing the teach Precourse and having a fairly average year with work, I decided I needed more experience teaching if I was to pass my Level 3, which I think I will sit for in 2023. Most people take a few attempts before passing it, though it is in 2 halves, meaning if you pass either the ski or the teach component, you never need to resit that part again. So this year was about improving my skiing: CHECK. Next year I plan to work full-time, to improve my teaching....

The second big achievement was to learn to snowboard. I had been meaning to give it a go, but usually by the end of the season I'm over the whole snow thing and ready to get outta town. This year, perhaps because of our 3 week lockdown mid season, my ski stoke was still strong. So one day, after skiing for one and half hours and the snow had gone rotten I made the decision: either go home, or learn to snowboard. I hired some gear and had a 2 hour lesson, and well... the rest is history.

The major downside of learning to snowboard is if you fall, usually because you caught an edge and stopped very very suddenly, it bloody well hurts. A lot!! I'm not exactly enjoying that bit, but I am enjoying how relaxing snowboarding is. I even bought my own boots! Yeah, more toys....

So that's my NZ ski goddess news for 2021. Despite Delta arriving in NZ we've had a relatively easy time down in the southern lakes. I'm fully vaccinated, of course, but I can't yet see a chance of getting back to WA any time soon for some windsurfing. I suspect by the time WA is back open for business we will be in the filthy hot months of January and February, when I would rather be anywhere else but there. So at this point I'm planning another summer tramping in NZ, hardly an inferior alternative!

Happy tramping...

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