When you take on a hobby or activity where your skill level and experience do not match your desire you run into a wall. This impact into that wall is what makes us know that we are still alive and not just going through the motions.
Skiing is the activity that makes me know that I am still alive. Furthermore, skiing also reminds me just how much I suck every time I slide off the lift and peer down the slope. My first trip down an intermediate slope was an exercise in trying to let go and not think about ligament damage. 1,700 vertical feet later I knew that I had to get better.
Getting better last year meant losing weight. I ended the winter a hair over 220 pounds. A lot of time in the saddle on my bike and a lot less snacking at night, plus cutting back my beer drinking, led me to a weight loss of over 20 pounds. I clocked in at 197 pounds during my first day of skiing this year in Winter Park over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Getting better this year means fitness. The bike is an important part of my summer fitness program. A bad day on gravel beats any day inside. Without the zen like quality of chewing up mile after mile I might go insane. Here is what I worked up as my fitness goals to be achieved by the time snow starts falling and skis need to be waxed:
- 2,500 miles on my bike
- 2 sets of 25 kettlebell swings and squats with a 45 pound kettlebell
- 2 sets of 15 bicep curl, overhead press, and triceps extension with two 45 pound dumbbells
- 4 sets of 15 ab rollouts
- 5 1,000 meter rows at a sub-2:01 500 meter split
Do you notice what is not on my list of goals this year? Any mention of weight. Last summer I got too focused on losing weight at the expense of overall fitness, but particularly strength. I was an aerobic superstar by Thanksgiving and I paid the price skiing in some early season powder when my legs started to quiver like sand during an earthquake.
My contention is that if I hit the relatively limited set of fitness goals listed above that some measure of weight loss will follow, but it is not going to be my guiding principal this season. Everything is pointed toward an epic 2016/17 ski season.