Thursday, April 27, 2006

When soaking wet at 48 degrees, the only thing...

between yourself and severe hypothermia is child-like enthusiasim. Ok, and the drysuit helps too. I love getting up at 5 am to ski. I had the chance to go this morning. I was up at 430 without the alarm clock (Libby really likes it when I manage to wake up without the buzzer). By morning, the fivesome was down to a threesome; Cyrus was on call and Abe had to work all night at the genetics lab (no, I don't think he's ever seen a five-assed monkey). So it was just myself, and Christy and Leah from the Iowa ski team whom I have taken to coaching.

Behold, the University of Iowa ski rig: A 1997 Moomba with nearly 1300 hours, and a 1990-something Dogde Caravan with nearely 170K miles to pull it. It runs through the slalom course at 36 like it's being driven by Stevie wonder after a 12 pack. But it's allright for tricks and riding jump skis (No ramp on coralville lake, unfortunately).


Leah skied first, I'm teaching her how to do her forst wake back/ wake front, and she is just now doing both without coming out of the back position outside of the wake. Here's a shot


When I started to ski, I noticed that the chilly air stung my face. Note the distressed visage.


But I managed to get over the initial chill and do some halfway decent trick sking. I worked on hands and toes this morning, but I couldn't get any shots of the toe tricks because Christy lacks the talent to take pictures and hold a release rope at the same time. Not that it would be a smart thing to do for any one who actually had the talent..



Christy skied after me, but the camera ran out of memory. I had her mostly just riding the trick ski on one foot. Cross both wakes, then go to one wake, jump inside, outside, inside, outside, and switch to the other wake. Its a great drill to learn proper body position on a single trick ski, and it accellerates the learning curve for beginers.

Before heading home (or to class, in Christy and Leah's case) I rode my jumpers. I spent about half the set doing the coran drill at 26mph, then I just cut at 35. I was concentrating on keeping pressure on my left ski in the counter cut until right as I begin the ramp cut. Scot Ellis mentions this in his Fight School DVD, and it seems to help keep a tight line. Although at times I felt like the handle would not come all the way into my right hand, and I was gripping with my fingertips only. Oh well there's still time to iron out the early season kinks before cutting at the ramp full speed. the goal is to avoid jumps like this.

jump 2

This was at regionals last year at Water's Edge Estates. I had the speed and direction to jump well into the 130's on that one, but I was on my heels and split my skis on the ramp. Future posts of jump pictures will look better, I hope.

That's all for now. I'm probably skiing at Eagle Lake this weekend with Clint and Rick, so I am anticipating some good shots. My goal is to get ski shots of everyone I ski with on this blog. That shouldn't be too difficult if I'm sitting in the boat with a camera.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Moments from...

a skiing deprivation induced delerium, the season started. April 1st, a nice round date to get back on the water. First, a little srping cleaning on the POS U of I Moomba, with muratic acid. That tingle tells you it's working. So does a full thickness chemical burn. Luckily we,managed to avoid any singeing flesh. I'm doing nursing clinicals in the burn unit, and I'll be damned if I have to spend water time in there.
As for the skiing itself, just some rusty trick skiing. I did not set the lake on fire. I was just happy to be out there, especially after a first day of spring like this:

happy spring

That snowstorm was a major buzzkiller. Happily, the snow soon melted, and the air grew (I can't ask for much better than) tolerable.

So now I'm back on the weekly, or biweekly, hell, tri-or-quad weekly if I can, trips to ski at waterhawks. Around my apartment ( also a POS, by a cozy POS nonetheless)There are a few other signs of ski season. A drysiut hanging over my balcony, for example:

dripping drysuit

The pond in the background is the same one as in the happy spring picture, only three weeks and 35 degrees later.

The surest sign, however, is my wheeled three-event bag:

wheeled 3-event bag

Call me crazy, but wet neoprene smells way better than those Xmas tree air fresheners.

Now I need to start bringing a camera to the lake.