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The Running Doctor/Skiing with a positive thought

Updated 1:35 pm, Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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There is a sense of well-being that is provided by skiing.

We must learn to be much more relaxed and uninhibited on skis. As a result, one will not only learn the sport much faster, but will also have more fun in the process.

A skier must be aware of the terrain that he is on and of the other skiers on the slope. Every turn will be different according to the nature of the hill. When a skier selects a specific path downhill, he moves his torso, legs and skis in that direction.

It is important to be balanced on your skis and when you execute a turn, you unweight your balance to the downhill ski. This unweighting of balance from one ski to another allows the skier to turn with less effort and maintain his upper body squarely downhill.

Remember, all techniques should be done with a positive thought, without worrying how you look while executing them. Think of skiing as a fun exercise and it will show in your performance.

Many skiers equate falling with failure and try to avoid any type of fall. Instead, one should accept falling as a part of skiing. Try to examine what you did to bring about the fall and try to eliminate the problem by practice. Experience is our greatest teacher. She sometimes hurts, but we learn from her.

Skiing the steep slopes presents many challenges, even for the most accomplished skiers. Sitting back and leaning into the hill makes turning very difficult. To remedy this problem, try reaching further down the hill for your pole plants. In addition, this technique will also place the weight squarely over the downhill ski while increasing the ski's edge angle. This will advance your ability to a solid platform from which to step, hop or pivot into the next turn.

At this point, your upper body is in an anticipated position, automatically creating a turn even before the turn begins. This makes the skis move properly into position. If this continues to be a problem, there is a possibility there may be foot biomechanical imbalances. This creates an ineffective and inefficient position, making it difficult to gain proper control to execute the form for a good cutting edge.

Corrective and custom-made inserts have helped many skiers to improve balance and efficiency in their skiing with an improved cutting edge.

Dr. Robert Weiss lives in Westport and has a sports-podiatry practice in Darien. He is a former marathon runner and was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and the 1988 Olympic Trials.

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