September is a funny month. It gets darker earlier, leaves start changing colours, and here is less and less produce available at the local farmer’s market. The funny part is the divide: Those of us for whom this elicits excitement about the snow that will soon follow; and those of you who are depressed about it.
If you’re in the depressed category, my condolences. It’s going to be a (hopefully) long and snowy winter, and it’s going to suck without having an awesome way to enjoy it. If you’re hoping this not-the-most-sincere-condolence is followed by some great advice on how to cope, well, sorry again. Take up skiing?
Now for the rest of us. Woohoo! Okay, so who’s buying new gear this year? Boots? Jacket? Skis? Have you picked it out yet? What about ski trip plans? West? Europe? I hear skiing in Japan is amazing! I’m in the market for skis and cannot wait to get them. Thinking about the Salomon X Race, although I’m torn. They rip on the hard stuff, but they’re not exactly dainty in the bumps, although they manage.
Now that I’ve got you excited about skiing and gear talk, I’m going to go for a little bait and switch here. (cue wa waaahhh sound). Any plans to prep your body for ski season? You have to admit that it’s a bit odd that we spend so much time and money researching and buying new gear, but many of us barely put a moments thought or effort into prepping the one piece of equipment that we don’t have the luxury of replacing. It’s true we can replace some of the parts, but unlike skis, the 2018 model of a hip or knee joint is nowhere near as good as the one that came with your body. Or I should say – nowhere near as good as it was when it still worked well. Joint replacements, and surgeries can work wonders for worn out joints. But what if we put some time and effort into joint maintenance before throwing them to the steeps, the deeps, the ice, and the bumps?
Most of us would never think of starting our first day on an un-tuned ski, but we’ll go with an un-tuned body. And the craziest thing about that is that a tuned body can enhance our ability to enjoy skiing much more than a new ski will. Okay, if your skis are really old, maybe equally so.
Seriously snow-lovers: add body tune-up to your pre-season plan. The morning after your first day on snow, you’ll be happy you did.
Wondering what you need to work on? Check out this clip from a presentation I gave at the Ottawa Ski Show:
If you live in Ottawa and you’re looking for an option to get you fit for skiing, consider coming and training with us at Custom Strength. In the wise words of Warren Miller, “If you don’t start now, you’ll be a year older when you do.” Admittedly that sounds cooler when talking about amazing ski destinations, but enjoying the first day on snow without your quads feeling like lumps of cement is pretty cool.
For those of you who live elsewhere, join a gym, and either find a great trainer or consider picking up my ski fitness program:
Fitness for Skiers: 12 Week Ski-Specific Training Program
Now back to the fun stuff. Let’s hear what you’re buying, and of course, feel free to share your favourite ski porn in the comments section. Here’s my perennial favourite:
Elsbeth Vaino is a personal trainer and former ski instructor who is eagerly waiting for ski season to start.