Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Feel the burn!

I think everyone who skis has felt the agony of quad burn, at one time or another.

Mostly, it seems to be caused to skiing too much in the backseat instead of leaning forward, the way you're supposed to.

So what can you do about it?

First, work on your form. Keep your arms out in front, make sure you can feel your shins pressing lightly against the tongues of your boots, and look DOWN the mountain, instead of across.

And second, strengthen those quads. Squats, lunges, step exercises, weights -- all these are good. Plus build up your core strength. That'll help keep you centered over your skis and give you a quieter upper body, so you won't sit back as much.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Got cold feet?

I don't mean the kind you get when you're nervous and change your mind. I mean actual cold feet -- the kind you get when the temperature's below zero.

Here are some tips that might help keep your toes toasty:

  • Make sure your boots fit. If they're too tight, they could be cutting off circulation. And that can make your feet cold.

  • Use thinner sox. That's right. Seems counter-intuitive, but thick sox can 1) cramp your feet and cut off your circulation, or 2) make your feet sweat, which will cool them right down.

  • Spray your feet with anti-perspirant. No kidding. Because dry feet are warmer feet. (Plus they won't stink!)

  • Keep your core warm. The warmer your core, the better your blood can circulate to your extremities, where it can do the most good.

  • Use toe warmers. The little self-adhesive kind that stick to the top of your foot, inside your boot.

  • Look into neoprene boot covers. These can go a long way in keeping out cold air, so your feet stay toasty.

  • Remember, warm feet are happy feet! And happy feet love to ski!

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    It's Finn-bruary 20th....

    and that means it's the date that that much anticipated novel, Finn, hits the shelves in bookstores everywhere.

    Finn was written by my husband, Jon Clinch, and it's been receiving glowing reviews from major media outlets: Newsweek, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, Playboy, GQ, Men's Health, & The San Francisco Chronicle. And the list is growing longer every day.

    Finn is the dark story of Huckleberry Finn's father. It's about racism, madness, alcoholism, slavery, dysfunctional relationships. love, murder, greed, & disillusionment. And I must say, it's beautifully written (really). Picture Cormac McCarthy meets William Faulkner. What's more, you don't need to have read Huckleberry Finn to enjoy it. It stands all by itself.

    So get off the slopes and hit the bookstore. You're going to love it.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Keep your (under)shirt on.

    Ever see one of these on a lift ride to the top -- a tree with bras and panties dangling from its branches?

    I guess skiers throw them on during the lift ride up. What do people do -- bring underwear along especially to toss? Or do they disrobe on the lift? (That'd be pretty chilly, I bet. And provide quite a show!)

    I'm no prude, but to me, it's just visual pollution. I don't like it for the same reason I don't like seeing billboards when I ski. Or garbage on the trail. It's messy. Looks like someone dumped out their dresser drawer. Quite simply, it takes away from the beauty of the natural environment.

    I heard about a ski area whose solution was to cut its "bra tree" down. Which I think is pretty extreme. I mean, what's to prevent people from throwing underwear onto another tree? Do you cut down a tree every time this happens? Think of where that might lead! And does it make sense to punish a tree for the careless action of someone on the lift?

    So readers, please try to restrain yourself. Keep your underwear on, where it belongs. The trees will thank you. And so will I.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Skiing Solo.

    One of the most common complaints I hear from women skiers is that they lack someone to ski with. It's a big reason why many women stop skiing. Their spouses/significant others/friends don't ski. And they don't want to go alone.

    Personally, I don't mind skiing by myself. It lets me do the things I want to do, without worrying about anyone else. I enjoy the peace and serenity of being alone with the mountain. And if I want companionship, there's always the lift ride up -- a great way to meet interesting new people.

    If you do ski alone, however, take some precautions. Let someone know that you've gone skiing, where you've gone, and when you expect to be back. Bring your cell phone along, in case you run into trouble. Someone on TheSkiDiva.com also recommended bringing a whistle, which is a great idea for getting attention if you need help and no one's in the immediate area.

    Of course, if you don't want to ski alone, there are alternatives. Join a ski club or a racing league. Or register on TheSkiDiva.com. You might find a skiing buddy or two there!

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Are you competitive?

    Seems like I hear a lot about how men skiers are far more competitive than women. But I'm not sure that's true.

    Look at the many terrific women skiers out there: Julia Mancuso, Kit DesLaurier, Wendy Fisher, Kim Reichhelm, Picabo Steet, to name a few. They didn't get to the top of the heap by not having that competitive drive.

    Okay, you say. These women are the exception. Competition is their job.

    True. And though I'm not competitive with other skiers, I can't say I'm not competitive, because I am -- with myself. I constantly challenge myself to get better; to improve my technique and do better than I did in the past. I also can't say I don't get pleasure from out-skiing someone who talks bigger than he skis (note I say "he," because in my experience, it's usually men who are the big talkers).

    Where competition gets a bad rap, I think, is when it gets out of control -- when you put yourself and your goals ahead of anyone else, no matter what the cost. For example, if someone got hurt on a race course and you were glad because it made you win. I think that's a good example of competition gone bad.

    Still, a little competition is good for you. It forces you to push yourself just a little bit more than you ordinarily would. And there's nothing wrong with that. There are a number of women who post on TheSkiDiva.com who are involved in NASTAR racing. It's fun for them, and I'm sure it does wonders for their skiing. Who knows -- maybe one of these days I'll give it a try!

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    BRRRRRRRRRR!!!

    I hate to miss a day of skiing. But occasionally, when it gets really, really cold, I'll sit one out.

    Like yesterday. The high temperature only reached 7 degrees, but the wind chill made it feel like minus 25.

    I have lots of warm clothing. Technical wear. Toe and hand warmers. Loads and loads of long underwear. And with the late start the season had here in New England, it seems almost blasphemous to complain about the cold. And a sin to miss any opportunity to ski.

    Still, if it ain't fun, why do it? And with temperatures as cold as they are, it sure ain't fun for me.

    I know my limits.

    What about you?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    O Say Can You See?

    Sometimes you can't. When it's foggy, or when it's snowing really hard, sometimes visibility can be less than ideal.

    Needless to say, this isn't safe or fun, and should be avoided at all costs.

    So what do you do?

  • Wear goggles with a high contrast lens. Amber or orange lenses are best. These can make a big difference in what you see and in providing some definition to the trail.

  • Consider going in. If you're not comfortable out there, go inside the lodge. There's no shame in packing it in when conditions are bad. Hey, if it ain't fun, why do it?

  • Stick to trails you're comfortable with. Better yet, stick to trails you know. Not a good idea to try that double black when you can't see what's ahead.

  • Be aware of skiers around you. Give them some personal space. They'll appreciate it.

  • Keep your speed under control. If you can't see well, you really need to give yourself plenty of time to react to conditions around you. So slow down.

  • Stick to the edge of the trail. The trees will help provide some definition to the trail. At least you'll be able to tell when it's turning and when it's headed straight ahead.

  • The best advice I have? Stay safe so you can ski another day!

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.