Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A pain in the A__.

Yep, early last season I suffered pain in my, shall we say, derriere region. Otherwise known as my glutes.

Which I thought seemed rather odd, especially with all the working out I do. Just goes to show there's always something.

A fitness trainer I know suggested the following exercise to strengthen the area, before I started skiing this year:

Bent-leg raise
On hands and knees, lift one leg up, knee at a 90-degree angle throughout the movement. Keep lifting until the bottom of the foot faces the ceiling and the hip, thigh and knee are all in alignment and parallel to the floor. Don't arch the back and keep the neck straight. Lower back down and repeat for all reps before switching sides. Add ankle weights for more intensity or hold a light dumbbell behind the knee. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps according to your fitness level.

And here's a great stretch for apres ski (just don't do this on the floor of the lodge! Yuk!!):

Lie on floor or mat. Bend knees with feet on floor. Cross lower leg over thigh of other leg. Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands. Pull leg toward torso. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite leg.

After all, why should skiing be a pain in the A__?

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

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A learning experience.

There's always something new to learn in skiing. And this coming season, there're some great women's clinics that can help you learn it.

Here are a few you might want to check out:

Jackson Hole Women's Clinic
Just for Women at Squaw Valley
Vail Her Turns
Okemo Women's Alpine Adventures
SheSkis Women's Testing Clinic
LunaChix of NASTC

Didi Lawrence's Women's Master Extreme Camp: For information, email Didi at

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

Friday, October 19, 2007

Get ready!

Ski season has already begun at A-Basin and Loveland. And before you know it, it'll be starting where you ski, too.

So are you ready for the season?

Here are a few things you might want to take care of, so you'll be ready on Opening Day:

  • Make sure to have your skis tuned: And your bindings checked. After all, safety first!

  • Wax 'em if you got 'em: Your skis are thirsty after a long season's rest. So give 'em the wax they need. They'll thank you and you'll have a lot more fun.

  • Precondition now! If you haven't been working out, it's not too late to start. Otherwise you run the risk of being in a lot of pain your first day out (and maybe a day or two after, too)

  • Check out your wardrobe: Go through last year's stuff. Does it still fit? Do you need anything new? Better take care of that now, before you find out you're missing something when you want to go ski.

  • Get your season pass: There are still some good deals to be had. Check out your local hill.

  • Get a helmet: If you don't have one, make it a priority. Helmet hair is a small price to pay for a potentially serious injury.

  • Register at, the internet discussion forum for women who ski, for some great talk about all things ski-related.
  • Sunday, October 14, 2007

    The Foundation of a Great Skier.

    What makes a good skier great?

    When they go above and beyond. When they see skiing as more than a sport, but as a way to help people, too.

    Which is why today's post is about Kelly Brush of Charlotte, VT - a truly amazing young woman.

    A skier since the age of seven, Kelly worked her way up the national rankings - particularly in the fast speed events of Downhill and Suger G - and qualified to race in the US National Championships during her junior and senior year of high school. She then went on to Middlebury College (VT), where she became a valuable member of the ski team.

    But on February 18, 2006, Kelly's world changed forever. While competing in the Giant Slalom, Kelly had an accident that seriously injured her spinal cord, paralyzing her from the chest down.

    Did this stop her? Not by a long shot. Since her accident, Kelly has not only started skiing again, but has established the Kelly Brush Foundation. Its mission:

  • To promote safety in ski racing;

  • To further spinal cord injury (SCI) research;

  • To purchase adaptive sports equipment for individuals with SCI;

  • To support the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

  • Kelly spoke with me from the campus of Middlebury College, where she's currently in her senior year.

    Q. How did you decide to start your foundation?
    A. After my accident I was in rehab in Colorado for two months. And during this time I decided I wanted to do something to make ski racing safer, so that what happened to me wouldn't happen to anyone else. The other goals came along with it.

    Q. What's the scope of the Foundation's activites?
    A. We're mostly working on fundraising. Last season we bought back protectors for the Middlebury Ski Team, and we also donated to the Green Mountain Valley School (this was high school I attended), the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club, and the Vermont Alpine Racing Assocation -- all to improve skier safety. Our last donation was to the Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, for research in the area of spinal cord injuries. This was the rehab hospital I was in after I got hurt.

    Q. What type of fundraising activities does the Foundation do?
    A. This past September we held our second Century Bike Ride. About 200 riders took part. This is something we want to do every year. We plan to use the money we raised to help buy fencing for mountains who request it to make their trails safer.

    Q. Are you involved in skiing again?
    A. I am. Last November I went out to Vail over Thanksgiving break and took four days of lessons on adaptive equipment. Surprisingly enough, the techniques I used in conventional skiing did not help at all. Some of the things are the same -- feeling the snow, for example -- but it's really completely different. I had to learn all over again. But aside from those lessons, I'm pretty much self taught.

    Q. How was it to be back on the snow?
    A. Fine. After I got hurt, I was never in the mind set that I didn't want to ski again. Obviously, I'm more aware of safety. But I was never nervous or scared.

    Q. What other activities are you involved in?
    A. I have a hand cycle so I can bike. I rode 25 miles in the Century Bike Ride in September. And I have an adaptive golf cart that stands me up so I can play golf.

    Q. What's your major in school? Any plans for after graduation?
    A. I'm majoring in Film and Media. And no, I don't know what I'm going to do yet (she laughs.)

    For more information about The Kelly Brush Foundation or to make a contribution, go here.

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

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    I'm very proud.

    WARNING*****This has nothing to do with skiiing*****WARNING

    Can't help myself, though. You see, my husband's book, Finn, has been shortlisted for the John Sargent, Sr., First Novel Prize, which honors the best first novel of 2007.

    The Sargent Prize was created by the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction as part of its mission to promote the art of fiction in the United States. Marisha Pessl won last year for Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

    This is not a first book award; it's a first novel award. So some of the other nominees are some pretty heavy literary hitters.

    Here's the complete list of nominees:

    Finn by Jon Clinch (Random House)
    Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon (HarperCollins)
    The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander (Alfred A. Knopf)
    Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (Pantheon Books)
    Bearing the Body by Ehud Havazelet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Riverhead)

    The award will be presented in New York on October 29. And I know it sounds cliche, but just being nominated is an honor.

    Wish us luck!

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

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Mark your calendar....

    ...if you're interested in attending Jeannie Thoren events. She has "Ski Soirees" at select ski shops around the country where she talks about how women can improve their ski experience by understanding their equipment. (In the interest of full disclosure, Jeannie works with Dynastar/Lange.)

    Who's Jeannie Thoren, you ask? Take a look at my recent post about her and her Thoren Theory.

    Here's Jeannie's schedule for the next few months:

    5 Oct: Geiger's Lakewood, OH 216-521-1771
    7 Oct: Buckeye Sport Center Peninsulia, OH330- 929-3366
    9 Oct: Ski Company Mountain Sports Rochester, NY 585-292-0580
    11 Oct: Ski Company Mountain Sports Syracuse, NY 315-445-1890
    13 Oct: Ski Chalet Arlington, VA 703-521-1700
    16 Oct: Ski Haus Wilmington, MA 603-898-1722
    19 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Ft. Lauderdale, FL 954-484-3606
    22 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Tampa, FL 813-960-24536
    24 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Richmond, VA 804-527-2020
    26 Oct: Princeton Sports Columbia, MD 410-995-1895
    27 Oct: Princeton Sports Baltimore, MD 410-828-1127
    29 Oct: Outdoor Divas Boulder, CO 303-449-3482

    1 Nov: REI Denver, CO 303-756-3100
    6 Nov: REI Portland, OR 503-221-1938
    8 Nov: REI Seattle, WA 206-223-1944
    13 Nov: REI San Francisco, CA415 934 1938
    15 Nov: Bobo's Mogul Mouse Reno, NV 775-826-909
    17 Nov: Sierra Snowboard & Ski Sacramento, CA 916-344-1800
    27 Nov: Outdoor Divas Denver, CO 303-449-3482
    29 Nov: McU's Sports Boise, ID 208-336-2300

    1 Dec: Sturtevants Ketchum, ID 208-726-4501
    3 Dec: Berg's Eugene, OR 541-485-4065
    6 Dec: REI SaltLake City, UT 801-486-2100
    8 Dec: Gorsuch Vail, CO 970-476-229
    10 Dec: Gorsuch Aspen, CO 970-925-3203
    12 Dec: Christy Sports Location TBD
    14 Dec: Christy Sports Location TBD

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