Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anna Segal: Lessons From Boot Camp

I came for a week, but am staying for three. I have an emotional love/hate relationship with water ramping. You get dressed up in your wetsuit, socks, ski boots, life vest and helmet- a most kooky outfit. Then climb 82 stairs to the top, click into your skis, slide down the plastic, jump, swim and do it all over again. After a morning and afternoon session of this, day in, day out, things get monotonous. Often the improvements that are made on each jump are so small that I can hardly tell. Half the time I’m thinking “why the F*@$ am I doing this?” However, I’m a big believer in the idea that hard work pays off.

Utah Olympic Park
 I’m here in Utah crashing at the Australian Aerial team house and working with Britt Cox and her Coach Jerry Grossi, from the Australian mogul team. These girls (and one guy) all work like trojans and I quickly had to switch on intense work mode to keep up.
The aerialist and mogul skiers’ approach to jumping is a lot different to freeskiing. It is far more calculated and focused on detail. Especially their emphasis on the perfect take-off. This is where I’ve been struggling. My take-offs are, as Jerry puts it, home-grown (i.e. amateur). I came here expecting to learn a bunch of new and exciting tricks. Instead, I’ve had my take-off torn to shreds and been brought back to earth.
This is the hate part of water ramping. The feeling that I’m not achieving what I set out to do. The feeling that I’m not learning fast enough, not talented enough. Staying positive has been a challenge. Self doubt and frustration creep in whenever I let my guard down.

Then there’s the love part. Well… I’ve got myself a sweet tan! And I keep telling myself that all the stair laps are getting my butt in great shape… But aside from such vain considerations, I do know that taking steps back (a little blow to my ego), then working on perfecting my baby-steps forward, are the best thing I can do for my skiing right now.
This all starts with drills…. drills, drills, drills. 180s, 360s and back drops. Over and over. At first I hated this new type of military style trampolining. Now I’m actually starting to enjoy it.

After an hour of tramp, it’s into the pool. Jumping with Britt and the aerial girls has taught me a thing or two about focus and self restraint. They seem to never get mad! If I miss my trick a few times in a row or feel that I’m not improving, I blow up. These girls keep it cool and I think because of this, are able put their energy towards being productive.
Britt always smiling vs me trying not to get mad
Even if I don’t leave here with a wish list of new tricks in the bag, I’m coming to realise that I will be leaving with skills far more important. Not just an improved take-off, but a new outlook on learning, patience and hopefully a better ability to stay positive. 

No comments:

Post a Comment