Ski season is rapidly approaching, and while there’s no shortage of fitness classes and online workout plans devoted to getting you in the “best ski shape of your life,” a life of skiing is so much more than the physical act. It is also necessary to develop the personal, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills to become a well-rounded skier. The Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Skier will take you on a seven-week spiritual journey as you develop the habits necessary to be best aprés-skier you can be!Habit 1: Be Pro-Active
Habit 2: Begin With The End of The Season In Mind
Habit 3: Priorities - Putting First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win and Make Friends
Habit 5: Communication - Understand First, Then Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize?
Habit 7: Sharpen The Skis
Habit 2: Begin With the End of the Season In Mind
Winter is on it’s way. Don’t believe me? Just this weekend, snow made it’s triumphant return to the Wasatch. From flurries in Salt Lake, to the foot of snow at upper elevations, the first major snowfall served as a powerful reminder that winter will be here soon enough. I even managed to eke out my first three days on skis of the 2017-18 season. The video below should motivate you to start making preparations necessary to survive a full season on the slopes. Enter, Habit 2: Begin With End of the Season in Mind.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of ski movies, first snowfall, preseason turns, and completely forget to prepare for the long season ahead. Heading into the season rudderless, chasing the snow, and running on adrenaline can be a hazardous strategy. I’ve done it myself and have paid the price over the years. There will always be chance of an unrelated injury or medical condition, but our job is to prepare for what we can control. Minimize unnecessary risks, maximize athleticism, and formulate a game plan to stay healthy for a full season. After skiing 153 days last season, I learned first-hand the importance of staying healthy and being able to ski tomorrow.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail - Benjamin Franklin
While off-season activities can be a ton of fun, it’s not as fun as skiing. Now is the time to back off any unnecessary risks that could put your upcoming season in jeopardy. You’ve survived a summer of climbing, hiking and mountain biking with only a few hard spills. No need to push the envelope. Put down the GoPro and photograph some fall foliage. Now’s the time to admire the changing seasons, not stacking bangers for season edits.
With the new snow, it’s easy to get too excited and get out on the barely-covered-slopes to do some ski acting. Preseason turns are fun, but don’t be reckless. Don’t throw away a season by breaking a kneecap on a tree stump in November. The extra likes you get on a preseason pow photo don’t actually count towards your max-out-of-pocket for knee surgery. Don't be like this guy
, or these idiots:
It’s also tempting to get out there and get sendy before the snow depth really allows it. Don’t be afraid to back down from an early-season cliff drop. Besides, the 20-footer in December will only look like a 10-footer in a month anyway.
Get In the Best Shape of Your Life
This is the hard part. Getting in shape is not easy. And as much hiking and biking as you have been doing this summer, the muscle groups aren’t exactly the same and I guarantee you’ll still be sucking wind and skiing on tired legs your first few days on the slopes. Make a plan to get to the gym and stick to it. Here are some of the best workouts for skiers:
- Do some yoga
- Builds strength and flexibility
- It will also come in handy for photos of cool poses on mountain tops.
- Ski conditioning classes
- Almost as fun as skiing
- Great way to work on GoPro and photo game before ski season
- Hiking/Trail Running
- One of the best ways to improve cardio and similar muscles to hiking and skiing
- Trail running is super popular right now = more likes = more followers = acceptance = immortality
- If conditions permit, the best way to train for skiing is to get out there and ski
- Go for a hike, or throw on skins and go for a mellow tour.
Create a Mission Statement and a Motivational Hashtag
This may not be common practice for the average skier, but the second Habit of Highly Successful Skiers
focuses heavily on the concept of creating your own Mission Statement for the upcoming ski season. Take some time, maybe meditate a little. What do you want to accomplish? What are your season goals? What does skiing bring to your life? Why do we ski? Why is life?
Once you’ve answered all of these simple questions, create your own Mission Statement that you can reflect on daily. Researching ex-girlfriend’s recent posts on Instagram is a great place to start! (Having trouble coming up with your own? Try this Mission Statement Generato
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, so be wild, dive in head first, live free of regrets and inspire others to join your tribe for the journey and not the destination!
Now take your freshly-coined Mission Statement and boil that down to a catchy new hashtag for your social media game this season. Tag this #MissionStatement below every of your posts this season. Make it inspirational, make it clever, but, most of all, make it your own. Your #MissionStatement is what defines you as a skier. Create some continuity, build your brand, it's what Highly Effective Skiers do best — that and #GoBigGetBabes of course.
With less than two months from the start of the season, it’s time to get serious. Ease off the summer sports accelerator, avoid those preseason injuries, sign up for some workout classes, and set a Mission Statement for the season. With a little bit of preparation, you could be one Habit closer to having the best season of your life.