High Points: A Bit Fit For Winter | AspenTimes.com

High Points: A Bit Fit For Winter

High Points
Paul E. Anna

I guess everyone is already in shape for skiing. I thought of this as we got the first couple inches of November snow this week.

It used to be that getting in shape for ski season was a thing. All of the fitness places in town (this was before the age of Cross Fit) had pre-season six, even 10 week, programs that were set up either before dawn or after dark to get the worker bees and ski bums ready to roll for the upcoming Thanksgiving opening day. It was almost a ritual that you would sign up for a class that would meet two or three days a week and progress each week with core and quad reps until you were set for the first runs of the season. There was camaraderie to the ritual. People would be coming and going from their off-season vacations with Costa Rica or Mexican or Hawaiian tans and everybody was juiced for any snow that fell. It was a season before the season.

The ski magazines all had pages and pages of tips on how to get the muscles in shape for opening day. The current SKI Magazine (you remember when we used to get magazines, right?) has a two-page spread with six different exercises to help you “Get Fit to Rip.” The brief but dynamic program is designed by Chris Miller, an ex-US Ski Team strength and conditioning coach and includes Skater hops and weighted Squats that it suggests undertaking thrice weekly. It is nicely shot, and I am sure that if you actually do the deeds you will be ready-er to rip, but it almost feels obligatory.

Maybe with the way we live our active lives these days we really don’t need to change our routines to specialty exercises to get ready to ski. Maybe the whole process of life is just moving from ski season to biking season and back again with our gym workouts as extra fodder to keep us in peak shape all the time. Perhaps kettlebells are the only thing we need to be strong and supple.

Maybe, but not for me. As I watched the first flakes of November fall on a meager inch or two of snow that covered my deck, I had a moment of panic as I clenched my core. Sure I’m looking forward to skiing and I am in decent shape, but I felt like I should have been in week 3 or 4 of a regular routine. That if I want to make my early season turns painless I need to get a little more strengthening and a lot more stretching in before first tracks. I guess I’ll give it a go.

After all I still have just under two weeks before we open. Pray for snow.

Oh, and the best thing in that aforementioned SKI magazine was a photo shot by Jeremy Swanson of the prayer flags (and Broncos flag) atop Highland Peak with Pyramid looming large just behind it. It’s a shot that will get you in the mood fer sure.

Now get out there and do your reps.


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