Time for my pre-ski tuneup | AspenTimes.com

Time for my pre-ski tuneup

Janet Urquhart

It’s a good thing my lowly, $649 one-day pass won’t get me on the slopes tomorrow. I have yet to begin my pre-ski conditioning routine in earnest.This usually consists of keeping a pair of tennis shoes in the freezer and pulling them out to wear around the house at night while I wrap my fingers around a couple of frozen water bottles. Throw in a couple of deep-knee bends and I should be good to go by Thanksgiving, when my lowly, $649 one-day pass is actually valid.Having taken part just once in one of the much-ballyhooed ski-conditioning classes that pop up in gyms around the valley each fall, much like biceps midway through a concentration curl, I’ve pretty much become a firm believer in skipping the whole routine.Here’s the thing: If skiing was a hard as ski conditioning, no one would do it. Ski, I mean.That’s why I’m at a loss to explain how I got suckered into trying a simple, six-exercise routine mapped out in one of those glossy ski mags. Twenty minutes a day was supposed to have me whipped into pistons-for-legs/bullet-proof-abs shape without ever leaving the comfort of my home. Well, it whipped me all right.I nearly strained something trying to get into position for just one exercise – some “core-strengthening” crap that involves laying down on the floor on your side and lifting your rigid body up onto one forearm so all your weight is on your arm and the side of your foot. Then, you’re supposed to lift the top leg straight up some number of times, turn over and repeat the whole thing.I counted to 20 without doing the leg lift part and collapsed on the floor. This is exactly what I mean. I don’t remember once having to strike any such pose during the act of skiing.If I really wanted to prepare for ski season, I’d spend the weeks leading up to opening day – Thanksgiving Day for the holders of the lowly, $649 one-day pass – lifting my skis up and down in one hand to tune up my arm for hoisting them into the ski rack on the bus. This is what separates the men from the boys, or the feebs from the fit, if you will. There’s nothing more pathetic than watching the dweebs dropping ski poles everywhere and resorting to a two-handed thrust of desperation to get their skis up to rack level, only to discover their fatter-than-Texas tails of the skis won’t fit into the slot anyway. Then they have to start over, taking up two slots instead of one – a slot for each ski. And what about walking in ski boots? Wouldn’t conditioning class be far more productive if, instead of lunging back and forth across a gym floor with little dumbbells in each hand, the participants all marched around practicing the awkward heel-toe clomp that is walking in hard plastic boots? Ideally, this exercise should take place on an ice rink.Participants should carry a pair of skis over their shoulder while they’re at it, and the conditioning routine should include surprise squats to avoid getting clobbered by the skis dangling off the shoulders of the self-absorbed dude ahead of you, unless of course, you’re the oblivious twit knocking the unsuspecting unconscious.Yep, it’s a good thing my lowly, $649 one-day ski pass won’t get my up on the slopes tomorrow. I’m not ready.Janet Urquhart knows when she’s not wanted, but tell her anyway at janet@aspentimes.comThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.