This season, I got a monoski by a grant from GoHawkeye Foundation. My dream is to become a top monoski athlete with this monoski, so in this season I can now to accomplish my dream. I made a goal for this season, “participating in an adaptive alpine race”. It’s because by participating in the race, I wanted to find my current ski level by comparing it to other athletes. I decided to participate in a race, US / Canada National Cup in Mammoth mountain, CA on March 26-30. It’s the last race of the season in the US tournament. My mono-ski was delivered on December 3rd, so there were only about four months to improve my ski skills. In addition, I live and work in Los Angeles which is not a snowy area, so it’s difficult to have enough ski race training. In order to compensate for less ski training, I devised it to improve my ski skills efficiently. Then, I could learn a lot through race experience. However, I got injured shoulders and head during a training. I have to be more careful and rethink how to prevent such injuries. As a summary of this season, I would like to report on my training, experience gained in the ski race, and the injuries during the training.
First of all, I’d like to write how I did ski training in this 17/18 season. I focused on only two things, such as feeling my body movements during ski and performing the same movements as the image in my mind. For that, I turned a lot and tried feeing during turns. I fell down many times when I was skiing and my body got hurts. My 8-year-old son pulled me up a when I fell down. He followed me all the time during ski, so I could ski with no worries. Then, I always recorded my ski on video to check. In the first month, my ski video showed that I didn’t perform the same movement as the image in my mind, so I was really shocked. I tried to adjust the body movements but it didn’t work very well. However, I got hints in basic ski drills to to solve this problem. I had a few chances to learn very basic ski drills from top adaptive monoskiers. I felt those basic drills are boring at first, but I found right posture and balance were very important. Interestingly enough, I felt so comfortable and my ski was so stable after the basic drills. After learning basic drills, I could perform the same movements as the image movements in my mind. In addition to do trainings on the snow, I row a boat three times a week to build core muscles which are important for adaptive monoskiers. After work, I usually row 3 miles within one hour. It is very hard exercise, so I want to take the time to build up core muscles with rowing.
On the other hand, I got injured in a free ski training. I got concussion and hurt my shoulders by hitting a tree. Fortunately, there was no problem in the brain, but I couldn’t move my shoulders very well. As a result, it was very stressful because I always had pain in my shoulders and difficult to keep a balance in ski. After this accident, I did enough basic ski drills in a training to improve my ski control skills. In addition to avoid such injuries and accidents, I paid attention to my surroundings, reduced ski speed and avoided full braking and curbing. I know it’s difficult to avoid injury in sports, but I want to be an athlete who pay enough attention to avoid accidents and injuries.
Finally, I want to write about my first race. I participated in US / Canada National Cup in Mammoth mountain, CA on March 26-30. I found that it was very hard to warm-up and keep body warm during the race. In the race, I could not have an enough time to warm-up, then I felt it was very difficult to rev up my body and keep full of motivation for the. For example, the race starts at 10 am. From 9am, there is a one hour of inspection in which we can see and check the race course such as snow condition, gate location, slope condition, etc. Since chair lifts open at 8:30 am, it is necessary to warm-up and rev up my body in just 30 minutes, from 8: 30-9: 00am. Besides, I had to wait a long time at the top of a cold mountain until my race. Meanwhile, it was very difficult to be on the top condition physically and mentally. In order to warm-up quickly, I thought that I had to think about countermeasures for cold weather such as getting up quite early to stretch muscles, taking a hot shower, etc. I thought that Rev-up body and mental quick was also very important to be a good athlete. Then, I tried to perform all my ski skills in my race, but it was very difficult because, first, I had no experience to do such sharp turns with fast speed on such a steep slope. I did turn and clear gates before in practices, but they were easier than this race. During warm-up before the race, I fell down a few times then got hurts on shoulders. Then I fell down a lot in the inspection also. As a result, there were a few scratches on my face before the race. I participated in 4 races, and one race could be finished but the others could not be finished. I found that my current ski skill was the minimum level to participate in the race. By the way I could talk to other athletes during the race and asked how they do ski training. Most of the athletes belong to an adaptive alpine ski team and they do ski training a few hours almost every day. After I heard their ski training, I realized that my training was not enough, so I think it’s necessary for me to be a member of an adaptive ski team to improve my race skills. In this way, by participating in the race, I could know my current ski level and other athletes’ ski training. I said my skill was the minimum level to participate in a race, but in other words my ski skills achieved to that level within a few months, so I think my ski training and racing in this season were in a great success.
In short, I want to summarize this season. I could concentrate on ski training and achieve my ski levels to the next level. After the first race, I was eager to improve my ski skills and be a good athlete. I felt that I can put a strong passion on ski racing. Next season I will be in Alpine Race ski team to improve ski skills. Finally, I would like to say thanks personally to supporters, such as volunteers of Disable Sport USA, Orange County chapter, my family, friends and GoHowkeye foundation. I want to do my best in all days to accomplish my dream. I hope I will report the progress of my ski skill again.