me skiingThis is Rick Boucher's website and does NOT cover the depth or breath of his life or activities. It was, more or less, a resume and portfolio of some of his works along with some occasional blog posts. Now lots have changed.

Rick interned as a technical editor, got a job a desktop publisher in a composition department of a government organization, and then became a "professional" desktop publisher for a 200-plus page, full-color monthly trade journal. When the World Wide Web became an application on the Internet he started a grassroots website for the company he worked for knowing the Web would change everything. Eventually he was head-hunted and worked for the big company managing websites, and doing internet/web consulting. But now he's retired. He did that stuff.

Common threads in Rick's endeavors are information publishing, website creation, management, cycling and skiing. Some say he missed his calling to be an educator. He says sharing his passion for and pursuing higher levels of snowsports education and training.

Big Clinic Today

January 18, 2009
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I led a clinic today with about a dozen other instructors. The focus was on the PSIA milestone called basic parallel turn. Just in case you don’t know the milestones, they are wedge, wedge cristi, basic parallel turn, and dynamic paralell turn. It was very obvious to me that we can focus on a specific…

Lots of Lessons

January 18, 2009
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Mostly I’ve been getting private lessons this year. I’m almost up to 25 hours worth of request privates. After 25 hours I’ll get a significant pay increase. Most of my request privates are coming from relationships that I’ve developed in past years. People from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and lots of locals are requesting me. They’re…

Tiger Sharks

January 18, 2009
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Sorry I’ve been so busy teaching and skiing that it is hard to find time to sit and blog. Monarch has been great this year. The snow is awesome, from powder to beautiful packed powder bumps. It’s all good. I got some new skis that I really couldn’t afford. But hey, the ski shop, Mountain…

Mike Doyle Interview with Ray Allard, President and Chairman of the Board of the PSIA

December 23, 2008
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Ran across this article about PSIA today. It describes PSIA really well. Here is just one of the questions from the interview: “Do instructors have to spend a certain amount of time in each classification level before advancing?” “Yes, there are certain requirements involving time between levels and number of hours taught, although very few…

Matt Returns From Last Year

December 23, 2008
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Matt and his family took a Family Private from me last year. They’re from Texas and the elevation really took its toll on Matt and he had to bow out of the lesson early. Matt’s wife Jennifer, two sons, Parker and Madison, and daughter Abby all went on to become pretty good skiers able to…

Came Down With a Cold But Couldn't Stop

December 21, 2008
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Man, for about the past week I’ve been fighting a wicked cold and fevor. I think I just wore myself out during the first week or so of skiing and lowered my resistance. Today I’m feeling much better. It’s really hard to teach skiing when your head is all clogged up and your nose is…

Laura's Breakthrough

December 21, 2008
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I’ve had Laura for a student for years. She’s been in the Mountaineers program and I’ve had private lessons with her a number of times. One of the things that I was always trying to do was get her to flex her ankles. When I first met her a few years ago she had rear…

Promised to Post Pictures

December 13, 2008
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I intend to write more about these two lessons, but for now I’m just posting a couple of pictures and first names. I’ll add more to this entry later. Right now I’ve got to get ready for work. These guys are from Salida Middle School: Evan, Garret, Cody, Christian, Luke, Issac. They are 7th and…

Blogging During Ski Season

December 13, 2008
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This is going to be tough. Blogging during the ski season is going to require discipline. I’ve been having a great time at Monarch, skiing and teaching. My body is starting to get used to the routine of getting up early each day to catch the employee bus up to the mountain, getting ready for…

Old Monarch Map

December 9, 2008
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I just finished scanning in this old Monarch map. There’s no date on it, but my research suggests that it is probably from around 1963. The map mentions W.R. Berry as the ski area manager. From obituary information, I found, “BERRY, William Ray 1900 – 9 Jun 1964 (Marker; Cem. Rec: 13 Jun 1964, Sec. D,…

New Monarch Ski Guide

December 9, 2008
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Mark Waird has started a new site called Monarch Ski Guide: The Unofficial Guide to Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area.  He has some very interesting information, much of which is already found on the official Monarch website, but there is sort of an informal feel and other information such as a link to old area…

Article About Salida in NYTimes

December 9, 2008
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An article appeared in the December 5th issue of the New York Times about our town of Salida. Here’s a link to it www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/greathomesanddestinations/05havens.html. The title of the article is The Outdoors Life, With No Attitude. It mentions Monarch Mountain Ski Resort as one of the great things to do near Salida. People who come to Salida…

Requests Are Huge!!!!

December 8, 2008
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Requests are hugh for us as instructors. After a certain number of request private lesson hours we get a significant raise in pay. So when you come to Monarch and want to ski with me, no matter what your age,  please, please use the words “I request Rick please!” Or click Rick’s Contact Form in the Links…

Lilly!! First Private Lesson of the Season

December 8, 2008
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This is Lilly! This photo was taken by Image Makers. I pulled it offline from their website here. Lilly is becoming an awesome skier. Last year she was in the Mountaineers program. She thinks her instructor was either Brad or Susan. It was a pleasure skiing with her yesterday (Sunday).  She said her goal was…

First Lesson of the Season

December 8, 2008
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Monarch opened on Friday with an 18 inch base. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but the coverage was pretty good. All the green runs were open and two blue runs.  The were no crowds to speak of, mostly locals enjoying opening day. I had my first lesson of the year. I was proud…

Joined Another Site

December 3, 2008
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Joined yet another ski website. This is called SkiSensei. See it here. I’ll add it to my list of ski blog/websites. It’s a social networking site specifically for ski instructors. I’m hoping to maybe make some friends there. Perhaps they can come ski at Monarch and maybe I could get to ski in some other…

Movement Analysis Videos Via YouTube

December 3, 2008
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Here’s an intersting concept. You send a YouTube link to a ski instructor via his or her blog and they post it with analysis and tips for improvement. I found this idea in practice on a blog called Free Ski ‘YouTube’ Video Analysis. The blog is by an Austrian ski instuctor named Carl Owen. PSIA uses…

Ski Instructor Blogs

December 3, 2008
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I’m starting to run across more ski instructor blogs. I added a new one today in my sidebar called Canadian Ski Quest. The blogger’s name is Mark Impey. It looks like he is certified with CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructor’s Association). What is interesting to me is reading the perspective of a Canadian snowsports instructor. I…

Monarch PSIA-AASI Area Representative

November 29, 2008
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Earlier I mentioned that I volunteered to be the PSIA-AASI Area Rep. Well I’ve been asked to be the Rocky Mountain Division PSIA-AASI Area Representative at Monarch. My job is to aid our snowsports school in growing its membership in PSIA-AASI. In exchange they will waive the Rocky Mountain portion of my PSIA dues. The…

Ski Pro Connect

November 29, 2008
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There’s a new site that I was invited to participate in called Ski Pro Connect. The purpose of the site is to help people find snowsports instructors. It’s just getting started so there’s not very many instructors participating right now. They’re currently running an incentive program to encourage new instructors to sign-up on their site. The…

"Drive-To" Areas May See Benefit From Economy

November 24, 2008
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With economy the way it is, there was some discussion about the impact to Monarch. Will guests not be able to afford visiting our mountain? Well here’s an article that says that drive-to areas may actually benefit from more visitors that cannot afford trips to destination resorts. People will still want to ski and snowboard…

New Opening Day

November 22, 2008
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Since we only have natural snow at Monarch and there isn’t quite enough of it yet, opening day has been postponed until December 5th. It’s kinda what happened last year. Hopefully the jet stream starts dipping further south. I read in the news that Vail and Beaver Creek opened yesterday. Curious I looked for their…

Direct to Paralell or Wedge?

November 20, 2008
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One of the best reasons I’ve heard for teaching the wedge is that it is a blended maneuver, one that incorporates all the skills needed for skiing well. If a student learns direct to parallel, even if they are athletically gifted, they may not adequately develop rotary skills (for one) and thus actually hinder their progress…

Wedge or Pizza?

November 20, 2008
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Ha! I just saw a Wiki page on how to ski. Yesterday I mentioned that the European website I added to my list of links here called the wedge a “snowplow.” I’d forgotten that it is also sometimes known as the “pizza” like it is described in the Wiki article.  Of course it all depends…

Volunteered to be PSIA Representative

November 19, 2008
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The other day at the re-hire clinic the supervisors passed around a sheet asking those of us who would consider being Monarch’s PSIA representative to sign -up. Before I could even think about it, I raised my hand to volunteer. They still have not made a decision as far as I know. I see it…

New Website

November 19, 2008
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I was asked to place a link to a site here. The site is called TalkSkiing and can be found at http://www.talkskiing.co.uk/. The site’s focus: “The site is mostly aimed at helping the beginners and those who aren’t sure which skiing resort is for them. We are in the process of reviewing every major skiing resort…

08-09 Calendar

November 11, 2008
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Looks like I’m going to be working more than 90 days at Monarch again this year. We had to fill in our schedule at our recent employee re-hire meeting on Saturday. I basically tried to give myself two days off a week. During the middle of the season I switch to Thursdays and Fridays off…

Time for Orientation

November 8, 2008
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Monarch Ski and Ride School is holding it’s employee re-hire orientation today. It will be held up on the mountain in the “bubble.” It should be interesting to see who all shows up again this year. It should also be interesting to see new faces, or perhaps people that took a few years off and…

Signed Up!

October 27, 2008
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Turned in my paperwork for Monarch Mountain employment for the ’08-’09 season the other day. The deadline was something like November 1st. I applied for full-time, 90-days (probably means actually working more than 100 days). Monarch Ski and Ride School has 90, 70, 50, 30, 18, and 10 day commitments. The more committed you are…

Fundamentals

October 22, 2008
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Wondering how other instructors in the snowsports industry get ready for the next season. Do they look over all the materials they’ve gathered over the years? Review online materials from their respective associations (PSIA, AASI, etc.)? How many keep notes from the previous season? I once heard an  instructor say in a clinic that she…

Encouragement

October 17, 2008
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I received a comment on my last post about being sorry for not keeping up with this blog from Off-Piste. He tells me to keep trying and says it is good to hear what other instructors are doing. His words are encouraging to me. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. Actually one of the…

New Season Approaches

October 13, 2008
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I’m very much looking forward to the coming season. Many reasons. Perhaps I should post ’em here. Last year I got so busy that I didn’t post anything during the actual season. Very sorry. Should I try again?

Fulcrum Mechanism

December 9, 2007
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There were not very many lessons today, so there was plenty of time to ski and work on our own technique. Early in the day we worked on fore and aft balance, the need to adjust your balance from the front to the back in order to stay “on top” of your skis. In the…

My First Students of the Season

December 9, 2007
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The Mountaineers Program started yesterday. I’ve been assigned the advanced students. So far there are four youngsters in my class. All of them are back from last year. Two of them were with me before and the other two were with Brad. Parker, 13, and Jake, 12, were with me last year and Jack, 9,…

Working Now! So Much Snow!

December 9, 2007
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After 17 days of waiting past the scheduled opening date, Monarch opened yesterday. We went from zero percent open trails to enough snow for 100 percent open trails all at once. We got so much snow it was ridicules. I believe yesterday we were reporting over 60 inches at mid-mountain. That’s five feet! The level…

Should Be Working

November 25, 2007
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Well we still do not have enough snow to open. I’m kinda bumming. I should have been working since the day before Thanksgiving. Our ski school wants us to reschedule our days to add days later in the season, of course during busy times, to make up for the days we’re missing now. If we…

Ski Forum Filled with Great People and Links

November 15, 2007
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A heckler called out “Have you seen Epci Ski? They got Bob Barnes over there.” This was during my talk in front of about 100 Monarch instructors about the MyMonarchSpace (here I go mentioning MMS again). Needless to say that I had to check it out for myself. She was right, over at http://www.epicski.com/ there…

Activity at MyMonarchSpace

November 15, 2007
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At this moment there are over 170 people that have joined MMS. Personally I find it a little adicting. It may wear off, but right now I keep going back to check out how many new friends I have, looking at new postings in the discussion/forum areas, and looking at the new uploads that members…

The MyMonarchSpace Intro Talk

November 14, 2007
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The MyMonarchSpace seemed to be well received at the instructor re-hire orientation last Saturday. It looked like there were easily over a hundred instructors there. We sat through a bunch of policy and proceedure topics before it was my turn to talk about MMS. I started by asking how many people knew what an online…

Upcoming Posts

November 13, 2007
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Some things I’ve been thinking about posting. 1. How the MyMonarchSpace presentation went on Saturday.2. All the activity going on over at MyMonarchSpace.3. Other blogs/ski forums I’ve been learning about (EpicSki.com).4. Weems Westfault’s The Sports Diamond. (http://www.edgechange.com/)5. Two new websites I have been asked to work on: SnowMonsters and NextSnow. http://www.snowmonsters.com/ and http://www.nextsnow.com/.6. A few…

Handout for Re-Hire Orientation Meeting

November 9, 2007
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I’ll be talking tomorrow for 10-15 minutes about the MyMonarchSpace. I created a handout to use at the meeting today. It’s my feeling that the MMS can be used by instructors to help promote themselves and improve by participating in online discussions and forums. As I said in earlier posts the MMS is wide open…

Getting Ready for New Season(s)

November 8, 2007
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We have our re-hire employee orientation coming this Saturday. It’s where we are officially re-hired for the new season, we go over all the policies and procedures important to us in ski/snowboard school, and get our uniforms and lockers. Most of us leave our boots and equipment at the area then as well. It’s also…

RickyB's Contact Form

November 8, 2007
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Want to get a hold of me to ski or whatever? Fill out this form. I answer emails.

Monarch Back Country Skiing, Article in Denver Post

November 5, 2007
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Greg Ralph, director of Marketing at Monarch Mountain, was interviewed by the Denver Post in an article about back country skiing in Colorado. Monarch actually has numbers on how many people have been taking advantage of skiing the back country at Monarch. We really do have some exciting back country here. Let me know if…

More on MyMonarchSpace Social Network

November 5, 2007
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I’m very excited to see MyMonarchSpace (Monarch Mountain’s social networking site) growing as fast as it is. That’s a screen shot of the home page of it on the left. I understand we are the only ski area in Colorado to implement such a site. When you’re not signed in you see lists for New…

My Schedule Displayed to the World

November 2, 2007
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Here’s my schedule using Google Calendar. I’ll be able to make updates to it from my cell phone! I think I’ll place a permalink to it in the sidebar so people can find it easily. I’ll try to keep it updated. Right now you can only see entries in the Month view. I guess I…

Filled Out My 2007-2008 Schedule Today

November 1, 2007
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Today was the deadline for filling in our 07-08 work schedule for ski/snowboard school. I’ve signed up for 90 days which is the highest level for full-time instructors at Monarch. I’m pretty sure I’ll be working more days than that. They don’t necessarily have to hire me again, but I’m counting that they will. After…

New Business Card is Here!

October 29, 2007
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I mentioned earlier that I was in the process of updating my business card to include more personal information. The reason being I would like to be more involved with setting up bookings with students and guests. I’ve included my personal phone number and email address. Here’s what it looks like now. I was going…

Guest Centered Teaching & Experience Centered Teaching

October 21, 2007
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Horst Abraham, one of the pioneers of teaching method in PSIA, method once known as the American Teaching System, published an ariticle in the latest PSIA Rocky Mountain Newsletter, Instructor to Instuctor (p. 12). (go here for a pdf of the newsletter). He says the purpose of the article is to “review teaching systems from…

MyMonarchSpace Up and Running

October 21, 2007
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So we were asking about getting Monarch email addresses for instructors to help them develop longer term relationships with guests. Well it seems that some department at Monarch has been working on a social network for a little while. I was very excited to hear that Monarch has officially launched its own social network called…

Visualization in Sport

October 17, 2007
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This article talks about how we can visualize ourselves to better, or worse, performances in sports, skiing in particular. read more digg story I ran across it when I Googled Horst Abraham. I was going to comment on his article in the recent Fall edition of PSIA-RM Instructor to Instructor entitled Experience Centered Teaching. Oh…

Guests/Students From Around the Country

October 11, 2007
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Wow I ran across this story in the Macon County, Georgia Telegraph newspaper that talks about how many of Colorado’s ski resorts are spending lots of money to improve their areas. (http://www.macon.com/262/story/155557.html) And guess what, they mention Monarch as an area that has opened up lots of new terrain! I’m looking forward to meeting all…

Gun Barrel Anyone?

October 10, 2007
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Jack Sciacca, Monarch Mountain’s Ski School Director, invited me to climb Gun Barrel with him as soon as there is enough snow at the area. Way cool! I’m definitely going to take him up on this. I might have to dig up a pair of rock skis somewhere though. He says he’s going to climb…

A-Basin Opened Today!

October 10, 2007
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Well A-Basin got to be the first ski area in the nation to officially open today. They said this is the earliest it has ever opened. We’re going to Boulder this weekend for the annual Spyder sale. Maybe we’ll stop by the Basin and take a few runs on their man made snow. Skiing most…

10th Mountain Division

September 25, 2007
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I started skiing in the Army in 1977. Even before I was released from active duty I was working part-time as a ski instructor at Monarch in ’78. I had never skied before in my life having grown up in Connecticut where the snow is icy and, in my opinion back then, dangerous. Soon after…

Opening Day at Monarch

September 25, 2007
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Opening day at Monarch is the day before Thanksgiving, the 21 of November. I think that’s 56 days from today. It’s been so windy here in Salida lately that I haven’t been riding my bicycle for a few days. I’m gonna have to get my butt out there regardless of the wind and chilly temperatures.…

Stop In and Ski Monarch

September 22, 2007
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Crested Butte is giving out free lift tickets between Nov. 25 through Dec. 15. It’s also a four hour drive from Denver. Why not just stop at Monarch instead? Early season passes are only $27.00. And we always have better snow and no crowds.

My Business Cards

September 22, 2007
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Here is an image of business cards that I used most of last winter. The phone numbers are the ski school sales office. I’m thinking of adding my own mobile number, email address, and this blog URL to the card. Normally I have not involved myself in booking lessons for guests. I leave that all…

Out About Town and Pressure Control

September 22, 2007
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We were out in town last night enjoying the many friends we have here in Salida at our favorite watering hole, Benson’s Tavern. I got into a discussion with Boyd about pressure control. He and I go back and forth on this every once in a while. I mentioned that I believed ski racers actually…

Fixed Gear Bicycles and Pressure Control

September 10, 2007
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I’ve been riding my fixie quite a bit lately. I’m reminded of an idea I had a few years ago about how presure control is used in riding a fixie and how it is used in ski turns. If you could hook up a machine that could measure the pressure under your feet as you…

Using This Technology

September 4, 2007
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I ran across another site that seems to be dedicated to a similar concept as I have here. Actually it is probably more thought out and seems to be developed more as a business model. It’s called MySnowPro.com. According to the site it’s been set up for snow pros who want to have web sites…

The Age Thing, Perspective

August 29, 2007
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So I’m talking to my about-to-turn-23 year old daughter, Rikki, this morning. She told me she thought it was funny she thinks almost the same exact thing about feeling like she was fit when she was 18 but now has to resolve herself to being too old to compete at the world class level. Really…

The Age Thing, Physically

August 24, 2007
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All my training is paying off, but slowly. I’m really starting to feel fit again with all my riding. The only problem I feel is knowing how fit I once was. It wasn’t so long ago that I was training as a serious athlete with a goal of winning a medals at Masters’ Track Nationals.…

Generalist vs Specialty Skis

August 23, 2007
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I totally agree with an article in September Ski magazine about having the right ski for the given conditions is best, “Put Your Best Ski Forward.” Since I usually have limited cash, I generally try to find a ski that will do it all, also known as an “all mountain” ski. But as the article…

Rode Hard Today

August 21, 2007
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I was on my road bike today for a 3 hour ride. Most of the time I was thinking about how much it will end up helping me when ski season gets started. I find the only real way for me to get in shape is to ride my bicycle and watch what I eat.…

I’m Committing Myself

August 17, 2007
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Okay, I’m committing myself to this new form of publishing. This topic of course is all about my skiing and my students. This message posts to this blog via email. Looking forward to sharing all kinds of stuff with you.

What This Blog is For

August 17, 2007
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I’d like to add an entry every day that I am teaching lessons at Monarch. My hope is to post my feelings about how lessons went and also post pictures that I take with my cell phone. Perhaps I can even post video’s that I take with my phone.Posting everyday would create a diary of…

August and I'm Waiting for Snow

August 17, 2007
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I’m starting to get anxious about this coming season. I’ve been riding my bicycle quite a bit. One of the main things I think about as I ride is that it is going to get me in shape for this coming winter. As an aspiring soon to be level 3 instructor being in shape is…

First Post

February 26, 2007
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Greetings! Just getting started here. Testing one, two, three. One, two, three testing. One, one, one, three, three, three, two, two, two testing.