It's -10 degrees, the wind is blowing sideways, and there is little to no visibility depending on wind gusts. I was hoping for the best conditions but got variable, at best. I step off the tram and immediately get thrown back by the wind. But I press on, click into my skis and head for Rendezvous Bowl. It's only day 3 on my new skis and I haven't skied the Bowl in the last couple of years and I can't see a damn thing. The cards are stacked against me but I am in heaven. One thousand vertical feet and the only thing that can stop me is frostbite. Next up was Wally's World, a steep drop of about 10 turns above a cliff band where you are forced to turn or take the drop of your life, but the snow is always good and you'll always have fresh tracks so you take the risk. I hesitated for just a moment and then dropped in. I was feeling good and was ready for the next challenge.
This was my first real opportunity to test out my ski legs that I had spent the last 2 months working on. After many years of skiing and training its hard to hope for greatness. What could I do in the last 2 months that I hadn't done in the last 30 years? I quickly realized however that it wasn't that my legs were stronger or I could go longer or I was instantly a superstar on my skiis, but it was a feeling of confidence. Bring on the blowing, cold and variable conditions because I was ready. I skied lines that I hadn't skied in several years with confidence because I knew I had that strength. And that strength that was developed in the gym and turned to confidence on the ski slopes and was taking me exactly where I wanted to go. It probably wasn't as pretty as it used to be but it didn't matter because that day I skied whatever I wanted with confidence.
Gym training can offer many things to an athlete. The gym is a place to build strength and fitness and maybe even try a new sport. It is a place to help former athletes get back to their previous level of conditioning or a place for new athletes to build and find their own peak level of fitness. And for some its a place to build confidence. The confidence that allows them to continue to do their sport at the level they find enjoyable and challenging.
So in considering whether the ski program was effective, I am going with a confident yes.