After spending one day doing ski drills, I drove home with exhausted calves. As I braked at a light, my calve muscles shook and I couldn’t apply any pressure. I realized I was pressing the brake with only the tip of my toe. Once I pushed with my entire foot, the problem was solved. Epiphany, I ski with the toe of my foot. When I turn, rather than apply pressure across the full side of my foot, the bulk of my pressure goes into my toes. At the end of the day, my calves are screaming. Imagine walking around all day on your tippy toes. How balanced would you feel? However, if I’m skiing tougher terrain that makes me uncomfortable, my thighs feel it.
Next time you’re skiing, use your muscles to do a little spot check of your position. If you’re feeling the bulk of the burn on your calves, back off a little. Make sure you’re pushing with the length of your foot. If your thigh muscles are burning, you’re too far back. Stand up a bit. On sunny days, you can also use your shadow as a spot check of position.
As I tell my kids, “Stand tall and you don’t fall,” or in other words, if you can balance, you can ski.