All The Gear – Any Idea? by Barbara Beer
It’s great to see since the 2012 Olympics (and now the Commonwealth Games) that the UK government are apparently switching on to the huge benefits resulting from regular participation in sport and fitness activities.
I wonder though, how many individuals have, like our government previously, avoided the issue completely because of the perceived expense involved?
For example, hands up everyone who has enthusiastically invested in a membership at a plush gym at New Year and splashed out on the latest sportswear, high performance trainers and one of those gizmos that monitors – well, everything? Then by February, it’s a long walk to the car in the dark and rain, you ache in muscles you didn’t know you had, you haven’t washed your new workout wear, and there is a great new drama series starting on TV…….
Well I’m willing to guess that for every one of you there are at least three who simply shrugged their shoulders mumbling ‘I’m broke after Christmas’ and reached straight for the TV remote.
My suggestion? How about heading for the nearest dog shelter and volunteering to walk their dogs several times a week? All you need for this is a sensible pair of walking shoes and weatherproof gear – the dogs won’t mind if your coat is Armani or Asda, honest! When your enthusiasm dips, knowing you have made a commitment to a needy cause should help keep you straight plus there is the warm fuzzy feeling of doing a good turn which will soon have you hooked! And who knows, you may make a new best friend (4-legged or otherwise).
OK so it isn’t glamorous, and you aren’t an animal lover, but do you get the picture? There are lots of ways of increasing our activity without investing huge amounts of hard earned cash. Yes it’s great fun to indulge in all the latest togs & toys available but often this is just a way of deflecting interest, not a real demonstration of commitment at all and seldom essential.
In our profession, it is hard not to feel dismay when you see intermediates kitted out in top of the range skis, boards & boots intended for high performance level skiers & riders. Equipment not designed for intermediates will do nothing to optimise their performance. No doubt the logic is ‘better equipment = better results’ but it isn’t that simple.
In fact manufacturers provide a range of equipment designed for a variety of levels, so you are much better off buying the best equipment you can afford for intermediate skiers/boarders. Of course some kit is worth paying a bit extra for – goggles which do not steam up immediately when it snows and quality gloves. However, racers ski boots are designed for performance, not comfort. The liners are thin which enhances sensitivity but most mere mortals will find them bloomin’ cold! So better off going down a few models to something designed specifically for someone only used to wearing them for a couple of weeks a year. It will save you money and, in comfort, you will be able to practice for much longer. Oh, and forget any idea that you ‘will grow into them’. By the time you reach that standard, I can assure you there will be a whole new range of toys to salivate over!
So how about putting the money you save towards a lesson with one of our excellent instructors, who can show you how to use those lovely new skis to best effect!! Now that IS money well spent!