Maureen Mosteller started up the Ladies Who Ski clinic to help women gain the confidence to ski down any run.
NAKISKA – The instructions come fast and sharp.
“Keep your shoulders level and facing down the fall line; concentrate on the up and down motion from your knees to your ankles.” Maureen Mosteller is instructing me after watching me ski halfway down our first run of the day.
“You’re doing something odd with your poles,” she says, noticing that I’m moving them too far behind me. “The less movement on the upper body, the better.”
She takes my poles and says, “OK, try it without the poles now.”
We continue down the run as Mosteller begins taking video, while I’m concentrating on her tips to keep my pole-less hands in front of me, and exaggerating my up and down motion.
By the second run, my momentum is coming back.
As an intermediate skier, these are things I know after skiing for more than 10 years, but it was my first time out this season and I was feeling a bit rusty. It’s natural that the muscle memory is slow to emerge from hibernation, Mosteller says, until we get a few runs under our skis.
Skiers like me – female intermediate or advanced skiers – are Mosteller’s specialty in her Rossignol Ladies Who Ski clinics, which she’s been running for the past five years.
“It's a chance for women to learn more about their needs on snow, while making new ski friends to hook up with in the future. Plus, it's always great when you gain some self-confidence, get some fitness in and enhance your skills along the way,” she says.
Her clinics are often geared towards people who love getting out on the slopes but would like to up their game. Perhaps to keep up with speed-demon husbands or kids who relish the gnarly side.
Mosteller, a Canadian ambassador for Rossignol, comes from a ski family; her mother was a ski racer as well as several of her siblings.
She was on skis by the age of 2 and then went on to compete as a ski racer on the national level and has years of coaching experience.
Her philosophy is to peel back the layers of what we know and start from the basics to help us improve our skills - in effect deconstructing our movements. That applies to intermediate and advanced skiers, who ski every season or those that have taken a hiatus from the sport.
That’s how Mosteller started Ladies Who Ski five years ago. Her best friend hadn’t skied in nearly 25 years, but was ready to get back on her boards. Only thing was, she’d needed a confidence boost and someone to help her get her chops back.
After the first few runs, Mosteller noticed what her friend needed to work on to get back her old skiing form.
“We came to Nakiska and we skied and I watched her and saw three points that needed to be addressed,” says Mosteller.
They skied for a few more hours and by the end of their ski outing, Mosteller’s friend said, ‘You’ve made me feel more confident; you’re great at this.”
That’s what inspired her to start the clinics.
Though her business is called Ladies Who Ski, she’s happy to take couples and men.
“Everyone has something they want to improve,” says Mosteller, 52, a natural athlete who is also a competitive water skier and plays on a women’s hockey team just for fun a couple times a week.
Those improvements naturally go a long way to building confidence.
"I want women to feel confident about their skiing," said Mosteller, "and then I want them to take their boyfriends or husbands out skiing and teach them a thing or two!"
If you have friends who need someone like Maureen to help increase their skiing skills, then go ahead and share this story with them!
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