Explosiveness in Skiing


Before I start to talk about how these two topics relate to one another, let me first define what explosiveness in an athletic movement actually is:


 EXPLOSIVENESS = The speed at which muscle tension is generated, also known as rate of force development (RFD).


Now that that is defined, let’s talk about how it relates to skiing, specifically freestyle mogul skiing.

The main factor that determines explosiveness is the twitch speed of muscle fibers. If a muscle has more fast twitch fibers than slow twitch, then that muscle is more explosive. When training for skiing, there are a lot of plyometrics, and balancing drills and workouts, thus moving fibers toward the fast twitch side of the spectrum. But when during this training the fibers are actually moved on the slow end and it is during rest that the fibers shift back to the fast twitch side, know as the Overshoot Phenomenon.  So during training for any sport, an athlete might feel like they are not making any progress, but they will see progress as they take time off.

Patrick Deneen at the 2010 Winter Olympics

As you can see in the video of the skiers at the Olympics this past year in Sochi, the lower body is moving extremely fast–creating fast muscle tension–creating a fast twitch fiber. Remember that doing or playing your sport is training in and of itself. However, it is important to remember that the upper body is also engaged the entire time. It has to be engaged in order for the athlete to stay stable and above his legs.

Different athletes in different sport’s have a different muscle fiber makeup. So when you train, it is better to train for sport specific rather than just doing a bunch of squats and bench presses.

FLC: New Political Party


In Fort Lewis College there has been a couple topics that has been debated for the past few years. But before we dive into them lets identify the audiences that view these topics.

Since all of these audiences have different views about the topics, there will always be conflicts between and within audiences.

TOPIC: How can the administration get away with assessing scholars using only #’s?

First off I want to say that this is a conflict not only at Fort Lewis, but many other schools as Jordan Benton told us,


“When I was at Michigan State, teachers would pass students so they could continue to play sports.”


The administration is saying that because a scholar doesn’t have good # grades, they cannot play sports. How is that the only representation of a good scholar? Our very own provost, Barbara Morris, says that the teachers at FLC are innovative scholars. Extremely true until we dig into what the teachers are required to give to the administration. The only thing they want from teachers is a number grade. In fact Cory Saxon told us in previous class, the teacher actually got in trouble for giving out too many so called A’s. Specifically in the Writing Program, there are no tenure teachers and earlier in the year we talked about how you have to work your way to the top of a discourse before the rules can be changed. So how can teachers, and scholars work our way into the administration to disrupt what is happening? 

I think it starts with scholar Alex Thompson, who is at the head of the discussion about the change of going from a four and two credit model, to making all courses 3 credits.  Think about the classes you are taking now, for me i have 16 credits. With the “new and improved” format, I would only get 12 credits and have to take ANOTHER CLASS to make up for lost credits. If my math is correct, that only puts me at 15 credits. So I am not only losing one credit, but adding another class. How can the administration think that taking more classes help us in the long run? Well it can’t. I was speaking with Ana Hale about administration issues and she said


“They told us to water down the information.”


I like to put this in an equation:

Less Information + More Hours = Learning?



Is Everybody Loveable?

Sister Helen Prejean’s speech was interesting. For the first five or ten minutes of her speaking, I didn’t write anything down. Then she asked a question saying,
“Is everybody loveable?”
She then started talking about how she got into the death penalty and in turn, got into writing her book. Prejean talked about her connection with the man on death row and how just the sole connection between two people took her on this journey. Her book, Dead Man Walking, became a film in 1995 with some big name actors.
Prejean described that she grew up
with money and didn’t know much
about law or penal process.
This is where I had a hard time with
her speech. Now I’m not saying she
hasn’t learned from her experiences,
but if you haven’t grown up around
poverty and crime, then it’s hard to
pretend. Earlier she stated how she
grew up with money and she had all
the affordances in the world.
Given her stature, I think she doesn’t
always see the entire picture because
most of her speech was about the
penal system. To me, Prejean seemed
very one sided in terms of what she
stood for and her views about
the legal process.
But she did intrigue me with her original question, “Is everybody loveable?” I don’t want to go into too much detail about this but my one thing my dad has told me, since he’s been working for the Fed‘s for 20+ years, is that some people never change.

Neat n’ Tidy


The next two chapters in Writer/Designer, are mainly about collaboration, sharing, and design.

  • Just like our cohort groups, the author’s want us to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other to make the project more successful.
  • Also sharing ideas will help us further the projects to higher levels. Like when people uploaded the video I posted about affordances.
  • How we layout the initial design is very important, it is the backbone of how people will read and analyze the information.

These first two ideas have helped me immensely with my blog. Being able to look at other scholars blogs like Caitlin’s, or Adan’s has increased my blogging ability.

However, the topic of chapter six is on of great importance. If your design sucks, then no one is going to read your information.

The Precipice Night
The Precipice Day

Multiple designs with the same information is also very important. These images above are for a project my brother worked on.

If you create multiple platforms holding the same information, then it is easier to pick and choose what info works in what scenario.



In chapters three and four, Writer/Designer further describes organization in terms of how to lay out a text and using sources.

A creative, interactive, and
innovative ways of persuasion
are great for multimodal discourse.
The authors touch on Prezi,
which is a presentation software
that provides innovation with
creativity. Chayse Romero actually
used prezi in her self-assessment.
Your sources have to be credible.
Growing up with my brother and
his art, I have learned a lot about
correct citation and credibility.
When he did work for someone
or a company, he could either sell
them the rights to what he has done,
or receive royalties for his work.

The term Three-Peat is actually a trademark of then Lakers owner Pat Riley. So there are certain copyrights that have to be cited, and some do not. Some actually require a fee to be paid if their copyright is used.

Successful Persuasion


In chapter two of Writer/Designer, the authors focus heavily on five topics:

  1. Audience
  2. Purpose
  3. Context
  4. Author
  5. Genre


Portland Trail Blazers Game

In this picture above our audience is clear, fans of basketball within the Portland area. Our primary audience is basketball fans, while our secondary audience would be people within the Portland area.


Why does a text exist? Well the stadium exists because of the number of basketball fans.


What is the text saying? This is where most of the persuasion happens.


Who wrote/designed the text? It’s probably fair to say there are multiple authors in our stadium example. Just a few might be:

  • Architects
  • Sponsorships (Wells Fargo Arena)
  • Players


Again we have primary and secondary. Primary is sports, but secondary is professional sports. You can even go further with it – a third genre is basketball.

They also touch on a few art terms which aren’t strangers to me. Contrast, Color, and Proximity (which goes back to spatial arrangement). The organization of a text is very important if an argument is to be addressed.


Hold Then Reflect!

Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…
Cram then forget…

Butterfly Effect

Ahhhhh yes the old cram then forget. I have done my fair share of cramming, but I have realized it is better to hold on to the information. In this world we live in, chaos seems to be a daily part of life. We become so focused on doing many different things at one time. The chaotic theory is a field in mathmatics which behavior of dynamical systems that are responsive to the initial environment. Or otherwise known as the butterfly effect. Chaos can also be related to fragmentation, meaning you are scattered in a million different places at one time. Think about what happens in your daily lives. How many different ideas you are connected to by a cell phone, a group involvement, or a vehicle you own. There is a quote from one of my favorite films, Fight Club that states:

You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?”


Most everyone needs something to keep their attention for as little as ten minutes. Just one thing as simple as writing to focus our attention and give our minds a rest from the world. Something as simple as drawing whatever you can think of at that moment, almost anything to block yourself from the chaos around you.


I leave you with a CGI video of a fragmentation.

Training Athletes With Language


How does language influence the people involved in athletics?

How does in change them?

Language is a huge part of any discourse. In athletics we use language to connect and communicate with the athletes.  Communication is the key to an athletes success. If they cannot tell the trainer what has happened, then the underlying issue might not be solved. This is why it pays to be quick and to the point when it comes to injuries. Now to the point does not mean being a jerk, like Amy Reiter was in her article Why Being A Jerk at Work Pays. 

Coach Calhoun Yelling at Doug Wiggins

Wiggins is really getting it here. Some people think that brute force, like yelling,  gets your point across faster. Not always the case.



Slang. It is used in almost every daily conversation in every daily discourse. In Robert Lane Greene’s article Hey Dude, he says, “the young create it, and discard it as soon as it becomes too common.  Very true in skiing. We adapt and also create slang from other sports. A few that are specific to skiing would be:

  • Gaper

    Gaper Day!
  • Kicker
  • Quad Kink

These words have become a part of the skiing community and will probably never go away. Adapting to these words and their environment is crucial to understanding how skiing has evolved and changed. The biggest thing I teach to beginner skiers is the importance of how positioning of your body is the most important thing. If your body is out of position, then you are more likely to sustain an injury, which means you won’t have a good time!



Ahhhh yes details. They are the pinnacle of a good business and a good employee. They have been a recurring theme in comp 250 class as well as in the article I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why, written by Kyle Wiens. Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, a website that provides free repair manuals for just about anything. So Wiens knows a thing or two about details, he screens all his employees with a grammar test before hiring and if they fail even the smallest of details, no job for you.

Shhhh Cool!

Now as extreme as this is, I don’t think every business should be grammatically testing their employees, but I do believe that the tiniest details matter. Like this picture of what should be a school zone, but is now a shhhhh cool zone! In training you have to know the ability level of an athlete. If you are incorrect and you train them off improper data, then the athlete might make no gains. If there are no gains happening, then the athlete is not at full potential because of a simple mistake you made.



Notes from 9/22


At the beginning of class Jordan and Bill made the whole class stand up and do jumping jacks so we could get credit for the day.

  • On Wednesday we are meeting at Animus Perks for coffee.
  • Pay attention to fundamentals.
  • Sweat the details, pay attention to form, conventions-identify them.
  • Conventions: system of rules within the discipline that organize it.
  • We must quit fighting the rules of the game, we follow them.
  • You don’t have to play the game, but you can choose to play and embrace the conventions of the game.
  • In every new discourse you start out as a novice, and as you move up you are given authority.
  • Then you are afforded the privilege of challenging those conventions, all discourses advance by being challenged.
  • Jordan Benton complexified/problematized the discussion of conventions saying that conventions are the same at different levels, but change based on skill.
  • Standard Operation Protocols=Rules, Rules=Conventions.
  • Sometimes there are unspoken agreements like golf etiquette.
  • Danny Gustavson said that we should use different disciplines to advance in the medical field, as he wants to become a surgeon.
  • Garret Flicker said in elementary education you don’t need a degree, but as you go to higher education you are required to have one.
  • Adelyn Mandeville: Are all conventions social?
  • Social: Generally understood agreements/conveying something between two people.
  • Kennedy Clark was homeschooled but the conventions with homeschooling are socially acceptable.
  • In the field of writing we all have style-and leave it at style.
  • A book Bill read by a biologist said that we have two programs: Eat and Procreate.
  • With this, Adelyn has questioned Bill’s original proposed argument.
  • Exigence: What is the urgent need?
  • Be critically aware in every situation you are in is to be a scholar.
  • Cory Saxon says we have to adapt to all conventions. We have to change our ways to them.
  • He read Lone Survivor and in it the author talked to himself to keep himself alive.
  • We use voices in our heads to make it visible on paper, what are all the scenarios we think about?
  • These conversations improve writing because we have argued, questioned and listened.
  • These conversations accomplish something
  • As scholars, we are learning how to talk, listen conversate together.
  • In society we disconnect writing from speaking.
  • Assignment: Time on task, 1hr 15 min.
  • Type notes from today on our blog-only use bullet points.
  • Use remaining time to craft an essay and use two modes.
  • For Wednesday: Meet at Animus Perks


Very interesting conversation we had in class on that Monday. Bill told us how in every discourse there are conventions. I though about skiing and on the back of a lift ticket and season pass there are a few social conventions that you should abide by before going skiing. Off the top of my head a few of them are:

  • Must be able to ride a chairlift.
  • Must know how to operate equipment.
  • Be aware that snow conditions can change at any time.

So they are not tests that you have to pass before receiving a ticket, but rather social agreements that skiers and snowboarders should know before going up the mountain. Then once you are on the mountain there are riskier conventions in place. Mountain safety usually stand behind big yellow and orange signs that say SLOW.


If you go faster than they would like you to, you may be warned or even a suspension of your pass may ensue. I have had a few friends get snagged by this and have lost their pass for the remainder of the season.

So given our discussion on Monday 9/22, I though about where I am in the skiing discipline. Well I have been skiing since I was about three or four, and have been a teacher for three years. I know pretty much every basic convention there is to know, and I do know a lot of the tougher conventions. There are some I do not know because there are different disciplines within the discipline of skiing. For example: there is snowmaking, ski patrol, ski school, mountain safety, lift operators, and lift maintenance. And that’s just the on mountain crew. So within ski school, instructors must know just about every rule on the mountain in order to keep their class as safe as possible. If I was teaching a level five class, out of nine, then we would most likely be skiing harder green runs and easier blue runs. So I have to know which runs those are and how to get there. Then we can start talking about skier etiquette. Situation:

– You are skiing down a run and come to a large roller where you cannot see who or what is down below you. You should always, always stop or slow down before you go over this roller. Why? Simply because you don’t want to barrel into someone going mach ten.

All over the mountain skiers will encounter situations like this, most of the time the best way to approach a problem is to slow down until you know what to do. So let’s say a skiing athlete wants to begin training for his/her discipline. For the sake of my interest, lets say it’s in freeskiing. She comes to a trainer as a novice and with some experience in freeskiing, lets say she knows how to slide a rail one way and knows how to go off medium sized jumps spinning three sixties both ways. Even though I would assume she knows the rules of the terrain park given her knowledge, I would still ask if she knows. They are:

  1. Look before you leap
  2. Know your limits
  3. Respect gets respect
  4. Get out of the way
  5. Have fun

Now these will change based what resort you are at, but these are general conventions of the terrain park. Since she knows how to slide a rail one way, I would begin with some flat ground work with her skis on jumping ninety degrees in the opposite direction of the way she already knows. After feeling comfortable, we would take it to an in ground box, raised box, and from there a short ride on rail. Progression is the name of the game in freeskiing. If an athlete is uncomfortable with a certain maneuver or trick, the best way to train is to break it down to its simplest form. Now a lot of larger resorts have a few different terrain parks in order to separate the skiers and snowboarders based on ability, like Jordan was talking about. The conventions are the same, but are altered based on skill. Simply put, there is a small, medium, and large terrain park. At this girls ability level, we would spend most of our time in the smaller park, and might jump to smaller features within the medium park. The reason for this is because it is easier to do certain tricks on smaller features, much like you wouldn’t ski a black run if you only know how to ski greens. Now something pleasing to look at!




Reflection on Cohort Group


Both Caitlin and Dylan M. had blurry header images, but after pointing it out, they changed them to more visible pictures. Every one in our group:

  • Clara Grey-Stallings
  • Dylan Malewska
  • Kendra Wittwer
  • Caitlin Gaffney
  • Myself, Austin Pierpont

We all need to have some sort of moving images, or videos on our postings. It is very hard to figure out the right dimensions and sizing for these things in order for the site to accept them. Visually I think our cohort is getting better in terms of linking and posting images. I did find a tutorial on how to insert a hyper link, for anyone who needs it here: http://www.hyperlinkcode.com/new-window.php

I think we all also need to have an aural mode in there somewhere, I have been trying to put a sound clip or something like it into the post. A song would be perfect!


Comp 250 / Sect 4 / Athletic Training

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