To recap, last season was intense, intimidating, frustrating...but no less than rewarding. I had the chance to meet some great people, travel to some amazing places, and learn more about what it takes to make some sort of career of competing on the snow. Snowed out events, some hard crashes, along with some great racing left me looking forward to this season more than ever.
I trained hard during the pre-season, but after April I felt like the 2010-2011 needed some more fine-tuning in the physical fitness department. Fortunately, I've got a family and friends who were eager to help; Tuesdays nights at 24HR Fitness - My Dad's Cardio Boxing and Core Strengthening class, Saturdays in Rocklin - My Uncle's Boot Camp Fitness courses...every other day - the Insanity workout program, P90X "Core Synergistics", and racking up miles on my road bike with Ian "Why Turn" Wu.
Early this past season I was contacted by Dr. Arthur Kwan of Nu-Smile Dentistry in Sacramento. He told me about something he was working on that he thought was right up my alley. He introduced me to The Pure Power Mouthguard - a device that uses the position of my jaw as a means of securing the optimum posture and power. Sound pretty weird? I thought so too...until I had some time to do some research and performed some controlled tests in the office. We tested everything from flexibility to strength and range-of-motion, and EVERYTHING improved with the "PPM". I used it during the remainder of my season and reaped the benefits of the instant increase in power.
With the jump in off season training for these past few months, I learned a bit more about my physical capabilities and where I needed more work. I was quick, but I needed to be quicker. I was getting stronger, but I needed to be at my peak. I felt a little anxious, so I called Dr. Kwan and asked for something more. He promised me he'd do some research, and just about 3 weeks ago I got the phone call I was waiting all summer for.
"Kenneth - you're not gonna believe this, but I think I found what you're looking for...you might want to stop by and see for yourself."
Art was working even harder than I was all summer! He took some time aside after a business trip to talk to me about something new. "It's similar to what you've already got, but I want you to try this and see what you think, we might have something HUGE here." When Dr Kwan makes a promise, he delivers - so I set up an appointment and came back to get fitted with the TAG AgilityGuard.
With some electronics, a couple wires, and eventually a mouthful of funny tasting goop to "register" my bite, we were ready to get me fitted. In record timing (LESS THAN A WEEK), my AgilityGuard was ready! As soon as I got the message, I was in my car and off to Art's office. The crew at NuSmile welcomed me with huge smiles as always, but they all had an eager look on their faces...did they know something I didn't? Dr Kwan came out with my new device and gave me some exciting news. Just as I had arrived, another local athlete was leaving. "Kenneth - we ran the tests on him, and we got some pretty interesting numbers. We're all eager to see what happens with YOU!" We ran test after test after test...the results spoke for themselves.
I define accuracy as the ability to hit a bullseye, to "Hit Your Mark", or to be "Spot-On". It's my body's ability to utilize its power to its fullest potential right when I need it most. When I think of precision, I think of the ability to hit that bullseye EVERY TIME. It's my body's ability to be agile enough to channel that raw strength and power...over and over again.
I've got my off-season training dialed in, and now I've got my secret weapon in its case. This huge winter storm is clearing tomorrow. I'm taking my AgilityGuard up to Northstar at Tahoe, hiding on the backside, and getting some training time in. My racing season is starting up in less than a month, it's GO TIME.