I came to the sport of Nordic skiing when our children joined a ski club in Calgary, Canada in 2004. I skied all my life, but that was my introduction to “performance” Nordic skiing. By that I mean skiing with the techniques competitive skiers use for maximum speed and efficiency.
Once enlightened, I was immediately hooked on the challenge of evolving my technique from the standard “shuffle” to the highly effective and graceful techniques used by racers. When I skied well enough, I naturally wanted to share my passion and began coaching.
I started this website in those early days as a means of sharing some tips and working out my ideas. Coaching opened a new world to me and my interest quickly expanded to encompass topics related to movement, anatomy and coordination more broadly.
My educational background is in biology and physiology, so that wasn’t much of a leap. (I have a Masters degree in Neuroscience.)
My son, Kai Lukowiak, who raced into his early twenties, helped me with videos and understanding technique. Based on the response to our early efforts, it was clear people craved information about race technique. Like any sport, there’s no end of contradictory information and out-of-date ideas in Nordic skiing.
In 2016, we added a new partner to the mix: Chris Jeffries. Chris skied a number of years on Canada’s National team, competed at the Turin Olympics, had coached Kai and is now coaching at the National level, based out of Canmore and Calgary, Canada.
The three of us shared a vision to use online videos to make the high performance techniques used by competitive skiers easier to understand and more widely accessible. In 2016, we launched a new, subscription-supported website, XC Ski Nation.
Around the same time, I started to experience significant physical pain and discomfort to the point that I lost my ability to enjoy the active lifestyle that was such an important source of my happiness. Eventually, I came to understand skeletal misalignment as my problem.
Because alignment is so closely tied to balance and balance is such an important part of Nordic skiing, I shared much of this experience on this website in a series of articles about alignment. Those articles are fast becoming top ranking, bringing many non-skiers to this website, which tells me many people share my struggles.
Alignment, movement, ski technique – it’s all connected and those are all passions of mine.
Although XC Ski Nation now takes most of my time and energy, I continue to refresh and update this website. My goals for the Cross Country Ski Technique website are to spread the word about the joys of performance Nordic skiing and help people make the initial climb up the learning curve as quickly as possible. I also can’t resist using this blog to push back against some of the dogma rooted in this sport.
If you love Nordic skiing, check out our other website XC Ski Nation. It’s home to a wealth of premium video tutorials at no-brainer pricing. There’s even a Free Pass option that lets you preview the site (no credit card required).
Calgary, Alberta, Canada