So I started jumping before I even knew it. It was before I could swim. I would run and jump right into the deep end of the pool, laughing and soon sinking to the bottom. Luckily, I was with my Uncle Mike (whom has been my hero since), and he frantically would have to jump in after me and rescue me. I thought it was so much fun that I kept doing it. And the story doesn’t end. Before I could ride a bike, I would take my training wheels off myself and crash and burn over and over. I love telling the story now … When I turned 19, I decided I wanted to live in the mountains and ski. I quit college, left my family and friends and moved to Vail, Colorado. I took my chances learning to support myself and live a lifestyle that most dream about. I worked and lived in more than 20 different locations and developed into who I am now. I went through raft guide training, worked for large corporations, scraped by at “hole in the wall” diners, sold shoes and did just about whatever it took to keep skiing. My boyfriend and I were called “The Huckstables” because we jumped off every cliff around. But I think for those 9 years my heart really wanted me to be a professional skier. Just this past New Year, I decided to keep moving toward my goal of “Living the Dream.” I wanted to be involved in the skiing industry. I moved to Park City, bought a Snowbird pass, and signed up for the U.S. Freeskiing Tour. At the age of 28, I finally entered my first skiing competition and I took 3rd place. So I jumped … then I went to my second and third comps (not skiing so well) and I jumped even further. I learned to NOT QUIT. I’ve been humbled daily skiing with some of the best skiers in the world. From moving to a new place, working a new job, skiing a new resort, and meeting all new people, I’ve learned life. I’ve learned to listen better, and of course, the more you do something the easier it gets. Thanks for hearing my story. I want everyone to listen to their family and friends, their hearts, and follow their dreams. Go places you dream about and live big. You can always turn around, but you can’t ever take back time. And remember to keep your head up, enjoy the ride, expect detours/delays, and stay positive because it’s life.

 

 

 

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“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” -Dr. Seuss

You got invited to compete at the Red Bull Powder Disorder in August. What was that like? This was something I dreamed of doing, but I wasn’t sure it was in my budget. I thought first, I need to raise some money to go, second, I need to be prepared and third, I want to win. If you get invited to a Red Bull meets FWT competition across the world, you should go. This is why I have two other jobs.

How did that contest go? The venue was called Eduardo’s and it was steep and rocky. Not only was this intimidating, but Ingrid Backstrom was one of the women competing in the field. Oh, and some manmade jumps in the venue, too. I didn’t ski how I would have liked to, but I skied my way to the podium. And I stood proudly on that podium and I’ll continue to try and win again.

So you basically used all of your own savings to get to that competition? I had help from sponsors and used what was left in my account. Spending all your money to go and risk a one-run competition seems a bit risky, but when you combine all the energy bouncing off the world’s best freeskiers in a new area and staying in different hostels and learning a new culture, that is priceless. I ski to experience life. Only time will tell if I made the right choice. I listen to my intuition and think of how my AA sponsor reminds me to pause.

How long have you been sober? My last drink was on May 4, 2010 and I need a daily reminder I am only one drink away from that last drunk, so thank you.

 Why did you give up drinking and how has it changed your skiing? Today my choices are simple. Whiskey or God. After many years of consuming, celebrating and destroying aspects of my life, I realized that the AA meetings were helping me to help others and I felt at home. Today my life is filled with support, love and commitment.

What are your thoughts on the level of women’s skiing in big-mountain competitions? At the second stop of the FWT in Chile, more girls tried tricks off the jumps than usual and we continued progressing the sport of big-mountain freeskiing. Two girls are throwing big backflips into their lines now. I think it’s safe to say there are no longer phrases used like, ‘That girl is skiing a men’s line.’