Your Age: 28
Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Eastern PA (Blue Mountain, Big Boulder) Vermont (Carinthia Parks, Killington)
Weapon(s) of choice: Flow Snowboards (Jewel 146), Salomon Snowboards (Gypsy 147), Giant Glory (Downhill Mountain Bike), Trek Cali (XC Mountain Bike), GoldCoast longboard.
What’s an average day for you like? I am a physical therapist assistant for three different companies by day, and an adventurer once I'm out of work. I'll wake up usually with the sunrise, coffee first, and head off to work where I specialize in out-patient orthopedic and sports rehabilitation, as well as neurological-rehabilitation (post concussion and balance) and geriatric care. I love what I do and I'm happy to give back to my community by helping them get back to doing what they love!
As soon as I'm out of work, I'm either at the gym focusing on strength training if the weather's not ideal, or I'm outside either snowboarding at my local home mountain (Blue Mountain, PA), mountain biking, long boarding or hiking with my husband and our chocolate lab, Brody.
At the end of the day, I think it's important to reflect and relax. I'm usually catching up on a good book before I crash early.
What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? For snowboarding, I think the toughest part is learning how to fall and to get back up again. It's easy to feel defeated at first, because like any new challenge, your mind and body are adapting to something new and difficult. The most important thing to remember is to stay positive and have fun, it'll make your experience that much better.
What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing about being a woman in snowboarding is defying the expectations that guys tend to set for us. I'll often hike one of the more challenging features in the park that the park crew is sessioning, and will be the only girl hitting it with guys. And I'll hear, "Did you see that girl hit that?" The best thing is showing other girls that it's possible to be respected on the mountain for your skills and determination. Being a strong, female presence in the park is inspiring for younger girls and I take much pride in that.
The worst is being automatically put into the "snake-you-because-I-don't-think-you'll-hit-that-feature" category. Most guys expect us ladies to be afraid of a certain features and think it's okay to cut you off. It's not and you cannot underestimate women; we are fierce and fearless.
What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I think a lot is already changing for females in snowboarding for the most part. We are being seen, being respected, and being included in a lot of the competitions and edits. I love that! I want to continue to see more female-inspired events, competitions, and bad ass girl crews on the mountain. Just this past season, the park crew manager at Blue Mountain asked me to be a part of planning a girls only rail jam session. It didn't work out because of the weather, but to me, that's a huge step in progress for local women's riding and I'm so grateful.
Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? Adaptable and strong. Features and jump lines and conditions vary throughout the season, you have to go with the flow and overcome whatever obstacles and fears you have by channeling all your nerves into positive energy. The more challenges you overcome, the more fluid and definitive your style and technicality becomes.
What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? You'll usually find me in Volcom, Airblaster, 686, Dakine, and Burton. I also like supporting local shops from the mountains we travel too.
For stepping out, I'll usually opt for function and comfort. 10 bucks says you'll find me in leggings and a flannel or comfy long sleeve top, snowboard socks and boots. And always some kind of beanie. Summer it's shorts, tanks, comfy sweaters for cooler nights, and snap-backs hats. Lots of snap-backs.
Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I LIVE this. I'm always looking for my next challenge in life to grow as a person in all aspects. To do that, you need a healthy mind, body and spirit. I've struggled in the past with self-esteem issues, but have learned to love myself through health, snowboarding and fitness. If I'm not outdoors doing something fun, I'm at the gym strength training 3 days a week. I try my best to eat well because then I'll feel well and I'll be fueled for my next adventure. Sleep is so important too, and I'm often asleep early to get those ZzZ's!
How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? It's definitely dangerous, especially snowboarding and downhill mountain biking. I've had some really bad crashes, too. Concussions, whiplash, torn ligaments, a cracked femur, separated shoulder, dislocated patella, and so many contusions I've lost count.You have to be tough and have a high pain threshold in order to overcome the crashes and get yourself back up. You also have to know your limits - it's okay not to hit that 70 foot jump. Respecting your own boundaries keeps you alive.
I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. This one time, my husband bonked a corrugated pipe with the tail of his board, but it threw him and he fell hard, landing on his side. He broke three ribs and had a partially collapsed lung with blood in his chest cavity. It made for a long night in the hospital ER.
What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The adrenaline rush and the freedom of riding. When you're on the mountain, taking big carves in pow or floating through the air, you're free. There's nothing else but the fresh air and the mountains, no thoughts, no stresses. You also have the freedom to express yourself without the judgment of others; every rider's style is unique and that's the beauty of it.
What is your favorite trick? I love back 3's - the rotation is so floaty and stylish. It looks effortless. And my new favorite this season was back-shiftys. Again, flawless style if you get it just right.
Do you own any other toys? I do! Giant Glory downhill mountain bike, Trek Cali XC mountain bike, and a GoldCoast longboard.
What gets you pumped up for the day? Honestly, I just love life. I'm passionate, I love my career, I love my lifestyle. If you love what you do, you don't have to pump yourself up. It's natural.
What are three things you could not live without? I can live without materialistic things. What I can't live without is my husband, my family, my friends and my fur babies. They are my whole heart.
What are your expectations for this activity/sport? I think it will continue to grow, especially with riders my age and older who are now starting to have kids and expose them to the world of snowboarding. I would love to see focus on style come back to the sport. In competitions, the crowds love the big tricks, triple corks, 1440 rotations, etc. To me, I love the fluidity of a slow, stylish back 3 or 5. Anyone can huck themselves 6 times practicing in a foam pit - but how you tweak it a floaty 360 or 540 or a board slide, and make it your own, that's where it's at.