I was lucky enough to grow up barely more than a stones throw from the local ski hill. My natural competitive instinct and interest in sports soon conspired to create a serious and long lasting infatuation with snowboarding. In a borderline obsessive fashion, it became my special form of mania. All my thoughts, all my time and all my money was fully invested in the ongoing chase of more time on the hill. Although extreme at times, I believe snowboarding was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Over the years, snowboarders became my best friends. We congregated at hills together. We met up at events to compete, film and push each other. We saved our funds and migrated to special places where the snow hadn’t yet melted, just to get our fix of slushy park laps on the jump line. We made friends across the country and shared a common passion that brought each of us a special kind of excitement.
I am super fortunate for all the great friends and adventures i’ve been able to accumulate from snowboarding, but the real value of the experience was the simple ability to be involved in the fullness and culture of the snowboard community at large. It is a world so packed with passionate people that it’s practically impossible to avoid having some special form of inspiration rub off on you. In literal terms, it is a culmination of individuals who are willing to prioritize their own happiness and inspiration above all else. They are the kind of people who are willing dedicate their life to their passion, travelling far and wide in pursuit of a few extra feet of snowfall. They make sacrifices for their own happiness without hesitation, despite whatever message societal pressures are telling them next. I personally have a special appreciation for any individual who is able to live with so much conviction.
At the time, my obsession certainly took away from other aspects of a well balanced lifestyle. I prioritized boarding over everything: my school, my girlfriend, job opportunities, etc. Looking back, there may be a couple things I would have handled differently (like focusing on my jump game more, i’m joking), but in all seriousness, I experienced so much from indulging in my constant desire to be on the snow that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I am definitely less obsessed than I once was, I do still love snowboarding more than really, almost anything. For me, boarding is truly the most relaxing feeling out there. It is my special form of unwinding and distraction. The inspiration I gained from spending years with so many genuinely refreshing people still influences many of the life choices I make today. My medium is changing, but the message is still the same. It’s hard to put a value on true passion.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you” – Oprah Winfrey
Featured photo was shot on 35mm in the French Alps.