Here is a story I wrote for ColoradoFUN! Magazine. It covers things to do in the spring and summer in Salida, Buena Vista, and Leadville.
When I met Zach Giffon at an Outdoor Research event in Jackson Hole in 2012, he showed me the mobile tiny house that he and Molly Baker lived in, where they chase the fresh snow all winter long. He continues to be a tiny house advocate, giving numerous presentations and traveling around the country to spread the tiny house love.
I was lucky enough to be able to use that encounter to write a number of tiny house stories, like this one for RANGE Magazine. That story focuses on ski resorts and the backcountry, and why having a tiny house is a smart choice for serious skiers (which is how I met Zack).
Read this story I wrote for ski.com. I was able to interview Joel Gratz of Open Snow, and speak to two different avalanche forecasters at two different resorts.
Read here: http://www.mountainreservations.com/blog/post/where-will-it-snow-in-2017
High Five’s dedicates their fundraising efforts, events, and storytelling to the recovery of injured action sports athletes. I fall into that category, and I’ve been so blessed to say that High Five’s has generously helped fund a lot of things I needed for my recovery.
With the High Fives team and other athletes and supporters, being on the snow this past weekend was exciting. Plus, seeing other athletes come back on snow after what they’ve been challenged with was exciting. Multiple sit skis alongside general stoke and positivity really made the event one to celebrate.
This past Saturday, I spoke at the Watershed Jackson annual fundraising gala. It was an honor to be invited back to the town where I had my ski accident, and get to speak about the challenges I went through and also my successes. The High Fives Foundation played a big role in helping to fund my achievements, and Watershed is the same type of organization. I had so much fun being back in that beautiful town again, and it was great to see so many good friends.
A lot of exciting and time consuming things have happened recently, which is the reason for my lack of blogging.
My brother got married!
It was a very fun event, and there was a lot of work and preparation before it! But the wedding was so fun, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my brother so happy.
I also got a job! I’m the marketing content writer for Infront Webworks. They redesign websites, and specialize in search engine optimization (or SEO). I really like working there, and I feel valued. My boss is going to try to drum up some more work for me, because sometimes I feel like I don’t really have enough to do. Hopefully that will improve!
Next week, I’m flying out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to speak about my ski accident and the way High Fives Foundation has supported me all along. I’ll be speaking at this event, an annual fund raising gala to continue their support through Peak PT, Teton Adaptive Sports, and Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard club. Watershed Jackson seems a lot like High Fives, so I’m excited to be invited and to share my story.
Those are the updates I wanted to share with you all! Hope you’re enjoying the long fall, which now seems to be turning into winter.
Last night, I was scrolling through Facebook before I went to sleep, and I watched this video.
I knew that Kevin Pierce, the pro-snowboarder who was about to beat Shawn White in the Vancouver Olympics, suffered a TBI. He’s much different then me, however- he doesn’t have as much balance issues, was able to be a good snowboarder again less than a year after his horrific injury, didn’t have speech issues, etc- and I let our differences get in the way of our similarities. But then I saw this movie on Facebook from Lululemon, and the way I though of him completely changed.
There were a few poignant statements in the movie that really hit me. The first thing that snagged my attention was Kevin saying “Everybody knows me now as someone who had a TBI. They very rarely see me as something different.” Because of the documentary that was filmed while he was recovering, The Crash Reel, people tied him to that- the terrible accident that happened to him. They never thought of him as the advanced snowboarder who could do amazing things in the halfpipe.
That’s how I think that people see me. I was very good at the work I did for the ski industry, and I was an pretty good skier. Now, people see me as the girl who suffered a TBI. It’s been very difficult for me to find a job (I don’t have one now), and I don’t ski like I used to. I’m very sad that a simple ski accident led to a significant decrease in workplace ability, and my life outside of the simple and boring one that I have at home is not as exciting as what I used to have.
Towards the end of the film, the comments by Gretchen Bleiler about how you feel alone and isolated after a TBI is dead-on. She said “You can control if you do it alone, or as a community.” I thought that I was abnormal for feeling this way, so it was good to hear someone else say it and show me that maybe that feeling is not too far off. I really enjoyed the TBIAlive community I had in Boulder, where it was great to hear an experience from someone where it happened the same as it would have for me.
Recently, I had coffee with a high school acquaintance who suffered a TBI when she was living in DC, walking across the street, and hit by a car going 35 miles per hour. She kind of allowed me to believe that, yes, things are different for me then they used to be, but there’s a lot that’s still the same- my personality, long-term memory, and athleticism. She has trouble with loud noises, like I do, and gets lost very easily. All TBI’s are different, but it’s good to hear another completely normal person is also going through some of the same challenges.
Last night, I just came to the realization that I’m not horrible; things are just different, and I was overwhelmed by noticing that Kevin Pierce has some of the same differences. It was good to be reminded that he struggles too, and my high school friend also has some similar challenges. It’s good to know that I’m not alone.