At 13 I entered my first local snowboard contest, and won. In 2010, I began competing at events beyond the local level. That Summer I took online courses while working full-time so that I could graduate high-school a semester early. I didn’t spend that semester travelling, like most would. Instead, I worked. 5am-12pm at a gas station making breakfast sandwiches and serving coffee, so I could afford to go to snowboard camp.
Remember when I said my allowance was like 25 cents? I didn’t come from money. If I wanted something, I had to earn it. I think that may have been why I chose snowboarding in the first place. While I could excel on natural talent alone in school and most sports, snowboarding was a challenge, in fact, it took me 2 years to even learn how to turn.
In 2011, I was named to the Canadian Junior National Slopestyle Snowboard team. I had no coach, no connections, and no idea of how incredible the next 4 years would be. There were amazing highs, competing on the World Cup circuit, travelling with the National team, but also, deep lows, such as failing to qualify for the 2014 Olympics, breaking my tailbone, ribs, ankle, wrist, heel…
In 2015 I reached out to my coaches and told them I hadn’t been feeling quite myself that past season. I was making excuses, small injuries that I’d typically ride through kept me on the sidelines, but inside, I felt scared and out of place. I had seen several friends have life threatening injuries, and I had begun to wonder how it would effect my future, family, and other passions if something like that were to happen to me. In snowboarding it’s not a matter of if, but rather, when. That’s the thing with action sports. If you let the fear in, it’s time to retire.
That year I fell into a deep depression. I’d always struggled with anxiety, but this was totally different. I started having more severe panic attacks and struggled with losing my identity as an athlete. Who am I now? That Summer opened my eyes to how dark things could get, even for a seemingly always motivated and optimistic young woman.
I had 2 saving graces to getting me back to myself (aside from seeking professional help), one, an introspective solo trip to Bali, and two, CrossFit. I had started CrossFit a year prior as a way to train for snowboarding, and took to it quite quickly. Diving into CrossFit gave me an outlet and helped me through the transition. Eventually it became more than that, and I’ve now competed around the World at Sanctional events, competing against the fittest athletes on the planet.