You Can Find Inspiration Everywhere

One day a magazine changed my life.

I wandered into a grocery store years ago. I was searching for something new, fresh and inspiring to bring into my life. In essence, I was craving change. I ended up buying my first snowboard magazine.

Although I had ridden before, it was on an oversized men’s board I bought for $2 at a garage sale. The crack that spanned one end said it all. I matched it with a pair of men's boots I bought off eBay. They were two sizes too big and flaming red. Regardless of my penchant for eclectic gear, I still managed to get a taste of the beauty and the art of the sport.

Snowboarding sparked something very powerful in me.

Flipping through the pages of my newly acquired magazine, I came across a single article that struck me hard. It was Be You, written by pro snowboarder and Olympian Gretchen Bleiler. As I read, it dawned on me that I could actually make the decision to dedicate myself to the sport and see how that adventure could impact my life. Even though I had been competitive in the past, I had never really dedicated myself to my sports. I simply enjoyed them, and that had been enough. The article ended with a quote I’d never heard before.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson

This propelled me in the pursuit of not only the sport of snowboarding, but the pursuit of dedication, passion, and self-discovery. I found a way to express my creativity through riding in a way that even mountain biking hadn't yet given me to that extent. It helped me grow and define who I was as a person and what I stood for. It helped me find the light I wanted to shine on the world.

Yes, snowboarding in part is responsible for the monumental challenges I’ve just been through, and definitely gave me my fair share of those injuries. Do I blame it? No. Quite the opposite. It gave me something to fight for. In the darkest days, I refused to give it up. I knew I would fight with my entire being to get back to what I loved most. I’ve done that, and I’m so proud this was my first season back on the mountain.

Would I trade the last six years of fear, pain, and sacrifice for the chance to not go through it? No. It helped me shape myself into who I am, who I’ve always aimed to be. I’m damn proud of that. If I had sidestepped that challenge, I simply would have been met with another. Some say this ‘positivity’ stuff is just a front. It’s not. It’s who I am, it’s what I live and breath. I’ve sacrificed everything to get here. I fought with everything I had in me. And it was worth it all.

I often think back on that day. I just happened to pick up this very magazine, with this single article that created the shift I was searching for and open to. Thank you, Gretchen, for unknowingly having such a huge impact on my life. I’m grateful for it.

What do you want most?

If you’re searching for something, be open to it. You will find it in places you won’t expect, but only if you’re mind is open and you’re receptive. To improve your situation you have to truly desire to. Great things come from unexpected places, but only when you’re ready, and always at the cost of discomfort. Be a warrior. I found change that day because I was both looking for it and willing to accept it.

Be the change you’re seeking first, and all the universe will follow your lead.