If you grow up in an area with long cold Winters you will be thankful to have parents who teach their kids to play outside in all four seasons. While not my hometown, nor my residence until my late teens, I unbashfully say I grew up as a free range child at Sugarloaf. Skiing, and snowboarding in particular became my passion.
In January of 1990 I entered my first snowboard race and found myself on the silver podium. I continued to race for several years, attending Carrabassett Valley Academy in 1994/1995 and was reasonably successful. In 1996 I was in college not actively training or racing but had enough points to qualify for the US Nationals (USASA). I figured “why not?” and took a week off from school to race. A clear mind makes a difference. No coaches telling me what I needed to be working on or thinking about, all I needed to do was go fast. I won the Giant Slalom event, was second in Slalom, and took first for Alpine Combined.
I haven’t raced since, but continued involvement in the sport by becoming the Snowboard Supervisor in the Ski School and designing a few snowboards specifically for novices. I’m not out on the hill every day anymore, but still love being on the tops of mountains during Winter.