What It’s Really Like to Be a Pro Snowboarder

Written for FLARE‘s 9-5 series.

Standing at the top of a hill before a run, what’s going through your mind? It depends. If I’m at the top of the half pipe, I’m going through my run mentally and then I’ll just breathe and tell myself, “Relax. You got this.” But if I’m just going down a run on the hill, it’s totally second nature to me so I’m not thinking about anything. There’s no pressure and no stress. I just let it ride.

How do you calm your nerves and get in the zone at competitions? I do yoga breathing if I’m nervous. When you’re at something like the Olympics, you’re so focused on the task at hand that you literally can’t even hear the people around you. If I do hear the crowds that are cheering on either side of the half pipe, I’m not focused.

What type of look do you go for when picking snowboarding gear? I usually wear bright clothes so I show up in photos when I’m in the air. Right now, I have a bright coral jacket with camo pants. Most people wear face masks so they don’t get the hideous goggle tan, but I love the sun so I just wear sunglasses—and then get a raccoon tan.

Read the full story here.

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