Multimedia Journalism Takeaway

For me, choosing to do multimedia journalism was kind of at random. I needed a couple more units, so my advisor said, “how about journalism”, and I thought I’d give it a go. Now it is the end of the semester, I think I made a good decision. Although I may not pursue a career in journalism, I have realized that the skills from this class are applicable in any career path. For example, if I ran a ski resort, I might want to make a video story about how we started and why you should go there to put on our home page. I might also use twitter to live tweet cool events so people can see how cool our events really are and will go to the net event.

One of the main things I gained from this class was that everything you make in multimedia should tell a story. Whether you make a video, take some pictures, or record someone talking, it should tell a story with a beginning, a climax, and a resolution. It was also cool seeing how a lot of people have a cool story of their own, or how something as simple as a night out with friends can be a great story to tell. I think I will take this idea into my snowboarding edits in the future. There’s a difference between a video with music and snowboarding, versus a story told with those snowboarding videos. There is one video I made here which I think embodies that.

This class also inspired me to make my own website out of my old blog ( It made me think about more of the cool stuff I could out on there so people will get to know me through more than just my writing. I want to take more pictures of the things I do. I usually try to take one picture to sum up an event or day, but I think I can make more use of slideshows and audio slideshows to tell a more captivating story to put on my website.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 1.54.47 PM.png

I’ve done some work on my own website

The photography, videography, and social media use from this class will definitely be useful after this class. I will probably continue to use twitter for news, and I will continue blogging more regularly on my riderwriter blog.

Snow season Wrap-up

Ever since I first started snowboarding, I have had the dream of living in a place where the mountains were accessible on a daily basis. Finally, after 5 years of driving up from the Bay, I moved to Tahoe. When the first snows started falling in November, it was like a dream come true. I even arranged my school schedule to I could snowboard 5 full days a week. I got a job next to my favorite ski resort. I didn’t think I would be on my college team, but after walking in on a meeting and asking if I could train with them, I found out I actually could be a part of the team. Everything was so great! I enthusiastically went to every single fall conditioning, thinking about all the pow I would be riding. I thought of all the friends I would make.


My season started early, on November 6, riding the park at Boreal. It seemed like the season was off to a great start! I remember on “dead day” during finals in December, I went out to Northstar instead of studying. I landed 3 or 4 new tricks that day, which I was very happy with so early on in the season. After finals, I moved to Truckee for Winter break, five minutes from the slopes. And then, on day one of break, Injury number one hit. My doctor told me I was out for the season. Suddenly all the promise of the season melted away like the terrain park on a sunny, April day.


I kept my hopes up. Between Christmas and New Years, I was able to snowboard in a sling with my family. It was fun and I was glad to be back. School started up again in mid-January, and I was competing with the college team and individually through USASA. I was back to training 5 days a week, and by the end of January, I felt I had fully recovered. In fact, on January 31, I said “I think I’m finally recovered from my injury! Time to start pushing it again!” So I tried a backflip.

I was so close, but backflips should be done in whole numbers. 0.8 backflips just didn’t cut it, and I what-used-to-be-my-good-arm was now my bad arm. That same day, my car broke for the 4th time since it caught on fire in November.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 6.31.46 PM

This time, my determination was even greater, and I was back on snow within 4 days. I kept to a rigorous physical therapy routine, and knew that the season still had promise. I felt like I loved snowboarding even more than before my injuries. Two weeks after my second injury, I was off to regionals for the Collegiate competition league in Mammoth, where I would compete against the colleges from California and Nevada.


First of all, Mammoth is the BOMB! And I felt like I was truly part of the team on that weekend road trip. Out of complete surprise, I ended up earning 3rd place in the Slopestyle event and 4th in snowboard cross. I attributed it entirely to good luck. A month later was Spring break and I skipped the tropical vacation and got to ride every day, including my birthday, on which I received several feet of snow and blue skies. A week later, I was in Colorado, competing in the USASA national championships. Its now the end of the season, and I can happily say I’ve had no more injuries

I didn’t plan on having 2 injuries. I didn’t plan on spending so many of those 89 days by myself. I didn’t plan on having my car catch on fire. Despite all this though, I am extremely grateful for how my season went. Considering my doctor told me I was out for the season with my first injury in December, my season has been phenomenal in comparison. My goal was 100 days. I got 90, and I had to take about 20 days off snow between both injuries. I got so many sunny park laps. Although I feel I did not improve as much as I would have liked, I can say I did my best with the circumstances. I am way more stoked that I tried a backflip than I would be if I had stayed safe and un-injured.

My season is actually not over. A week ago, I found out I would be working at a summer snowboarding camp starting in June. I am extremely stoked to have this opportunity, and to continue progressing in what is usually the of-season. My luck may have turned in December, but it has turned back around. I come out of this season stronger and with more confidence in my own determination. Without my setbacks, I would not have this.

Honors project


Many people come to SNC, the heart of Tahoe, and don’t get to try Skiing or snowboarding. I have met a few people who simply do not want to, and that is fine. Knowing the monetary cost of the sport, I figured the main reason someone would not ski or snowboard is that. Lift tickets at Northstar are over 110 dollars for a single day! Having a season pass and my own gear, these costs often don’t cross my mind, but if you are a first timer, not fully committed to the sport, I can completely understand the reluctance.

This interactive map shows some of the many ski resorts within a two-hour drive of SNC. Yet many people who want to ski do not get the opportunity.

Lift tickets are just a fraction of the cost. Many people have never been before and don’t know where to start. Granted, they probably know people like myself who ski and snowboard regularly, and are quite proficient at the sport. Perhaps they do not know anyone who is willing to ski with a complete beginner. Lessons start at around $50 a day for a beginner group lesson, but only last an hour or two. A big saving on money would come from friends teaching friends.

My inspiration to choose this topic for my Honors project was when one of my friends asked me to teach them snowboarding. When I decided to take this project on, I found two other friends who wanted to learn to snowboard, and had never been. In trying to arrange a day and figure out logistics, I learned of some new obstacles to starting that I had not even thought about.


Forget the snowboard and bindings! this is all the other gear it takes just for a day out on the hill – most of which cannot be rented.

First of all, finding a day that worked was difficult because people are so busy. To me, snowboarding is such a part of my life, I am used so spending 5 days a week out on the hill. I have forced it into my schedule because that is what I care about and love. Other people seem willing, but are caught up with school and work  every day.

I told them that a diamond peak ticket was $35, the cheapest in the area, and they could rent a full setup of snowboard, boots, and bindings for $40. However, I had one extra snowboard and bindings, and one friend had someone else’s they could borrow, so boots only can be rented for $20.  Spending $55 to $75 in one day still seemed a lot to me, so I went online and found that you could rent boots from another place for only $10, and if we went on a Friday to Boreal, a lift ticket was only $15 for college students. I thought we were all set. However, when the day came, one asked me what they should wear. I told them waterproof pants were essential, especially for snowboarding. I made sure the day was to have great weather, so they could get away with wearing a sweatshirt and snow pants. What I realized was that many people don’t even have snow pants, and unlike boots and boards, they cannot be rented, only bought, which is not worth it for one use.

I was inspired to find a way to make snow sports more accessible to students living in Tahoe. I would start with a few of my friends, teaching them personally and lending them my gear. However, I would like to set up a system that can help people beyond my reach.

The solution:

In order to properly solve this problem, I need to get some facts instead of leaning on assumptions, so I put together a survey, asking the following questions:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.18.43 AM

19 People did the survey, which I put on social media, and passed around on my phone when I was around people. I put together some graphics to show my findings:


Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.09.25 PM


Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.09.36 PM


Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.11.05 PM

Like I hypothesized, the main reasons seemed to be the lack of gear, and not knowing how to. It turns out that there are other people like me who are willing to teach and have some extra gear.

One solution to consider is to have the SNC gear room rent out snow pants and other snow gear. Another option is  a place where people donate gear, and people in need can borrow it for free. That way, the only cost to the student is the lift ticket, which can be as low as $15 at Boreal.

Me teaching one or two people may not make a big difference, but it gave me the idea of setting up a system for students to teach other students. From personal experience, I was happy to teach my friends for free because I had never taught before. It was something new and exciting, and I wasn’t going to charge them for something I didn’t even know if I could do well. What this system would take is finding a few students who love to ski or snowboard and are willing to teach. In addition, students will have access to used gear through the gear donations mentioned earlier.

In the end unfortunately, after four attempts with three people to find one day that would work for at least one person, I was not able to actually go out and teach someone before the season was out. However, this project has inspired me to do so next season. In addition, I will  take all my old gear from home which I didn’t even bring with me this year. Doing so would get the ball rolling on a item where people can exchange gear and teach each other


a Blog on Blogging

IMG_3271Before this class, I had been blogging for about 6 months, however, I did not make a point to update regularly. I posted whenever I felt inspired. The blog featured writings that mostly related to snowboarding, and the impact it has had on my life. It was less about the recent events of my life, and more a collection of reflective pieces.

Blogging for this class challenged me because I had to update regularly, rather then only when  I felt like it. I also had to include some reflections on outside pieces, such as “snowfall” and “Ira Glass”. I definitely learned a lot about blogging from this class, and I plan to continue my other blog after this, and make a point to update more frequently with events that are going on in my life, like a well-written, online journal.

Something I learned was the importance of using links to other content in blogs. This is an easy way to explain or demonstrate something without adding too much to the blog. If someone knows what you are talking about, they can skip it, but if they are interested, they can click on it.

Something else I learned is the different ways to display photos. I found the use of a slideshow to be the best medium sometimes, and other times, one photo, or a line of photos was better. It got me thinking about not only what photos to include, but how to include them. Another thing I gained from the class was that my blogs should have more photos in general! My other blog was centered on the writing, and may have featured one or two pictures. I think blogs are more interesting if they are broken up with more pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall, my experience with blogging both in and out of this class has been positive. I definitely see the value in blogging, and aspire for more people to read my writing. I have seen how blogging can be used to promote a company, without seeming like an advertisement. For example, Thrivemarket’s blog, which is run by the company and features their products. I hope to integrate blogging into my future career.

Nationals in Colorado

This is my third year doing competitive snowboarding, and my second time going to the USASA National championships in Copper, Colorado. You qualify by competing in local events. This season was difficult because of my two injuries, but I had made it.

I left on Thursday, March 31, getting a ride in the car with one of my good friends. The drive took about 20 hours total, and we did it over 2 days. Finally, on Friday evening, we arrived in Copper Colorado, ready for a full day of practicing on Saturday. I was to compete in Slopestyle, Rail Jam, and snowboard cross over the next week.

The most difficult part about this year was the fact that I did not have a coach with me there, unlike almost everyone else competing. although I knew what to do, I was lonely, and had no one to check in with, or talk to about my competition. I remember on Saturday, Practice day, I fell hard on my first practice run in snowboard cross. With no one to talk about it to, and no one to tell me how I could improve, I felt my day go downhill from there. I tried to pull myself out of it and be mentally strong, but it was very difficult.

Sunday was one of my best days. It was another practice day, and I spend the day riding in the course where my slopestyle competition would be held on Tuesday. After many runs trying to get the correct speed for the jumps, I finally felt confident and ready to conquer it! Later that day, I had a job interview with the resort, because I had applied to work in their summer snowboarding camp. Hopefully I get to spend my summer there snowboarding!


On Tuesday, I had both Slopestyle and Rail Jam competitions. The weather was not ideal. It snowed all day, and with fresh snow on the ground, it was almost impossible to get enough speed to do the jumps. It turned from a Slopestyle competition into a brave-the-weather competition. However, I stayed on my feet and ended up in 11th place! I still wish I had been able to do as well as I had on Sunday, but I can’t control the weather, so there’s no point in being mad.

Although I do not consider myself a racer, snowboard cross went pretty well. Snowboard cross is the event where four people ride down a course with jumps, banked turns and other obstacles at the same time. Between Saturday and the competition on Wednesday, I got to ride the race course about 5 times. Every time, I fell coming out of the start gate. It was embarrassing, but the start gate was a vertical drop, leading up to a jump with a gap to clear. Having no coach didn’t help either. Finally, the run before my competition, I made it past the start! I fell in the middle of the course but I had the hardest part on lock. My goal was to go through the whole course without falling. Finally, in my race with other people, I made it through the course! Unfortunately, only the first place winner of the race advances to the next heat to race other winners. The other racer got in front of me in the beginning, and I stayed about 10 feet behind for the whole race. I still ended up in 9th overall because of my time trial, which is when they time you going through the course to solve any tiebreakers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that I am back from Nationals, it was a pretty fun week. I got to stay with my friend and we had some good times off the slopes as well. I am disappointed about the conditions on the slopestyle day, but there’s nothing I can do about it. The biggest thing I learned was the importance of having a coach. When I found out last minute that my coach from SNC would not be coming, I thought I could do it all myself. I did manage it, but it was difficult, and I felt it would have been a lot better with one. Although I knew what to do and how to snowboard, it was difficult being all by myself. My competition season may be over, but my season still has a few days left! The day after I got back, I left early to go to Squaw Valley and train freestyle with some awesome people. Competitions aren’t my motivation. I see them more as a by product of my hard work which is brought on by passion and love for doing my sport.

Using Twitter

I remember I first got a twitter about a year ago just so I could participate in a “twitter party” where a bunch of people go on twitter at the same time and use the same hashtags and comment on each others stuff about a topic. After the twitter party, I promptly unsubscribed from all their emails and stopped using the account. I just saw no reason to use another social media on top of what I already use. I was also annoyed by the number of emails they sent and didn’t see the need for another social media account.

After a few months of using Twitter for Journalism class. I can see some benefits. Some of the pages I follow post different things on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Some companies do give outs and competitions exclusively on Twitter, so there’s another advantage. (I have yet to win something though) I also had fun live tweeting an event. I know this can be done on Facebook, but people don’t do it. If I’m on Facebook and someone is updating their status every few minutes I might find it annoying because that is not how Facebook is commonly used. However, people often live tweet things on twitter, so it didn’t feel too weird tweeting every few hours of my journey to Colorado.

A drawback to twitter is yet another distraction. I will often take the time to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and twitter, and I will see many of the same stuff. The things I post as well on twitter are often posted on my other social media sites, so it seemed a little redundant. As for using Twitter as a news source, it did bring me some of the latest news. However, I find I get a lot of this stuff from Facebook as well.

After this class I may continue to use Twitter. Like I said, some things are posted exclusively on Twitter instead of across all social media platforms. From a journalist’s point of view, I think twitter is good for sharing links, or giving very brief headlines or breaking news. Facebook seems more for personal stuff, while twitter is slightly different because of the character limit. I don’t think one social media is the best, but Facebook is more fun for me because I have had it the longest, so I have the most friends on it.

19 things I’ve learned in 19 years.

They Say 19 is the stupid age. The most reckless stage of life where decisions are made impulsively and without thought of the future. Next week is my 19th birthday, and I am excited to embrace the next year of my life.

I might be the sort of person who tries a backflip on my snowboard off a 7-foot jump, or goes 75 around a 55-mph corner just for the heck of it. While I may or may not have gone out snowboarding while still in a sling, I feel like I have learned a thing or two in my almost two decades of existence.

1.Education is important, but learning is importanter.

How Much did I used to hate school? This much.209322_152735424789908_6356909_o.jpg

Academics aren’t everything – but definitely are something. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum moving from from Cupertino to Tahoe. Asking someone their GPA in Cupertino was comparable to asking a woman her weight. I worked in a child care for almost a year, and I realized that Kids were being prepared for the SAT from Kindergarten. My boss told me that his boss was the parents, and the stricter and meaner I was, the more they would like me. If a kid went home and complained, “Miss Hanalei Forced me to do math homework and put me on time out when I didn’t!”, that is what kept them coming back. Meanwhile in Tahoe, I’ve met people who skip class because they don’t feel like going, or are too hungover from partying hard on a Monday night. This post is not about why we should all forget about school and go do whatever you want (I would definitely become a ski bum)

What I have realized is that grades do not measure anything, and what motivates me to do well in school is the fact that I am giving my all into everything I do. What matters more than learning set facts is learning how to think for yourself and work with people. While the school system still needs work, I believe you can still go to a public school and get out what you put into it by approaching subjects with genuine interest.


2.Who cares?

IMG_2296Working through the same child care, I did get to do some non-academic stuff in the summer. I remember one day we went to the park to supervise the children on the playground. I had the strong urge to join them, watching them swing, roll down a hill, do cartwheels and ride the spinny-thing. and then I realized – why not join them? Who cares? So I did. and it was awesome. In middle school I cared so much about what people thought of me, but then I realized I was my own worst critic. What could have been a boring day sitting around in mid-June heat watching kids have fun turned into an awesomely fun experience.


3.Life is like a hitting a ramp.

One of the best and worst feelings is standing at the top of the terrain park, strapped into your snowboard (or skis), knowing you’re about to send it. If I want to hit a jump, I have to decide from the top, not at the takeoff. I need to go fast enough, and not hesitate. Approaching a jump timidly or too slowly can cause you to miss the landing and hurt yourself. Snowboarding is not the only place I have realized being decisive and committing are important. Whether I’m stepping up to the stage at Open mic night, or deciding to commit to a binding decision, there are things in life you just can’t “sorta try to do”. At some point you just have to say, “dropping!”, point your snowboard at the jump, and send it (figuratively and literally)

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 5.42.19 PM.png

4.Sometimes luck is all it takes

After 4 car break-downs and two injuries in the space of 3 months, I figured it was time for some good luck. It was regionals weekend and I was at Mammoth with the SNC team. Snowboard cross is an awesome, aggressive, exhilarating event, but to be honest, I sucked at it. I’m just too nice! Strapping in at the start gate, my goal was to not lose the first round by too much. The top two from each round go to the next round, and so forth until the finals. In that first round, everyone fell and I stayed ahead long enough to end up in first place! It came by total surprise! Three rounds later of the same luck and I was in the finals! That day, I learned that sometimes all it takes is a little luck, and when the good luck comes, embrace it!


5.Put downs and criticism are my motivation

I wasn’t going to hit the jump at Northstar, but all it took was some guy saying “all girls just need to grow a pair” to get me to do it. The fact that I was not recruited for the snowboard team and was denied an athletic scholarship motivates me to show up to every practice and try my hardest at every one. I was once told that watching me snowboard was like watching grass grow. If someone tells me I can’t do it, that drives me to prove them wrong. I remember the most determined I ever was to prove someone wrong was when my doctor told me I was out for the season in December after a dislocated shoulder. I was back on snow in two weeks and my arm feels fine. Want to get me to send it? Tell me I’m cautious. Tell me I won’t amount to anything. I dare you. I could crumple or give up with criticism, but I’ve made the choice not to. People create meaning out of things, and to me, I take criticism as an opportunity to prove someone wrong.


Jumping away from haters.

6.Boring things are as boring as you want them to be.

In middle school, I hated school. My favorite thing to say at one point was “I’m bored”. My 13-year-old self never would have guessed that I would eventually get myself to tolerate long distance running and Chemistry. In 10th grade, I learned to “fake it till you make it”. My life consisted of 18 hours a week of cross country, and lots of homework from my Honors chemistry class. After a few weeks of hating it, I realized, “Hey, maybe I don’t have to hate it!”. With every step, I told myself i loved running. With every assignment, I told myself I loved chemistry. And it worked! I didn’t love them, but I definitely tolerated them, and I was surprised at the impact of my fake, forced thoughts.


8th grade me drew this in Chinese class.

7.It is impossible to do things without other people.

Even before Coming to SNC, I had the vision of starting a christian fellowship club. My greatest fear was that no one would want to join me. I could plan the best events, and choose the best bible verses to study, but if no one came, it would be a huge flop. Seriously, other people rock. Without other people, this club would be nothing. We now host meetings twice a week and are being sponsored by a local church because of our success. All I’ve done is get the people together. I thought starting a christian club at a small, liberal arts college would be difficult, but the amount of support I’ve had has made it possible.


8.Better to aim high and miss than to aim low and make it

Every snowboarding season I set a ton of goals. Last season some of them were pretty out-there. By the end of the season, I was extremely disappointed with my slopestyle line at nationals. I did three straight airs. My disappointment was tangible. Then I realized, so what? I was disappointed but whoopdedoo, big deal. I didn’t die. Just achieve those goals next season!

IMG_2748.jpgScreen Shot 2016-01-20 at 9.14.22 AM

9.Forget being a hard worker

Work smart, not hard. When I first started hitting jumps on my snowboard two years ago, I could not land them. I thought the only way was to keep trying the same thing over and over. So I did. I literally busted my ass (most likely fractured my tailbone that season). Last snowboarding season I wanted to take a different approach. I worked on my form and focused on how I hit the jumps.


Bill Gates once said he likes to choose lazy people to do a job, because they will find an easy way to do it. I take this mindset into studying for tests, and other areas of my life. Sure I could study for both the SAT and ACT and take the best score after taking each one multiple times, but why not pick one, study it well, and plan to ace it on the first try?

10.Healthy food doesn’t suck


They say “if it tastes good, spit it out”. I say “If it tastes bad spit it out”. Whoever came up with that saying probably tried to eat raw kale and decided to stay away from all healthy food. I remember when I used to think healthy food was uncool. But you know what’s even uncooler? Feeling tired and sluggish and getting sick every other month.

When people think of healthy food they might think of weird things that weird people eat like Kale, Chia seeds, or Quinoa. You know the food that only “that kind” of person eats. What I’ve learned is that healthy food is rad, and doesn’t have to be a speciality “health food”. It just has to be real food! I never shop at whole foods, and I’m not a big fan of kale or salad. I hate chia seed pudding and I’ve never bought Kombuncha. Healthy food can be totally awesome (and inexpensive) if know what you’re doing!


11.Yes friends on a powder day!

Life is way more fun when you share great experiences with other people. What I’ve realized is that life is not all about me. If I had all the money in the world and could snowboard powder all the time, but could not share it with anyone, I’d be miserable. I’m not only taking about powder days, but life in general.

I could just devote all my time and energy into improving my own snowboarding and winning competitions, but what is the point if I never help other people? To even consider snowboarding as a sport, I am extremely privileged. Not everyone can pursue their passion, and it would be my honor to help other people.


12.You don’t have to feel a certain way because it’s the norm.

It is the day before my first college finals and I’m out at Northstar hitting the terrain park. what on earth am I doing out there? In 9th grade, I saw how stressed people got during finals week and I vowed not to stress out. It’s hard to describe how to not stress out, you just kind of tell yourself that it is your intention. I planned to go snowboarding the weekend before finals every year and have kept to that tradition. The result? My final grades were often surprisingly higher than my average grade for the semester. I took the same mindset into Junior year (dubbed year of hell and eternal sobbing in Cupertino), and found myself not stressing while everyone else around me was.


13.If you’re not fearless, pretend you are.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 6.31.46 PM

Let’s face it. Some people are just born fearless. From a young age they are going big in extreme sports. When I was a kid I was one of the most cautious people you’d meet. I loved to stay in my comfort zone. I chickened out on Disneyland’s splash mountain. So now that I aspire to be in the X-games, all the fear just suddenly melted away, right? Yeah I wish so too. I’ve learned that how you are as a kid does not define your future. I think my cautious nature drew me to snowboarding because it is a tangible way to step out of that comfort zone. Courage is just the by-product of caring enough about something. Fear exists, but I refuse to let it rule my life. I want to go skydiving because I know I don’t want to.

14.There is no set path.

I try really hard not to, but I get extremely jealous when I see the little 9 year old girl out there on the snow, ripping it up. In the world of high level sports, 19 is old. I started snowboarding at the age of 14, living 4 hours away from the closest snow. I didn’t go to some fancy mountain academy or compete in the junior Olympics. I knew that I would be competing against people who did take that path. Some people were homeschooled and lived in Tahoe all their lives. How could I possibly make it? There was no way. That was until I heard about Jenny Jones.

Jenny started snowboarding at 17 and lived in England, where there are no mountains. However, at the age of 33, she won a bronze medal in the 2014 Olympics for slopestyle snowboarding. I was inspired, and realized that I too could make it to the Olympics for the sport I love.

There’s nothing wrong with starting really young, going to a private mountain school and riding every day, and going to summer snow camps every year. That is one path. But it is not the only path, and I should not be discouraged. If I focus on where I’m going, and see these people as friends rather than enemies, then I’ll eventually end up where I need to be.


Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson and I

15.Question everything. (Why should I do that?)

In community college, I got to take an awesome class called Creative minds. Basically, it was about questioning the status quo and rebelling against the system. Coolest. Class. Ever. We learned about vested interests that big corporations had in industries. We learned to think twice about “common sense” things and issues such as gender roles. I thought differently about how the school system worked and how the pharmaceutical industry keeps us unhealthy. Now I always think: why is something the way it is? What is really happening here? I remember when I was in urgent care after a snowboarding crash, I had the wits about me to question every step the doctor performed.


“Abandon the system”

16.We were all once gapers

If you know what GAPER day is, then you’re awesome! For those of you who don’t know, a gaper is basically a skier or snowboarder who has no clue what they are doing, usually characterized by a gap between their helmet and goggles. It is easy to poke fun at gapers, or even get mad at them when they’re in your way, but I always have to remember – I was once a gaper not too long ago. I think I enjoy gaper day (where everyone dresses up as a gaper) so much because I’m remembering my roots and where I started, and poking fun at  myself and what used to be normal for me. I am reminded not to take myself too seriously. Gapers inspire me. They don’t give a damn about what others think and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Any beginner skier or snowboarder will make a fool of themselves on their first day. The fact that they’re out there and trying their best is inspiring. You go gapers!


17.Treat people like it’s their last day


Woah… Getting real deep here. I included this because of my dog, Kona, who died in 2014. One day it was my 17th birthday and everything was going great, then the next day she was so lethargic we took her to the vet where she was diagnosed with cancer. We decided not to have the operation because of the slim chance of success. The vet gave her a few hours. She lived an extra two weeks after that day. I remember every day for those two weeks I would spend as much time with her as I could. I spoiled her and let her on the bed. Eventually she went peacefully in her sleep. If I could treat her like that when I knew any moment could be her last, why can’t I treat people like that every day?

18.Nothing is Guaranteed.


Nothing can stop me!

I had it all planned out – Winter break was five weeks and I had landed a place 2 miles from my favorite ski resort to spend it. There were 35 days I could have injured myself. However, fate chose day one and my epic plans were thwarted. It was so tempting to become bitter and complain about it (not saying I didn’t do that at all), but I soon realized that doing so would achieve absolutely nothing. My winter break of 2015 made me realize that I could plan everything out as carefully as I wanted to – but in the end, it is not me who decides what happens. Realizing that helped me not to lose my mind while I looked out at the bluebird skies and fresh powder that I could not ride. I realized that there is no good or bad, there just is.

19.Never stop failing

6617801_origPeople who don’t ski or snowboard regularly usually end up asking me this question: “do you still fall?” My answer is Yes, yes I do and I plan to continue falling for the rest of my snowboarding career. In snowboarding, falling means you’re trying new things and pushing your limits. Snowboarding is not the only place where this matters. Imagine living a life where you never tried anything new in fear of failing? What a boring life! To me, failure is not trying. This is just one of the lessons snowboarding has taught me. Do the thing! Go get it! and never. Stop. Failing.