When I tell people what I do for a living, so often I get the response “Wow, you’re so lucky!” and I often respond “No, not lucky, I just made choices.”
However, luck does have something to do with it. I was lucky to be born where I was into the family that I was. Snowsports have been in my life since the beginning. That much was luck.
Building on that luck, the choice to run to my family’s car after my ski lessons to strap my Sorel boots into my Blacksnow Legend and try to figure out how to control my snowboard in front of mocking peers until my parents dragged me off the hill to go home; that much was choice. Continuing to fuel that passion by building kickers at the golf course, on the slopes next to highway bridges, jumping off my roof while my Mum snuck a photo from the second-story window and walking the winter streets looking for things to jib; that much was choice.
Choosing to move to Whistler in 2007 two days after finishing university to finally give myself over to snowboarding full-time was where the journey really accelerated. Getting my CASI Level 1 back in 2000 opened the doors to my career in Whistler. Fast-forward 13 years and I'm still at it with the same stoke as Day 1.
People think that being a snowboard instructor means you’re teaching beginners all day long. And sure, we do teach beginners. A lot of beginners. And it’s cool, as long as you stay empathetic and can get stoked when they get stoked.
Eventually, you gain higher credentials, you build seniority and your client list, or you start coaching a seasonal program with riders who a primed to progress, and all of a sudden, you’re snowboarding with people at much different levels. Some of us even teach teachers how to be teachers. We get flown around the world to deliver certification courses. We attend international conferences centered around Snowsports. We get paid to go Heli-Boarding!
When building a career in Snowsports we can carve our own track, just as in snowboarding itself. We can become career instructors, athletes, coaches, we can work for cool companies or organizations in the sport. We can be entrepreneurs. There is no limit as to what one can do in this lifestyle.
So, don’t wait on luck. Make choices. Make choices to make your life a Snow Life.