From England to Vancouver (mostly for snowboarding)

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I won’t beat around the bush – I came to Vancouver to rekindle my love for snowboarding.

A once-a-year holiday from England was no longer cutting the mustard. Imagine being in really big fridge, 150 meters long and 30 meters wide, with a slight incline, covered in what felt and looked like large crystals of granulated sugar. That’s snowboarding in England.

You can imagine my intrigue when I heard of Vancouver, a vibrant English speaking city, surrounded by mountains that are accessible within 40 minutes, seemed like an ideal situation. I love the industry I work in and I love snowboarding; being in Vancouver was a chance to combine the two without compromise. Good jobs in the creative industry are hard to come by in ski resort towns and given the transient nature of their small communities, they no longer appeal to me as a long-term living situation. I’ve done it; I lived in ski resorts all over the world for six years. In Vancouver, I can finish work at five (sometimes later) and be on the mountain by six. I can snowboard all weekend long for six or seven months of the year.

Sometimes when I’m on the mountain in the evening, looking over the city, I pinch myself. Not only for the breathtaking view, but because I’m thinking to myself “this is where I live – this is not a holiday that’s about to end”.

My passions are all strongly linked to creativity, visual stimulation, and adrenaline. Snowboarding is a highly creative sport. The possibilities are endless:  the terrain you choose, learning a new trick,  even the fashion (for better or worse). Full engagement of your brain is required when learning a new trick or approaching features differently. It’s very satisfying when you can visualize something in your head, work out how it should be done, and then successfully complete said trick. It provides an unparalleled mental and physical high. Sure, you have to go through some pain to learn something new, but that is part of what makes the achievement special. If it was easy, we would all be doing it.

The feeling of being utterly petrified of something and then overcoming it is something we can allow ourselves to avoid in everyday life if we’re not careful. But being open to challenging yourself (and being OK with falling down a few times) serves as a rather good metaphor for how we expand our potential professionally, socially, artistically, athletically etc.

Aside from being good for the brain, I can honestly say some of the happiest moments of my life have been on my snowboard with friends on bluebird days. When you’re up there, you just don’t really think about anything else. It genuinely clears your mind and gives way to a sense of freedom. It’s the type of therapy we all need.

I can certainly say that my love for snowboarding has been rekindled.

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