I learned a few years ago that balance is the key to a happy and successful life, and a huge part of achieving that balance is to instill rituals into your everyday life - a nutritious balanced diet, daily exercise, time for yourself through meditation, reading, journaling, yoga, daily reflection, and setting goals.
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It takes a village to earn a spot representing your country, and I know that every single person who helped me get to the Olympics was also touched by the dream. The web of inspiration is incredible. Because of this, I know that the core principles and spirit of what the Olympics stand for are worth protecting.
Building up expectations, creating unrealistic time frames, feeling like our end goal is the end all, be all can all lead to frustration or anxiety. We end up feeling as though we have to power through what we want rather than enjoy the process and just let the result come as it may.
From day one, snowboarding led me down a totally different path, and it's that path that's kept me laughing and continually intrigued. I love the satisfaction at the end of the day of overcoming my fears, of spending all day outside working hard, and there's nothing better than the feeling of landing a new trick for the first time.
What snowboarding has always had and the Olympics has not touched is that spirit, that original spirit of creativity and athletes standing up and having a voice and being innovative. But I guess what the Olympics has done is provided a platform for that spirit, and that's what I see as being a really positive thing.
The first few years I was competing, I'd ride so well in practice, then choke and fall in competition. Now I take a deep breath and say, 'Look at me. I'm outside. I'm doing what I love.' Still, nothing's matched the pressure I felt standing at the top of the halfpipe for the first time at the Olympics.