My first experience on the snow was when I was 5 years old, when my father, an avid skier who previously lead group excursions at various resorts in the east and west, took me to a local ski hill to learn the basics. I wanted to look and play the part of a professional skier, so I demanded ski poles for my very first day, and eventually won the heated argument that quickly insued about why a 5 year old first-timer did not need poles. After being on skis all day, I quickly realized I would much rather eat pizza and french fries than perform the maneuvers with the same name, and my skiing career ended as soon as it began. Years later, I found a newspaper article discussing the addition of snowboarding to the winter olympics. This article and accompanying photos intrigued me, and started the strong desire to get back on the mountain... this time, on a board.
After begging my father for a snowboard for Christmas, my wish was finally granted. I had the board and all the gear necessary to hit the slopes, with one goal in sight: be in the winter olympics for snowboarding. My informal training began in middle school, and my first day back on a mountain was a challenging one: 3 trails in, I decided to boardslide a rail, with no real experience on a board at all. I made it halfway, broke my tailbone, and vowed to finish the last 50% that I missed someday.
Flash forward to today: I have fine-tuned my park riding, dialed in my turns, and have competed on both a local and national circuit. I started competing in the Mid-Atlantic Series of the USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) for slopestyle, boardercross, slalom, and giant slalom, and did well enough to be invited to nationals for all 4 disciplines. I've even had support from my favorite local shop and some big brands along the way, and I couldn't have done any of this without my father, who got me out there that very first day.