Embracing the Unknown
December finally comes. My board’s unpacked and tuned, my jacket’s fluffed, and I’m wondering when that fresh pow is going to hit the ground. Seriously though, it’s mid-December and it’s 60 degrees outside…what gives?
Anyway, all this sitting around. Sitting around waiting to unlock this potential, the potential of the unknown. What is it about snowboarding that gets me so stoked?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life, playing hockey from mites all the way up through college, with football, skateboarding, wakeboarding, and snowboarding in between. If it had creative flexibility and high intensity, you name it, I was hooked. Snowboarding is the most creative outlet I have. The mountain is an open canvas, with its own unique challenges that are discovered along the way. No other sport is comparable.
With a “strap in and go” attitude, it becomes a second-by-second event that requires the ability to adapt, react quickly...
I’m not a great planner, and organization is not my strong suit. I’m not big on high-level strategies; I’m more of a see-and-react guy. I think a majority of people can take planning to the extreme and believe that in order to be successful you need to have a thorough strategy complemented by a strong execution plan. This type of thinking has always felt too prescriptive and restricting to me. I prefer to jump in, explore, and react to the situation.
Which brings us back to snowboarding. Every ride is unique and preparation is key to a successful outing. For example, terrain and weather conditions force you to consider what kind of equipment you’re going to need in order to be at your best. If I’m hitting the park I’m going to ride a board that has a little more pop and flex. Is it cloudy and snowing? Then I’ll pop in my yellow tinted lenses.
Adaptability and preparation. Yeah, thats it.
That’s what I love about boarding. With a “strap in and go” attitude, it becomes a second-by-second event that requires the ability to adapt, react quickly, slide through a tree line, turn a mound of dirt into a little kicker, come down, and carve your way to a set of fresh tracks. When mother nature meets imagination, thats where the magic happens. There is nothing more rewarding than hitting a new run for the first time. It’s an exploration into the unknown and it’s up to you to turn it into a masterpiece.
This is how I like to approach my projects.
Once the constraints have been given and the goals established I start by asking myself, “If I could do anything, what would I do?” This allows me to stretch the boundaries of a project’s constraints, break the limits, and go as far as I can, because, guess what? There will be something, somewhere there to help bring it back. But you’ll never be satisfied if you’re not pushing yourself and trying new things.
Go gather inspiration from weird places. Make a million versions as fast as you can. Enjoy the journey.
Whether it’s assessing the speed and timing of that big kicker or finding a new way to present information visually, it’s important to stay open to new opportunities you come across while exploring. Alone and deep in your thoughts of the unknown—this is where you might make your most unexpected discoveries.