Ready For The Winter

activity, adventure, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, winter, winterseason, wintersport

Right, that’s it, I’m done, I’m out. I want to send an automated response email out to life that reads simply, “Gone Snowboarding- Expect delayed response, but don’t get your hopes up, see ya PEACE.”

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I am so tired. I thought I would be totally fine working without a day off for 7/8 Months but it’s officially hit me. It will all slow down in October as I finish helping my parents out at their business and I will just be working with the charity and a few other social media jobs which I will say I LOVE. I am not for one second suggesting I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing, I am so lucky so work with some amazing brands helping with them get their message out to the world and I am so stoked to keep working with them until the cows come home.

BUT

I am hearing that call of the mountains. It’s literally all I hear day in day out. The other day- This is the most bitch ass story every- I saw a really cool photo of the Matterhorn and I CRIED LIKE A LITTLE BABY! Not one sorry trickle down my check while listening to cold play “Fix You”, nah, it was full blown tears.

 

Being home has taught me so much about myself, I have not spent this much time in the UK since I was 17 and that was 7 years ago. I am driving my parents mad but I have loved being with them, they are legit awesome people. I am also so grateful for finding the jobs I did, I didn’t have to work in a dead end job I hate for the summer, I have done something I love but I am ready for my next adventure.

 

That’s all really, all I wanted to say. The countdown is on, this weekend in Germany with my gal Kate Brady, then to Malawi with @LoveSupportUnite and then chilling at the ski and snowboard show with my pals at @snookswear and @fatmap.

 

Will be snap chatting the heck out of the beautiful cities on Bonn and Cologne this weekend and getting massively snap happy in Malawi so follow me on Instagram and Snapchat!

 

A walk into the UnKnown

IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT

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Freeride World Tour Calendar Announced! A celebration of 2 fallen athletes.

activity, adventure, Alaska, America, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bigmountain, chamonix, determination, europe, explore, facebook, fitness, fitspiration, fitspo, France, freeride, freeride world tour, freerideworldtour, freestyle, good vibes, Italy, nature, offpiste, outdoors, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, social media, sport, strength, Summer, technology, Training, Travel, twitter, Uncategorized, wellbeing, winterseason, wintersport, women in sport

OH IT’S ON! BIG TIME!

The calendar is out, it has been unveiled and now the athletes can big their rigorous training regime to ensure they can pip the others to the post and WIN the champions freeride comp.

This year, more so than ever, the FWT team should use every comp stop as a chance to celebrate the lives of the 2 incredible riders that we lost this year, Estelle Balet and Matilda Rapaport. The Freeride World Tour and the Freeride World Qualifiers- that I am a part of are, in their essence, an insanely awesome competition series to be a part of. There is, generally speaking, a lot of LOVE, FRIENDSHIP and GENUINE SUPPORT AND HAPPINESS FOR THE SUCCESS OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS. That is another reason why the freeride world is separate to that of the freestyle. The vibes are great and seen as we a small but buzzing industry, we are about the celebration of this progressive and demanding sport which is FREEride. Estelle and Matilda would want everyone in the FWT and FWQ to continue, with a sense of mindfulness and a new understanding for the elements. These ladies were pioneers and continued to push females in the sport, even to their last days. That is why, this year, let us rejoice that we ever had the honor, the pleasure and the experience of having met or ridden with this incredible women.

So the set up is as followers:

HAMONIX-MONT-BLANC, FRANCE
28.01.2017

VALLNORD-ARCALÍS, ANDORRA
11.02.2017

FIEBERBRUNN, AUSTRIA04.03.2017

HAINES, ALASKA, USA17.03.2017

VERBIER, SWITZERLAND01.04.2017

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the updates when they come in! Then when the dates come along, as I can assure you they will quickly, the summer is already escaping us which is crazzaaayyyyy! before we know it, we will be tuning in to watch the FWT athletes show the world why they are some of the most ore inspiring athletes in the world.

https://www.instagram.com/freerideworldtour/

https://www.facebook.com/FreerideWorldTour

https://twitter.com/FreerideWTour

https://www.youtube.com/user/FreerideWorldTourTV

 

Another adventure and Another Day in Paradise

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bodypositive, cardio, cervinia, courmayeur, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, girlpower, good vibes, gym, lifestyle, mountains, nature, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, positivity, powder, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, strength, Training, Travel, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout, zermatt

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Today was such a great day I simply had to share it with you guys. We have been waiting with baited breath for almost 3 months for the winter to truly arrive and it seems, finally, it has.

The snow is falling in big generous flakes that have covered the ground with a magical, ethereal white blanket and this meant but one thing- it was time to ride!

Sadly the wind was not on our side today and so we began the day in my apartment with the guys,  talking over options.  As Freeriders, this is a massive part of our day and should be for any back country lovers.  Your group should discuss options and ideas openly well before you hit the mountain. We discussed heading to Courmayeur as they too have enjoyed the arrival of the snow but instead we thought we would go on a touring adventure.
I don’t have a split board at the moment so instead the guys convinced me they would go easy on me and I would follow with snowshoes. We chose a route that lead us around the forest and finally landing us in the sub area of Cervinia named Cielo Alto.

As soon as we began it became clear that the conditions were simply ideal. Steady temperature and no wind in the trees meant for a more reliable snowpack- suggesting that our run down would be just dreamy. The guys didn’t quite go as easy on me as I hoped, I was running off testosterone and my competitive nature to ensure I kept up with them as best I could.  I had sweat dripping down my face luckily the big fat smile I had meant it dripped straight onto the floor and away from my eyes and mouth!  It was hard work in parts so much so I did let out some exhausted sighs but the views were simply wonderful and kept me focused.

The lifts slowly began to open and the wind did die down so we changed our plan to head to the mean area after we reached our goal height. When we got there, with the matterhorn in our sights we enjoyed a short but rad run down.  I did a cliff  drop with a little too much speed meaning I had a knee to the face. There was blood and it was not pretty but I’m told that is referred to as a nature hit which made me feel super cool!

The rest of the day was spent shedding the lines that the tourists hasn’t ruined, until my legs could no longer carry me. Now I’m sat writing to you grinning at the weather forecast. It seems things are certainly looking up.

Peace and love

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Cutting the Excess

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, bigmountain, bodypositive, cardio, cervinia, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, girlpower, good vibes, Meditation, mountains, nature, offpiste, peace of mind, positivity, powder, rehabilitation, relax, running, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, sport, strength, Switzerland, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout

So Verbier Freeride week have been postponed due to the snow, that is the only reason that I’m actually so happy to accept. Again, I have to say what a blessing it is that we have seen the snow for the first time this winter, winter is truly here. On that note and seen as we have begun the New Year, there is that inevitable self reflection that is necessary. It’s good for the soul and especially good for someone like me who strives to improve and be a better person at every opportunity.

This is why, as of late I have been having some thoughts about cutting out the excess, streamlining my life as it were, to make my life how I want it. I have these visions and dreams that I will be treated exactly how I treat others, they will pay me with the generosity, love and warmth that I pay them, however the literal reality is that, this is hardly ever the case. Luckily, over the years and this season too, I have collected a group of true and pure individuals who I know, genuinely want to see me prosper. In a sport like freeride, when so much emphasis goes on trust and stability in a relationship on the mountain, you learn what values are important off the mountain. Just how I would be patient and calm to take in all variants in the backcountry with my buddies; in regular life I hope for the same. I am understanding now, that I am not the problem, I am a good person and I know my nature is intrinsically fair and just; so now, to save my soul, to focus on my career and my riding, I need to refine my life and like I say, cut the excess.

I see this blog as a way of writing down my feelings and thoughts, I can rationalise something by writing it down, I know people have been interested by other posts I put up, particularly “The F Word”, I hope like that post, people can see what is important to me. If you know me and you are reading this, I hope you understand, if you are a fan or someone who follows my work, I hope you find this enlightening.

Do with it what you will, right now I plan to shred a little with my buddies and get my head in the right space, this season and in Verbier Freeride Week in particular, if I come first or last, I plan to charge it anyhow. . . . Or maybe flounce around in a move I like to call “The Dead Fish” Tm, copyright me. I believe they judges give point for that?

#Project360 trails and Tribulations

activity, adventure, bigmountain, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, freestyle, good vibes, Italy, nature, outdoors, ski, snowboard, Switzerland, Training, Travel

AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH

That’s literally all I have to say today. You know when you get so mad at yourself its amusing, well that’s where I am at with my life. I know I should pretend that its totally fine, all part of the training schedule but no, I am so mad at myself. Especially as my beautiful, wonderful and nauseating riding buddy Tijn landed it obviously. I also did that classically girly thing where I was said “oh well done, I’m so proud of you”, of course I am, deeply but then I had a little tantrum in the chair lift. When I say tantrum I mean I threw my gloves on the floor and my goggles got all foggy in the process. However I am totally over it now, its been a few hours and clearly I work fast, I AM SO OVER IT!

Seriously though, I will nail this. I know many people ride for the love and for the passion and while I also feel that way, I ride to train as its my life and everything is to better me towards my goal. Tomorrow I will head up again and it will happen! I will do the 360 and it will be so gosh darn pretty it will make people applaud me on the run down to the chair lift.

I hope.

PS. I have not attached a picture of my failed attempts as you guys simply do not need to see that!

The F word

activity, adventure, backcountry, bigmountain, bodypositive, fatshame, fitness, freeride, freerideworldtour, girlpower, Italy, snowboard, snowboaridng, Switzerland, Training, Travel, winter

Hey Everyone,

This is going to be a super cheesy blog entry, one that will make you feel as uncomfortable as me no doubt. However going forward into my career I wanted to make my feelings very clear, nor do I hope anyone mentions it to me again, as I have little to no desire to hear peoples opinions, on the other hand, I hope silently this may be just the thing someone needs to hear.

I will keep it breif then we can talk about all the other amazing stuff going on. The F word I am referring too is FAT. Sadly I’m sure many other “athletes” hear this word when it comes to training however its this term athlete which is making me feel so self concious. I am an athlete. I work out a lot, I am training often as my life revolves around it. I am strong and I am fit, however I do not and will never fit into a mould of the classic Olympian. I know it may seem like I am trying to justify myself here but I am not, I am simply saying “pipe down” to anyone who feels the need to school me on A. How to be a better snowboarder, B. Who feels my ass to tit to waist ratio isn’t satisfactory or C. I need to be a better person in general (as aren’t fat people supposed to be super bubbly? I may not be quite bubbly enough). My “weight” is no longer  a problem for me, subjectively to ME. I was bullied for 10 years, painfully so to the point that now, aged 23 I am only just feeling comfortable in my skin. The point of the matter is, thanks to my Italian ancestry I have a very, shall we say, womanly figure. However Boys, I challenge you to measure your arm muscles against mine, my legs which are strong and powerful will carry me across this world without an ache or pain. So the point is, it serves you more than it does me, for you to say I may not be fat in the regular world but I’m certainly too fat to be an athlete, well you can -insert other “f” word-off. All girls should feel empowered to be doing anything that is out of the norm, fat, thin, tall short or whether you have a third nipple or 12 fingers and the people around them should send positive vibes and nothing else.  If you want to spend the day training with me and still tell me I’m no athlete then I’m in Breuil-Cervinia snowboarding, or if you think I have a pretty face but its a shame about the body, I invite you to watch me twerk up a storm in the club with my gorgeous back side or you just can leave me alone as anyone who doesn’t see the inside beauty then we wouldn’t get along anyhow.

All Hail Gilson Snowboards

America, big mountain, cervinia, freeride, freeride world tour, Italy, pennsylvania, snowboard, Switzerland, Training, Travel, winter, zermatt

The search for sponsors has been a long one. For me to be affiliated with a company wasn’t about them sending me free merchandise and me parading around like a peacock. I didn’t want that, of course free stuff is lovely but I have worked with brands before that now, knowing what I know, I would happily give back anything they gave me and never utter their brand name again. At this tentative stage in my “career” I need support. For me that’s not “send me an your stock”- then that be that, for me it can be and should be a mutually beneficial relationship. Being each others cheerleaders. The most flattering thing about it is knowing you have a company behind you that believes in your potential and wants to see you do well, not for their maximum advertisement value (of course that’s massively important) but from one snowboarder/skier to another. To see someone with a talent, whether that’s me the sportsperson or the brand themselves reach what they are capable of.

Social media has become the biggest portal for advertisement and I have been dragged kicking and screaming into 2015. I am not a fan of the virtual world, ironically for a sport of which nature and natural basics are such fundamental elements, social media has become a very successful way to be a part of the online snow sports community. So I have got myself a Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Vimeo and YouTube in a bid to further my  reach. This is what attracts potential sponsors, they see the volume of people you can interact with.

Now I’ve learnt what separates a good sponsor from a faceless organisation is that they don’t just see money signs but also see a working relationship for both myself and the company. To grow through a genuine belief that the product is totally awesome and that I could perform to the best of my ability. When you go into a department store and see sales assistants who are selling clothes that they hate, believe me I’ve certainly been there, you can tell they are thinking FML.  You want to feel the passion for the product to know and believe its something you want and need. This is how it should be with your sponsor, with Gilson its easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So, a little bit about Gilson- they are awesome yes of course but they have a wonderful USP, a message that is connected to their product, to encourage you to be the best rider you can be. Born and bred in Pennsylvania in the the lovely USA they are championing local products. Using the strong and durable raw material from the forests that surround them, they are making Snowboards with craftsmanship, high quality construction and attention to every detail, from graphics, to flex to camber and everything in-between.

Hang in there for some more info- I will be adding all the details of this great company to an additional page on the Blog. In the mean time visit http://www.gilsonboards.com/

PS- if you were wondering, yes I am as short as I seem, 5ft 2in, its a sad life.

Find the balance, Cardio v Strengh- Summer Training

Bardolino, cardio, Cross Trail Biking, europe, fitness, freeride, good vibes, Italy, Lago Di Garda, Meditation, mountains, MTB, nature, outdoors, positivity, strength, Training, workout

image image image image image image image image image image image image image imageAs you have all probably seen on social media, well, I say that as if you all are my loyal and avid followers and literally sit and wait for me to post something which I highly doubt. 😉 As you all have lives but a gals gotta dream.

Any how, I was going to say of course it has been no secret I am loving learning more about yoga but there has to be a balance between cardio and building Strengh. To get to the physical level I want to be at I sadly have to be willing to get to that point where you are crying inside but because there are other people around you pretend that you are really enjoying the head to toe pain. I like to call it game face!

However yesterday was a cracking day. I have always been a big fan of mountain biking but thought road biking was a little dull. If you put the right scenery behind you then it becomes a real pleasure. We cycled from Malcesine to Lago Di Tenno, North of Arco and man it was a sweet ride. 27 km to Riva then the continuous uphill climb of 10km to Lago Di Tenno then down and back again. 70km in total for the day but don’t feel to sorry for me, I had plenty of cold draft beer at the end of the day as a treat. I felt strong and super stoked at the end of the day, I felt happy to be back in the mountains and back to real nature but also a sense of adventure. It was such a fun day so I’m dying to share the pictures with you guys.

Friday Fun Day- Summer Training

Bardolino, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, good vibes, gym, Italy, Lago Di Garda, lakegarda, Meditation, mountains, MTB, nature, offpiste, positivity, powder, snowboard, SUP

So, I trust everyone is having a wonderful week and enjoying the summer wherever you are. Just a quick update about what I’ve been up to this week. Tuesday was day off, and it was INCREDIBLE. I’m a bit of a theme park nut, so what better place to head than to GardaLand. It produced everything it promised, awesome rides, adrenaline and plenty of cold beer.

However I feel I earned a day of indulgence as I’ve been pretty dedicated to training so far, my roomie and I have been enjoying some intense late night runs. image image image image imageWhen it is coolers, but still pretty hot, we head to the lake front and enjoy the incredible sun sets over the lake while trying to keep the days food down and sweating perfusely. I do understand why so many people love to run, I may not enjoy it while its happening, (while is happening it’s torturous) but after you feel on top of the world. Between that and yoga I’ve been trying to work on my zen and surrounding myself with positivity and getting a good old sweat on with some cardio.

This afternoon, my friends and I went straight to the lake after work to enjoy an afternoons SUP. It was super fun, the weather was perfect, the water was calm and we had a great time. I didn’t feel like I do after run, like I need a good nap, but I surely felt happy to be back on a board and enjoying nature out on the water.

So that’s pretty much me updated, but I will be dropping info soon about sponsors, it’s literally all about to kick off man!

The Calm Before the Storm

backcountry, Bardolino, cervinia, chamonix, courmayeur, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, good vibes, Italy, Lago Di Garda, lakegarda, Meditation, mountains, nature, positivity, powder, snowboard, Summer, Training, Travel, Yoga

I don’t have an awful lot to say this time round, but I’ve just come back from a pretty hearty Yoga Session down by the lake and I wanted to share it with you. You see, I can feel the anxiety and stress of life build up on me so quickly, if I don’t have an outlet, which normally is physical activity, I begin to feel the strain of reality. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I do find reality, the normality of everyday, very scary indeed. When I have activity or training to focus on, I have I way to steady my thoughts on something I have control over; my own strength, my own potential and how far I can push myself.  image image

Any how, this evening after some incredible electrical thunder storms, I saw a gap in the weather and thought the newly cool temperature would be perfect for an evening Yoga and Meditation session. It doesn’t happen offen but man I was right, self five, it was the best idea ever. Sadly the more complex poses towards the latter part of my session were not caught on the GoPro as the sun went down and not even the moonlight shone bright enough. However while I focused and dedicated myself to my time on the Matt I felt a sense of a metorphorical and literal, “calm before the storm”. Not only is the lightening about to strike again but I must treasure these moments of quiet simplicity. The winter is rapidly approaching, and at a speed I can’t quite comprehend. Before I know it, it will be Ocotber and time to head back to Cervinia for some altitude training. I owe it to myself, my family and friends (who have been such a massive support), my now sponsors, and potential sponsors so work as hard as I can. Speaking of sponsors . . . . .  Things are certainly looking up. Stay tuned and I shall let you guys know the deets very soon.

Peace and love.