I grew up in Alaska and was really lucky to get to spend a lot of time outside with my family doing things like skiing, biking, and running. I didn’t love it when I was little, and it was a fight for my parents to get me out there sometimes. Eventually though, I started to realize that even when I didn’t want to go out and hike or ski or whatever it was, it always made me feel better physically and mentally.
I was lucky that I had a lot of people in my life who were role models for being active and making time to exercise even if the weather was bad or they only had a few minutes to fit it in. Because of this, I got to spend a lot of time exercising with my friends and family and sport became a bigger part of my life as I got older. I was having a lot of fun and started to get more and more into competing and ski racing especially. I remember Kikkan Randall coming into my school for the Healthy Futures assemblies when I was little and hearing her talk about ski racing at a high level and I decided that I wanted to try and do the same thing. I was super lucky to be immersed in a community that was really committed to helping me and other skiers reach our goals, so it felt like the sky was the limit for us.
Since then, I have gotten to see a lot of really cool places all over the world and meet a lot of incredible people because of ski racing. I really love competing still and trying to be the best I can be, but at the end of the day I mostly just love getting to spend a lot of time outside exercising and feeling healthy.
The reason I have gotten the opportunities I have is because people told me from a young age that getting out and exercising every day was the cornerstone of a healthy life and more importantly a happy life. In Alaska especially, we can feel sort of trapped and claustrophobic during the winter months. No matter your age, getting out and moving every day is how we can keep our minds and bodies feeling good regardless of what other hard things might be going on in our worlds. I am honored to get to do anything I can to help with the incredible work my friends at Healthy Futures are doing.