Inspiration from Audi Nines
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be part of the insanity that is Audi Nines. I was sent to Solden, Austria where I had a chance to witness the jaw-dropping action from the world's best skiers and snowboarders. The shaping team has done an absolutely incredible job putting together the course that combines ski and snowboarding elements with sharp lines and crazy obstacles for both speed and creativity!
Let's be honest, I am far away from being a pro in this area. I was on the snowboard…3 times before this trip, so it was a little bit scary to be around champs, but at the same time incredibly inspiring and challenging. I felt so lucky to be part of this event and be able to spend time and get to know literally the best and most talented people! I don't know what can be more inspiring than to personally meet Olympians, World Cup Champions that are still so young (the youngest girl was just 17), but already had managed to succeed, bring home gold medals, travel the world and have the best time.
I literally couldn't keep this experience to myself. I felt so uplifted that I wanted to share this story with you. That is why I decided to interview a few people, who always get back up after the fall (literally), with the hope that their story will motivate you to never give up and follow your dreams.
What is your secret to success?
I never tell myself: "You need to win the gold medal!"Instead, I tell myself: "You need to do this run and do it as best as you can and, hopefully, when you do it, you win. So at the end of the day, when I actually win, I am a little surprised, I can't believe that it actually worked out.
How do you deal with fear?
I have an obsession with fear, from the young age I realized that fear is something you can overcome. When you look at the loop for the first time, it looks scary, but who said that I can't do it? My whole life, I am just finding things that scare me and breaking them down. They look so daunting when you look at them, but when you take one piece off them at the time and you get there, then all of the sudden you are not even scared of it anymore.
It is important to break your fears and goals down. Something that looks and feels really hear-raising and unachievable can actually become easy if you focus on shorter, smaller goals and of course, don't forget to have fun during your journey, as this is the most important thing.
Controlling yourself is another big thing. You cannot control what people think about you, what judges say, but you can focus on what you have right here in front of you, just go out there and execute. I do a lot of meditation, it is not enough to be just physically strong, you have to be strong both physically and mentally, calm and learn how to lower your heart rate down no matter what is happening around.
My family is my balance. It is easy to get caught up in being a professional athlete and seek your own glory, fame and success and all of this attention on you, but at the end of the day, I still have to go home and be a dad.
A few years from now people are not gonna care who won the Olympics that year, it's all gonna fade, it's all about things that you do that last, the way you raise your kids, or treat your family those are the permanent things. No matter how caughtup I get, my family is my sanity.
David Wise is an American freestyle skier, two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time X Games Gold Medalist, and a father of two.
Do you think it is important to be out there on social media as an athlete?
I wouldn't naturally be on social media, I like to keep these things to myself. For me, social media is a constant loop of inspiration, rather than seeking my own fame, success, and glory I feel like through sharing the journey I can inspire others. I am not the most talented person in the world, this isn't natural to me, it is something that I have worked hard for and just getting a little bit better one day at the time. Whatever my audience feels passionate about it is my goal to inspire them to succeed in their own way.
How to keep being motivated?
I never just came right out of the gate and won competitions. Even if sometimes you fail you just have to keep working. The question is when are you gonna give up? The moment when you feel you are about to give up- is the last moment that you should give up because a lot of times it is just over the horizon, it is just one step beyond how far you think you can go. Just keep going past how far you can go.
The best advice is just to do what makes you happy. Snowboarding makes me happy and I love the feeling of conquering my fears, I love learning new stuff, tricks, and jumps. Just do what you like.
You don't really have to motivate yourself when you are doing something you love. Perhaps, you are not doing what you love if it is hard to motivate yourself to do it? I love snowboarding because it is all you, in the mountains you are free to do whatever you like. The reward that you get when landing after a new trick is hard to describe, especially when you worked so hard for it. It is priceless and worth all my energy.
How to find a dream to follow?
I think that society is caught up in what I describe "if-then" lifestyle. If I get that car, then I will be happy. If I get that house, then I will be happy, but the reality is that if you are not happy before you get those things, you will never be happy after getting them. Most of the people, once they got the thing that they thought would fulfill them, start looking for the next one.
I am not in this for money, if I end up broke after this, I still got to do what I love. Learn to enjoy where you are at, if you cannot notice the little things you have, you won't be able to notice the big things. We are all so much more fortunate than we think we are, even if sometimes you think that you don't have what you want, you are not succeeding in what you have. I am the same way, I truly want more, I never gonna sit back and say: "Now I have it all, I did it, I am done", I am always looking for more, but it is really important to appreciate small things that you have now.
I don't really make up dreams, I just do what I like. I won a World Cup and I still can't believe it, just because it was never my plan and same is how I became a snowboarder at first. There is no difference if you are a girl or a boy, you can still succeed and achieve the same height as others. I don't feel any pressure I think it is good to ride with boys, they are braver, you get more progression and learn from them. Girls are more scared, it is harder for us, but it is good to challenge myself.
Sofya Fedorova. Russian Snowboarder. World Cup winner.