Paying it forward, or giving back?

08 Jan
The view of Lake Tahoe at Diamond Peak is epic! 


Last night, I grabbed my very first of three snowboards, a Burton Custom, and outfitted it with my friend’s bindings. I tracked back to everything I knew to make sure she would be set up optimally for where she is with her riding. This board is dear to me, it was the board that defined my commitment to the sport when I was still gripped with fear. This was a guy’s sport and I was thirty-two at the time. I made a financial investment, I owned my own gear. I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t do this.

I still didn’t really know anything other than I loved this sport. I had no idea that overcoming the fear of trusting my body and my gear would shape my confidence into the next decade. Today was a day I got to give back. After I set up the bindings, I dropped it off to get waxed so it would be ready to move into the next phase of its life. It had been gathering dust for a few years, I’d outgrown it a while back. I didn’t want to sell this board, I wanted to pass it on.

I spent the day on the mountain with my friend Donna. I followed her lines, we would stop and break, take a few pictures and discuss what to focus on next. I got to give back. Or pay forward. Does it matter? The heart doesn’t need justification.

There are moments in life where it’s more rewarding to give than to receive. The greatest gift is watching someone find their confidence, their fire. Seeing the light and joy in their eyes as they start discovering their potential. I had seen her potential a while back and knew at some point the time would be right for this. Today was the day.

I celebrate her potential, I celebrate our friendship. This friendship is not one-sided, this just happened to be my day to give back. Or pay forward.

Does it matter?


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  1. Mitali Ruths

    January 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Beautiful sentiments… It's on my bucket list to learn how to snowboard.

  2. Laura Connell

    January 9, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Wow, I love that you overcame fear to delve into a passion. I just read a quote today about excitement + fear equals growth but one without the other gets you nowhere. Very cool. It's funny, maybe it's because I'm in Canada but girls have always done snowboarding here.

    I remember first hearing about boards over 20 years ago when my high school boyfriend asked for one from his parents for Christmas. I was like: "What's a snowboard?" and he said it's like a surfboard but for snow haha. Do you remember the first snowboarding competition in the Olympics? A Vancouver guy won and then tested positive for marijuana. We thought that was so hilarious because it is such a stereotype we have for people out west. I ramble.

  3. Fabienne Jach

    January 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    @ Mitali: You should totally learn! I was just reading about how you named your kids the other day. Love that story!

    @ Laura: I probably heard about it 20 years ago, too. Nowadays there are lots of girls on boards but 11 or so years ago, they were the girlfriends of guys who rode. It's come a long way!

  4. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    January 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    This is a wonderful post. I love your thoughts about the joys of keeping going with things that scare you and about appreciating the people who help you. And passing it on. Great.