I taught myself how to snowboard (after years of skiing) when I was 23 years old. I was out of college and living in the Adirondack’s (of Upstate NY) so I learned on the steepest in the East, Whiteface aka Iceface Mtn. It is hands down the most courageous thing I have done besides bowing out of Corporate America. Learning how to snowboard took many seasons of getting the $h!t kicked out of me…and learning.
In My First Season:
All I could do was fall… if you’re not falling you’re not learning…fall fall fall…. Fall 15 times get up 16 times was my motto for life at that point. I really didn’t mind because I was determined and focused to achieve my goal.
Before I sent myself plummeting down the mountain I wore thick volleyball kneepads on my knees (under my snow pants), wrist guards (def. still wear those) and tons of padding on my butt. Helmets were too expensive so I did without (bad idea). One night I had one of those funky dreams where you actually feel what you’re going through physically. I had a dream about snowboarding and felt what it was like in my dream, which was really odd. Anyway, it worked and after that point I could link my turns and stay up for almost the entire run. Every little achievement was all I needed to keep me going (and to suck it up when I got the wind knocked out of me for the 5th time). Ouch!
I smartened up and got a helmet after a severe concussion that put me in the hospital not once, but twice.
In My Second Season:
*Bonus Season* – I was pretty good by now, I kept up with seasoned skiers and killed it in the Glades. *I upgraded my equipment and that made a huge difference because I was finally on a woman’s board and it was *almost my size, bonus!
*This season was when I shot my very first solo wedding, which happened to be a snowboarding wedding (coincidence? I think not) at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY. The bride and groom got married in the lodge and afterwards, still dressed in wedding gear, took it to the mountain! Thus plummeting me into booking my own weddings (and not just working as a second shooter).
In My Third Season:
I was introduced to the man of my dreams on the slopes at Jay Peak Vermont! Because of learning how to snowboard and having 2 seasons under my belt, I was in a position where I could impress the boys, haha. But seriously, if I wasn’t comfortable snowboarding and loving it, I definitely wouldn’t have paid all that money to drive from Albany, NY to Jay, VT and thus wouldn’t have had the pleasure of getting to know Justin.
Naturally, an aggressive progression took place while I was trying to show off and I signed up for as many ski trips as I could. I also got promoted at work and was moved to Boston, booya!
Last Season Quattro:
My first time shredding out West and holy cats batman!!! They were right, if you can ski the East you can pretty much ski anything. I learned that all of my hard work on the icy slopes of the East Coast paid off. I was flying past most of the other riders on the mountains, which naturally felt incredible! I had never experienced powder that weightless and deep. The feeling was really that of surfing across air.
This Season (5):
Here we are! I have 2 beautiful new/used v-rocker decks that are funky and fresh. Although I haven’t skiid fresh powder all season, I did get to ski out west on the ice (during pre-season). It’s probably a good thing because before my wedding all I could think about was me walking down the aisle in an upper body cast (think rookie of the year).
Now a MARRIED (!!!) full time photographer, I find great similarities in building and running a successful brand on my own & my experience of learning how to shred. Like any new business owner I know I’m going to fall, but there is no doubt I’m going to get right back up… I’m comfortable knowing that it’s ok to make mistakes because I’ve discovered that making mistakes leads me to new ideas which sets me apart from most of the world… and your traditional wedding photographer!
Since this has turned out to be a “Who is AprilK” post, here is a little home video I made on my waterproof point and shoot. (Sidenote: don’t purchase the Olympus waterproof camera… it’s horrible and takes awful dark photos and video).
Peace, Love & Shreddin’,