Posted by Josh on March 13th, 2012
The month of February was one for the books. So good in fact we needed an extra day just to fit it all in!
As most of you probably already know, on February 3, I executed a picture-perfect back flip — it was huge in so many ways.
The accomplishment sits very high in my personal books as it’s been a long-standing goal and a task that created a great deal of fear. In my opinion, the fear generated by the thought of even performing the back flip was very important to overcome. I’ve learned to live with my physical paralysis but to be paralyzed by fear is no way to live at all.
Most people have looked at this feat as groundbreaking, amazing, and simply awesome. There are, however, a few people that think I’m just crazy. Some people seem to think I have a death wish or that attempting the back flip was a completely unnecessary risk to be taking. Allow me a moment to disagree with the naysayers . . .
The back flip was a personal quest. I not only wanted but needed to overcome deep-rooted demons that have been haunting me since that fateful moment that changed my life nearly eight years ago — it involved an internal struggle of ego versus intuition.
On paper the flip seemed a simple and in fact a relatively safe endeavor. The reality was I have never been so scared in my entire life. From my first launch into the foam pits at Woodward at Copper Mountain to the air bag at Blackcomb, I was sweating and stressing about bringing the flip onto snow. I kept questioning myself. “Why would I do this? Am I prepared for the consequences?”
Over time, the answer became clear — the back flip was a perfect opportunity to expand on what’s possible and to test my instincts in a clutch environment. You see, when I bailed on the front flip years back, I went against every stich of good judgment — I let my inexperience and ego guide me off that jump.
I’ve learned from my mistakes and speak to my experiences all the time. When “Project Back Flip” started coming to fruition it became more than about going upside down — it became the ultimate arena to test my ability to let my intuition guide me.
When the day came to bring it to snow the fear had all but melted away completely. With a team of jump experts, safety personnel, and a few good folks to capture the day and take care of all the details, I was left with simply focusing on the task at hand. Here’s a good perspective of the day from my friends at Skier Magazine.
Lacey and I in Los Angeles to meet none other than Ellen DeGeneres.
The weeks that followed went off as the whole world seemed to take interest in this project. I had a chance to catch up with Ellen DeGeneres (believe it or not meeting Ellen was very high on my list of things to do/people to meet). I also made an appearance on Urban Rush, where I talked about some of the safety issues around preparing for the back flip. For a recap of the stories and interviews from the past few weeks please check out my Athlete Page on Facebook.
You just never know who you’ll run into in Hollywood!
In the midst of the media storm I was also juggling my schedule with Alpine Canada. We had a race series in Kimberley consisting of two downhill races and two Super G races — to say it was a good week would be an understatement. I was able to use all the positive momentum generated by the flip to my advantage and win three of the four races. The race that did not go super well was a result of hitting a huge divot on the track, which ejected me rather quickly from the course.
After the races in Kimberley I shifted gears and did a presentation in Toronto and Vancouver.
In Toronto I spoke with staff at Maple Leaf Foods, a great group of people that make up one the top companies in Canada. I am still feeling humbled and inspired from my time with them. If you don’t know about Maple Leaf here’s a little piece that to me defines their integrity and leadership abilities that set a new standard.
Vancouver was a school visit speaking on behalf of WorkSafeBC, educating and empowering the students about workplace safety via the lessons learned and experiences gained in my lifetime. Sharing with school kids is a true highlight!
My new skid lid – state of the art and a thing of beauty.
I finished out the month with a little work on my sit ski with my buddy Rob Mulder to get myself ready for the upcoming World Cup races in Colorado and the World Cup Finals in Panorama this month . . . look for my next post after the races.