Town: Wanaka, New Zealand / Alberta, Canada
Quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
About Marion: I grew up on a farm, and when I wasn’t at school you could find me swimming in the river, building my treehouse, playing in the hayshed, or working hard milking the cows. I was outside more than I was inside. I explored, roamed, and experimented in the outdoors for most of my childhood and teenage years, and this I’m sure is what initiated my passion for the environment.
These days I’m a grown up and I’m still outside more than I am inside, I’m still roaming, exploring, and experimenting in the outdoors. But, mostly I spend my time skiing. Every time I have an “I love skiing day” life gets a little better. Skiing is my favourite thing to do and most of the “Jumps” I’ve made in life revolve around it.
I never really got to ski as a kid but somehow I always knew it was the sport for me. What could be better than sliding on snow? I got to go once when I was 12 and I was hooked from then on. I didn’t get to ski again until I was 19 when I moved to France for 3 months to work as a waitress at a ski resort there. This was a pretty big jump, I learned a lot about myself, a lot of French, and I confirmed that skiing was the best thing ever!
From there I decided that teaching skiing would be the perfect job for me. Still really having no idea how to ski (I was self-taught), I jumped in the deep end and got a job as a ski instructor. To begin with I wasn’t allowed to teach off of the magic carpet until my skills improved. I worked hard and trained hard and have slowly crept up the ski instructor ladder.
My latest jump is my commitment to competing full time in North America in Big Mountain/Freeride competitions. It’s my latest way of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I feel one of the worst things a girl can do is to become complacent, to accept the status quo and to stop challenging herself. Right now I’m challenging myself every day, training hard at the gym and on the slopes to prepare myself for the 2015-16 competition season.
Somehow in between 10 years of traveling the world and skiing, I managed to fit in some time for a Physiotherapy degree. I still do a lot of ski school work, but I’m combining my passion for health with my passion for the outdoors and I feel they go hand in hand. Daily exercise and time outside is good for the body and the brain. Sometimes I’m running community exercise classes for junior athletes and sometimes I’m doing community planting days.
My biggest passion right now is for the environment and I have to admit that sometimes this gets too strong with some of my thoughts on fossil fuel use. This conversation has to be had, it’s the elephant in the room and not enough of us are talking about it, let alone doing something about it. But you can’t fight for the environment if you are never outside to experience it. The next generation will be dominated by a changing climate, and increasing pressure on resources like food, water and green space. It’s obvious that we should be doing everything to make sure that their decisions are made based on their love for the environment.
Girls who are in the outdoors, challenging themselves, are the ones who will fight for the environment. I try to live a minimalist life, avoiding extra “stuff,” staying away from plastic and using a bike as my main mode of transport. I like to think I lead by example with my lifestyle and hopefully there are other girls out there thinking they can do the same.
I’m excited to get involved with SheJumps and help get more girls become excited about being outdoors and passionate about their natural surroundings. You can’t fight for the environment if you are never outside to experience it. Not only is the Girafficorn and everything it represents awesome but it has an amazing team jumping behind it.