Town: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Quote: “Now I can let these dream killers kill my self-esteem, or use their arrogance as the steam to power my dreams”- Kanye
About Sarah: Those who know me might say that I’ve never been one to do things the conventional way; and I’d have to agree. My love affair with the outdoors started not so differently than most others. My parents introduced me to the great White Mountains of New Hampshire at a very young age where I would hike in the summers and ski in the winters. Mother Nature had a hold on me before I could even wipe the drool off of my own face. So it was a shock to me when all of my peers who hadn’t been exposed to the mountain’s lure stopped playing outside. For me being close with nature was the only way to be, and I refused to let society steer me from that. This is what ultimately led to my unconventional ways.
For most of my life I wore what I like to call “Urban Camo,” which was my everyday life disguise. I played the part of normal suburban high school girl the best that I could but most of the time ended up high tailing it up to the mountains and skiing five days a week, even when I probably should have been at school. I knew all along that I was different and wasn’t where I belonged, which was discouraging and confusing. How could I feel so strongly for something that most adults were telling me was just a pipe dream? Clarity finally presented itself in the form of my high school English teacher, Patty, whom had gone to school to become an Forest Ranger but was unable to finish because her professors told her that it was “no place for a woman.” She taught me I was not alone and that there were women everywhere that struggled to find their voice in the mountains and were constantly told they couldn’t do things. From that point on I felt it my duty to push forth for women like Patty who never got to live their dream, and change the norm.
I went to college in Vermont and studied Adventure Leadership for a year and in that time I learned an abundance of skills and even snagged some certifications such as my Avi I. While I was in love with my major, something still was not right. I wanted to focus all of my energy on skiing but the East Coast terrain was not feeding my cravings. I dropped out of school the next fall and got a job at Squaw Valley, California busing tables. At 19 years old I left my family, boyfriend, and friends behind with 20 dollars in my pocket and a dream. It was quite possibly the ballsiest and hardest move I’d ever made but everything about it felt right, so I trusted my gut. I moved into a hostel with 100 people from all around the world. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew that I wanted to travel, ski and test my limits.
Being on the West Coast opened my eyes to all of the possibilities of where skiing could take me. I spent every day that I didn’t work skiing and meeting people that could teach me about this new world. I was seeing life from a different perspective and growing every day because of it. Though it was a struggle just to survive day to day, missing my home and living off of rice cakes in a parking lot, I finally felt like I was right where I belonged. This was also the year that I first found SheJumps and in turn a network of women who weren’t afraid to live boldly and unapologetically. I can still remember how I felt after the first big line I ever dropped that year on a powder day, it was a feeling I can’t find anywhere else, the feeling that brings me back foaming at the mouth every time. Being able to share that with a group of women who understand exactly why you’re laughing and peeing your pants at the bottom of a run is an amazing thing.
Within the next three years I moved across the country six different times working sub-par jobs in mountain towns while working on my outdoor education and photography, having as much fun as this life will allow along the way. Slowly I’ve been paving my own path that I’m sure will lead me to where I want to go, wherever that is. Taking that risk and throwing myself into the unknown has led me to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. Nobody knows what you want more than you do, if you hear that little voice inside your head, or feel that twitch in your gut, listen to it and most importantly have fun with it. I’ve learned that the path of a woman with a vagabond heart and adventurous spirit will never be easy or straightforward, but is always worth it.