Snowboarding, Silicon Valley, Andy Swan discussed on The LifeWork Podcast


It's done me. Welcome to the life work podcast. Rethink your work relying your life podcast with Andy four Andy swan, light, work dive. Hey, my name's Andy swan. Welcome to the life went podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. My guest today is a man who's been a professional snowboarder his for Nassar. Now spends his time creating self driving cars and Silicon Valley. He's truly living. Lifelock. I'm so excited to me. Andrew Crawford as much as I was to spend some time with him sitting out in Israel Tober often in Silicon Valley, you're gonna get some ambient sounds in the background couple of angry car noises. I think it really adds something to the fact that we were able to sit outside while we conducted the interview. Andrews one of the most down to giving inspiring interesting have enough objectives to describe him on just gonna leave it to you to enjoy the interview and say what you think? Yes. I guess really stopped. Talking sounds what are we start with your with your story? We're sitting in kind of. Yeah. That's that's how you go. In the heart of Silicon Valley with robot cars driving around. Yeah. It's it's a far cry from where I came from. I came from a small little farming town in north west Montana. I never thought I would be here. I think I probably grew up like every other kid that I got into. Whatever activities that involved burning lots of energy. And so whether that was swimming or skateboarding in Montana, there was snow on the ground for like six months year. So we didn't have a lot of the opportunities. Let's say California kids would so we would just I played hockey. And then all of a sudden, I saw this thing like a surfboard for snow, and I said, I I wanna understand what that is because I skateboarded a little bit. But I could only skateboard in the summers. And so I made a deal with my mother to where if I didn't watch TV for an entire year. She would pay me one dollar a day. And this was back in the days where you can put things on layaway. And so I saw that it was a little Burton snowboards with one of the original awards, and I saw it in a store window, and it was team only hundred thirty five centimeters tall. And I said I I need to. I need to have have that. So I didn't watch D entire day or entire year. And I saved up all my money at the thirty years. And I put that on layaway is. So it was it took a lot of patients and at the time. There was no internet. There was no there was no snowboarders on my mountain is simply had teach myself. So I really try snowboarding. I just I don't know. I it was something that was kind of drawn. I was drawn to it in a way that I can't really describe while it was on layaway. I built a couple of words out of wood. And I cut up my father's garden hose to strap my feet into my board, which you know, he wasn't very happy about. But I I try to make my own source. I I couldn't do it. And so I had until that here. But that's a great question. Any I don't know other than I knew that it was something that was calling to me and I had to explore Saint. The first time it went so horribly wrong that I couldn't sit down on the car ride home because my my but was so bruised from from crashing. And you know, there was no instructional videos online where you go watch. It was really difficult but kept at and I told myself I need to see this through. So I can figure it out. And then I eventually I kind of taught myself how to do it. I was the only snowboarder at the time. There was a famous skier named Glenn played a big mohawk, and he came at judged competition at home mountain, and I was the only snowboarder in this petition against much skiers, and I'm sure I got last place, but he gave me a pair of opening goggles. And that motivated so much to be like, you know, what I think I can just kind of stick with this. And I treated it as a hobby, but while I was in high school, I got a couple of photos in magazines company called and said, hey, would would you like to turn pro and travel the world and drop out of school and. Although it sounded really enticing I really wanted to finish school because my parents, and my grandmother always still in meet the importance of education and also I played the violin, and I have some scholarships too. No place to play the violin university. I just wanted to see school through. So I turned down an injured or at turn down a chance to turn pro snowboarding to finish my degree. And. I made a deal with my parents that if I were to go to college and play in the symphony in the evenings that I could snowboard in the daytime to me that was a compromise of being able to to break free of my small hometown go and see the rest of the world, but also continue on with education. Absolutely, your knees. So that not somebody to hear people's stories about how bad and license networks. There's always tension in an expectation of apotheosis to fly on end the party dreams, you ready. He failed out attention. Absolutely attention. Was it was there with my parents also with you know, my grandmother is just really difficult because as any parent you want your child to get an education and go chew, you know, school, and hopefully how the prospect of of civilian job and snowboarding was at the time. A blossoming sport that didn't you wouldn't have a career in. So it was really difficult. And I, you know, unfortunately, I had a lot of hard discussion with my parents about this is what I wanted to do. And it was my passion on the other hand. How do I? Throw away all of this school in violin that I had learned throughout all those years. And it was it was a difficult time. And I think that it took a lot of growing up on my part to realize that we needed to make a compromise. And so luckily, my parents were supportive of that compromise. Which was if I could continue on with school and play music that I could, you know, snowboard in in the daytime, and I'm so glad that I did that. And because it it showed it showed me the power of compromise. But also giving it a shot to see if it was something you really want to do if I would have thrown it all away in high school just to go somewhere. I could have blown out my knee. And you know, then and had no diploma yet. So I'm I think it worked out absolutely say finished goal. I did finish school. I got my high school diploma. And then I went away to bend Oregon, which was at the time a hub for snowboarding. I played in the vents Fanie, and I went to night school. And I did that for about a year and after about a year of snowboarding and traveling and also in school, it just wasn't staying to to to try and pursue a pro career and snowboarding. Also, go to school. So I made the difficult decision to call my parents and say, hey. I really need to see so many through and again that was a very difficult conversation. But I think. I had to. Pursue this explore this path, and it was a little bit of rebellion. Also, a little bit of I need to see the world and see what else out there just for my own curiosity sake.

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