Skiing, Rocky Mountains, West Springfield discussed on Out of Bounds Podcast


Was 21. And yeah, and so that was when I really started to identify as a skier, was that first season. Back in the day, they used to have the Rocky Mountains super pass in my first my first year with the super pass was when I was like, okay, I skied probably a good 40 days and I felt like an actual skier for the first time in my life and it kind of took over from the feeling that I had to find a way to stick with because it took a lot for me to afford and fight to have the opportunity to even be on the mountain and so I really identified with it after having to earn it in with what so there's a few things I want to touch on. One of the things and it's a thing I've been kind of harping on a lot lately is the expense and making it more accessible for people to go skiing, right? And it's like, you hear all spectrums of opinion from I don't know, I got some guy messaging me or emailed me yesterday about something I posted and he's like, doesn't just need to be cheaper. Why are we assuming everybody is like broke that doesn't go skiing? Just because of the color of their skin or where they come from. It's not necessarily assumption of them being broke. I mean, whether they are they aren't, it's just like, why would you spend that money on a thing you don't know how to do and don't necessarily feel welcome, right? And that's always the thing. So what do you think about that? How can we get more people involved in the sport that maybe don't look like the typical white guy that normally is. And again, I always kind of feel like I have to preface this a little bit because obviously people are sensitive and I don't want to be attacking anybody because, like I said, my mom's a white lady from west Springfield, like people know this, and I love her more than anybody on the planet has nothing to do with her being white. But when she goes to the hill, nobody looks twice at her when my dad goes to the hill who's an Arab guy with a big with a big beard, he gets a hundred looks and a hundred comments every single day. So what is that like for you? What do you think about this whole situation? Because I think you're right. We're finally getting a chance to talk about this kind of thing. Yeah, I mean, I think like the spectrum of people's understanding of native folks and then native folks understanding of where we belong in a balance to that is so wide. Like I've had the experience at my own home of people just completely with the mindset that native people don't really exist anymore. I remember the first time I explained to someone what natives outdoors was on the lift. And then I was a native skier. He and I couldn't tell if it was like totally on of ignorance or if it was trying to be disrespectful or what it was, but he literally asked me if I was related to sacagawea. And I was like, one. You didn't even pronounce that right? Like this and that and like, it's just so complicated. But then I also think about growing up where I grew up here in Colorado on the front range stolen Cheyenne rapahoe Lakota land. We're not really talked about. And when you learn about natives in school, when I learned about them, they taught you about the ancestral puebloans that they call the anasazi out on the west slope and blah blah blah and they made us seem like ancient people that don't exist anymore. So there's one side of it that's like, yeah, we have to show people that native folks are still around and we do even ski. And then the other flip side of it is like, we have to show native folks that get like we can be in this place. And this is something we can do and typically for native folks like I think the sports that we're shown in the most are like running in basketball and because of that, those are huge in our cultures. Nowadays, you know, there's a lot of pow wows that have three on three basketball tournament. And there's all sorts of times that they'll be a cause in native youth will run hundreds of miles for a cause and like, that's something we're used to seeing. And we're not used to seeing a skier as an activist as a native person. And so that representation side of it is huge. And to me, representation within the sport is one of the biggest things that I try to just fight for and make really known and really plain because there aren't other native folks who ski, but almost every time I bring up that conversation with them, their experience is so similar to mine where they just felt isolated and that their experience as a native person skiing was something they were all alone in or just their family or however it might be. And so yeah, there's a lot of work that needs to be done there. And it kind of comes from two different sides. But I think the singular solution of that is just having the outdoor industry and ski media on our side to be like, yeah, we're here. We are actually here in our experience as different, but our experience is the same in a lot of ways. And we, you know, we have something to contribute to this space because we've always been here. We are in these mountains before they were ski resorts or anything like that. But yeah, the representation thing for me is huge. You know, it's like, there were no black folks in any sport before Jackie Robinson. And now could we imagine professional sports as we know them the NDA the NFL MLB any of those sports without that. And so it took just like that first kind of seed of being like, oh no, this is a space where these people belong for the people themselves to know they belong there, and for the fans to embrace that. Yeah. And I think one of the things that I end up fighting all the time, one of the battles, I guess I start fighting online all the time is like people are like, why even mention it? Why do you even need to talk about it? And this is why you need to talk about it so that other people listening like you like myself, like whatever you're from, if you feel like there's not people like you out there, it's important to know that there are. I think that's why it's important to talk about for one. And two, it's like, why would I shut up about it? You know, like, why do I need to be like, why do I need to be quiet? Why do you need to be quiet? It's like we should be proud of where we come from, just like everybody else. It's like, I'm just as proud of the American side as I am the Arab side. But the American side is like a given. I am proud and I have to be proud almost, you know? The other side is like, I should just hide that and that's how I felt growing up was like you sweep it under the rug. You don't talk about it as much because you're afraid of how people are going to look at you one way or the other. Oh, totally. That's definitely how I feel and felt growing up. And I think it's definitely there's a way that it's amplified for those of us who are mixed race in that way. Because there's a part of you that's like, well, should I could cut my hair a little different and I could save it. Totally. I could dress a little different. And I could sink into that comfortability and privilege that's there . And then there's another side of you that's also why.

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