Episode 168: Paralympic Snowboarder Brittani Coury

Sponsored by IKON Pass

Join us in our She Explores Podcast Facebook Group!

Brittani Coury is a Paralympic snowboarder and registered nurse who loves spending her winters in the mountains. It’s where she’s found a second family, it’s where her stubbornness and dedication have helped her realize her potential as an athlete.

Brittani hasn’t had a straight path in her athletic career. So she knows a thing or two about starting over, pushing through, and having fun. Which makes her the perfect person to learn from in this episode, whether you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, or looking to level up in skill and the amount of time spent on the mountain.

We asked you what questions you have about skiing and snowboarding. Our hope is that everyone out there listening will be empowered by Brittani’s story and expertise to safely explore the slopes – whether It’s possible this season or in the many winters to come.

Full transcript available after the photos and resources.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Find the episode below, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you stream podcasts.

Featured in this episode: Brittani Coury

Hosted by Gale Straub

Music is by Utah, Jacob Montagne, and Uncle Skeleton

Resources

Sponsors and Discount Codes


Featured in this Episode

Brittani Coury

Brittani with her Paralympic Silver medal for snowboarding & stethoscope for nursing

Enjoy this episode? Rate us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. It’ll help other people find us. You can also share this podcast with a friend. Thank you for your support!

Episodes air weekly on Wednesdays – subscribe wherever you listen so you never miss an episode. 

TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Pre-Roll Ad: IKON Pass:

This special episode of She Explores is made in partnership with IKON Pass.

Celebrating the belief that there is always another adventure to look forward to, winter 20/21 is getting geared up, and so is the Ikon Pass community. Now is the time to connect with the crew and start making plans to get the most out of winter 20/21. With an Ikon Pass, that means more unique ski destinations near you, more days at the mountain, and a season of brand new adventures. With winter just over the horizon, lock in tomorrow’s turns today and get ready to explore wide-open spaces and carve endless lines through fresh mountain air. Select the Ikon Pass to optimize a full season or kickstart your winter adventures with the Ikon Pass Session 4-Day. On sale now, every 20/21 Ikon Pass comes with Adventure Assurance, giving you the confidence to ride. Discover what mountains and pass options are accessible to you and plan for a winter of adventure at Ikon Pass dot com. That’s Ikonpass.com.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I’m Gale Straub and you’re listening to She Explores.

Brittani Coury:

Now I’m all excited to go snowboarding. I’m all amped up. I’m ready to go get my snowboard out and go snowboarding. I’m just so excited. I just love, I just love the mountains. I love the community.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This is Brittani Coury. If you couldn’t tell, Brittani loves snowboarding in the mountains. It’s where she’s found a second family, it’s where her stubbornness and dedication have helped her realize her potential as an athlete. It’s how she found a calling as a registered nurse. Brittani’s a Paralympic snowboarder – she earned a silver medal in the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea, and she’s currently training for 2022 in Beijing.

Gale Straub – Narration:

As you’ll hear, Brittani hasn’t had a straight path in her athletic career. So she knows a thing or two about starting over, pushing through, and having fun. Which makes her the perfect person to learn from in this episode, whether you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, or looking to level up in skill and the amount of time spent on the mountain. Before my conversation with Brittani, we asked you all, the listeners following along on Instagram and in our She Explores Podcast Facebook group, what questions you have about skiing and snowboarding. Our hope is that everyone out there listening will be empowered by Brittani’s story and expertise to safely explore the slopes – whether It’s possible this season or in the many winters to come. Before we dig into your questions, lets get to know Brittani.

Brittani Coury:

So I was in my teenage years when I first started snowboarding, I think I was about 14, 15, maybe. Um, I skied since the time I was five, every once in a while, we weren’t a big snow sports family, but I didn’t know how to ski before I started snowboarding. But when I put a snowboard on my feet, I fell in love immediately and I knew that was something I wanted to do forever.

Gale Straub:

What was it for you between the skiing and the snowboarding? Like what really made you fall in love with snowboarding?

Brittani Coury:

I don’t know. I just really enjoyed it. I think maybe because it was a little rebellious at the time. Like it just clicked with me. I just loved it. I mean, I was bleeding after my first lesson, but I just loved it.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Snowboarding was both a rebellion and an escape for Brittani as a teenager.

Brittani Coury:

I wasn’t thinking about all of the junk in my life or all of my feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem and not being enough or wanted or loved when I was on a snowboard. It just erased all of that for me, gave me a sense of belonging and a sense of being, and I mean, it, it saved my life. I guess I can say that. Like if I didn’t have snowboarding, I don’t know. I don’t know what other kind of outlet I would have turned to in order to have that feeling of acceptance or numbness or, you know, what other, other word you want to describe to try to block out the world and my childhood and all of that stuff.

Gale Straub – Narration:

The mountain was where Brittani built community and where she came into her own.

Brittani Coury:

I never really dreamed about competing, but I always, I was really big into the park. And so I wanted to be the girl that was going as big as the guys like that was my main thing was if my friends are going off and throwing fives, I’m going to try to go off and throw fives. And so I never really wanted to be an Olympian per se, but I did want to be the girl in the snowboard videos. That was just going huge.

Gale Straub:

What’s a five? I’m sor… I know nothing.

Brittani Coury:

So a 540 back in my day, like a 540 was it’s a spin and a half. So it’s a three 60 plus a one 80. So then you, you would either take off regular and land switch, or you could take off switch and land regular. When I was first snowboarding, my crew or my guys are like, Oh, I bet we’ll never see a girl throw a five. And that like inspired me to be, to want to be able to throw a five, just to prove them wrong. That like girls can do everything guys can do.

Gale Straub:

Hmm. I love that. And when you say the park, that’s like where, where it’s set up to be able to do jumps and things like that.

Brittani Coury:

Yes. So it’s like jumps, boxes, rails, half pipe trees, you know, any kind of, we call them features anything you could jump off of or do a trick off of

Gale Straub – Narration:

The more I talked to Brittani, the more fearless she seems, I imagined her hitting a jump and flying into the air in slow motion. Weightless for a split second.

Gale Straub – Narration:

But unfortunately she’s never been a stranger to injury.

Brittani Coury:

So I was 17. It was Christmas Eve. And I was riding with a couple of my friends and I hadn’t snowboarded very much. And my gear was kind of picked and pieced together. And I had two big boots on

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittany tumbled, head over feet down the mountain.

Brittani Coury:

The force tried to pull my foot out of my boot, and it was large enough that it might flip, made it about halfway as I continued to tumble head over feet as gravity and the external forces were trying to pull my foot out of the boot. So essentially my foot became a tug of war between staying in the boot and coming out of the boot.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittani didn’t know it, but her life changed forever. That Christmas Eve, her ankle was badly damaged and she didn’t attend to it right away. After resting six weeks as prescribed, she kept snowboarding on it.

Brittani Coury:

I was 17 when I turned 18, I moved to Durango, Colorado, and I started teaching and I taught snowboarding from the time I was 18 until I was 21. So I was on snow every single day of the season, even with, I mean, my ankle was so messed up and mangled and swollen when I was 21, my foot was so big. I could no longer physically get it into my snowboarding boot anymore. And that’s when I saw the first orthopedic doctor

Gale Straub – Narration:

Over the next eight years, Brittany would have nine ankle surgeries. She managed chronic pain and spent much of her time in and out of hospitals. Ultimately the care she received from nurses inspired her to pursue a nursing career. And the pain led to her decision to amputate her lower leg.

Brittani Coury:

After choosing to amputate, it took me a long time to get back on a snowboard because a lot of people didn’t agree with my decision. I didn’t tell very many people that I was amputating. I told my family and a couple close friends, because I didn’t want negativity in my brain going onto the operating table. It’s like, I knew that I wasn’t going to get my foot back, but I didn’t want to come out of surgery and my expectation of what abilities I was going to be able to do. I didn’t want to look back and be like, Oh man, I wish I would’ve listened to so-and-so who told me not to amputate my leg. I didn’t want to have that in my, in my brain. And so, you know, I took a long time for me to get back on a snowboard, but when I did, it was just, uh, it was, it was an incredible feeling.

Brittani Coury:

I got to experience it with my nieces and nephew, and I they’ve been a huge part of my life, inspiring me to want to be a better person and to be, I want to be for them what I didn’t have growing up. And so we’re not a big winter family, like I said, so for me to be able to take them into the mountains and for them to enjoy the winter already put on a pair of skis and just hoot and holler and have fun. I mean, it was, it was the coolest experience in a different way, being able to that with them. And then I realized, you know, shortly, shortly after that, I could still snowboard pretty well with a prosthetic foot. And I had watched the Sochi games for Paralympic snowboarding in particular. And I remember telling myself, I know I could do that. I was doing pre-recs for nursing and all of that stuff. And so once I finished nursing school, I was like, all right, I’m going to try one race. And if I don’t fail epically, at least I gave it a try, but I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with regret, wishing that I would have tried a snowboard race.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittani finished second to last in her first race, after just 12 days on snow as an amputee. She describes it as the “most celebrated second to last finish in sporting history.”

Brittani Coury:

I didn’t finish last. Oh my gosh. And I was just so excited and that competition, that was the first time I had been immersed with other amputees and other adaptive athletes. And so it was just a whirlwind of a lot of things like seeing other people who’ve overcome cancer and all of this stuff. It was just one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever I’ve ever had.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This race was just the beginning. Coaches for the US Paralympic snowboarding team saw Brittani’s potential, and before she knew it, she was competing in the 2018 winter games in Korea.

Brittani Coury:

We, we want to bring you on the team on coach’s discretion. He’s like, we’ve seen good things with your writing. We feel like there’s room for a lot of growth with you, and we want to help groom you mostly for Beijing in 2022 and less than a year after that conversation, I ended up being on a podium in South Korea, and it was just, it was the coolest thing in the whole, in the whole world. You know, people ask what’s the, what’s your favorite moment? And it’s hard to have a favorite moment, but after my first run in bank slalom, I got to the top and Graham and Cody, the two coaches were just, they were so excited and they’re like, wherever you finished today, like, that’s the snowboarding that we knew you could do. Like, we don’t care where you finish. You have accomplished so much this season.

Brittani Coury:

And I get, I get goosebumps when I, when I talk about that, because later I got to have a conversation with them and it’s like, any coach can take the number one athlete in the world and take them to the games and expect a number one result. I said, but you guys took the person who finished last in the whole world who had only been on snow for 30 days. And I, you know, you guys saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. And to be able to put my country on a podium, I’m like, that is what a real coach is like, that’s, that’s the best coach in the world. Somebody that could take a girl who had no shot of a podium and they had a little bit of faith in me. And that little bit of faith went so far. And I felt like I got to pay them back by being on a podium for them bringing me on the team.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittany took silver at those winter games and is now training for the 2022 games. Today, she balances her life as an athlete and a nurse.

Brittani Coury:

It’s been challenging. I’m not gonna lie. Like it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s tough to be a full-time athlete and a full-time nurse and a full-time human being all at the same time to bounce, to balance out everything, especially with COVID. I was in Norway when COVID fully hit. And we were in our last competitions and where worlds or world championships was going to be in Lillehammer next year. And they’re like, you got to get out of the country. Sorry. And so I, I had, I shifted from athlete to nurse very quickly. I landed back in the United States on March 13th. And I went to work as a nurse on March 30th. And I was in the COVID tense, like actively fighting COVID and helping out, like with that, it was kind of an advantage and a disadvantage, you know, the advantages I was working on the floor. So I was able to at least get my steps in during the day I do over a mile to two miles in any 12 hour shift, just running around the floor. And so I was able to keep my activity level up there, but the emotional part of being a nurse during COVID I think was the most challenging part, was just trying to keep my mental, my mental strength and my mental awareness strong, because it’s very hard for healthcare workers. It’s the hardest time I’ve ever had as a nurse caring for people. For sure.

Gale Straub:

Well, one of the parallels that I love hearing is, um, you know, the way that you speak about nursing is similar to what you saw in your coaches and certain ways, you know, being able to see potential in people being able to care. And I guess just see people, I feel like that’s like one of the big skills a nurse has, is being able to tap into, you know, what someone’s needs are. Um, even when they, maybe aren’t even sure what they are in the moment. So it’s cool that you’re able to, to have kind of received that in certain ways through coaching, and then also are able to give that through your work.

Brittani Coury:

Yeah. I agree. A hundred percent, all the people that have been in my life, they’re just they’re dots on a piece of paper. And once I start connecting those dots of people in circumstances and overcoming, like you said, overcoming adversity, when I start connecting all those dots of all the people and events that have been instrumental in my life, it actually creates a self portrait of myself because nobody, nobody goes through life alone and the people and the influences that are around you, they help to shape you hopefully to be a better person. At least in my experience, you know, I’ve been able to kind of choose my own, my own family as you will, or choose to be around people who are uplifting and want to motivate me to be a better person. And in turn, hopefully I’m doing that for other people as well

Gale Straub – Narration:

After a word from our sponsor IKON Pass, Brittani is going to answer your questions about snowboarding and skiing.

IKON Pass Ad:

We’ve been chatting with Paralympic snowboarder, Brittani Coury.

Brittani Coury:

So my experience with icon pass, I snowboard at snowbird five days a week. That’s where I trained with team Utah. And I was fortunate enough to be able to go check out solitude and Brighton, which kind of our sister mountains there. And so it was kinda neat to be able to explore different mountains in Utah,

IKON Pass Ad:

Whether it stays with the crew at your home mountain, or if it’s trying out skiing or snowboarding for the first time and I can pass unlocks it all across more than 40 unique IKON pass destinations, there’s bound to be at least one accessible mountain for you to explore wide open spaces and carve endless lines through fresh mountain air, put an icon pass in your pocket to unlock it all.

Brittani Coury:

It’s pretty awesome to get people out and moving and enjoying the outdoors because you don’t have to be a Paralympic snowboarder to use the IKON pass. Like I feel like it’s, it’s user-friendly for any level or any ability

IKON Pass Ad:

You can choose from their full IKON pass at $1,149. The IKON base pass at $849 or kickstart your winter adventures with the IKON session pass four day at $499 through early December, 2020 on sale. Now every 20/21 IKON pass comes with adventure assurance, including credit towards the 21/22 pass in case of COVID-19 closures. And more time to defer the value of an unused 20/21 icon pass. No questions asked, discover, pass options, and plan for winter of adventure ikonpass.com.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’re back.

Brittani Coury:

It’s the coolest sport. Like there’s not very many sports that you can go individually and meet friends, or you can go with your family and make memories, or you can go with a group and just have fun. You know, there’s not very many sports that have that wide array of abilities for everybody to enjoy, whether you’re five or 85.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittani wants to share her love of snow sports, like skiing and snowboarding with more people, but it can be intimidating both to get started and to navigate this particular winter season. And so why I wanted to get a bunch of your listener questions answered by Brittany. Think of her as that generous friend, who is years of knowledge under her belt.

Gale Straub:

Okay. Let’s get started. I know you might be a little bit biased. Um, but in your expert opinion, which would you recommend for a beginner skiing or snowboarding?

Brittani Coury:

I would say skiing is easier to learn if somebody is just going to go to the mountains once or twice a year, and they just want to be able to get out and slide down the Hill. Skiing is a great way. Like it’s great intro sport, but it just depends on your background. Cause I’ve seen skateboarders and surfers that have picked up snowboarding so fast. And so I love snowboarding and I’m like you said, I am biased, but skiing, maybe a little easier to learn.

Gale Straub:

Hmm. Which one do you think is easier to, to increase in skill? Like if you think about if they were two lines on a chart going up like which one has a steeper curve and star in terms of getting better, faster?

Brittani Coury:

I think, I think skiing is easier to learn, but harder to master. And I think snowboarding is harder to learn, but easier to master maybe not master, but easier to get around the mountain because on a snowboard you can like falling leaf down pretty much anything we’re on skis. It’s a little bit harder to maintain speed and control and you can’t sit down as easily as you can on a snowboard. And so, I mean, I think they, they each have their own challenge to get to the next level. There’s definitely going to be hurdles to get over, but that’s my opinion.

Gale Straub:

W would you recommend a lesson for an adult? Who’s who’s just starting out?

Brittani Coury:

Oh, absolutely. A hundred percent. Like a snowboard culture, especially is like take your buddies to the top of the Hill and they’re not going to wait with you. It doesn’t matter how good of friends you are. They’re going to leave you at the top and you’re going to have to find your way back, way down the Hill, 90% of the time. So getting a lesson, if you have good solid foundation, it’s a lot easier to build off of. Whereas like even me as a professional snowboarder, I have things that I picked up really bad skills that I picked up when I first started snowboarding that now I’m having to break those bad habits. And so I strongly encourage lessons.

Gale Straub:

What are some of those bad habits?

Brittani Coury:

Oh, I mean not using my front leg to steer the snowboard, being super upright and static in my upper body. I mean, I could name them all day long. There’s people that like when they windmills. So like they use their upper body to try to move the snowboard or they just kick their back leg back and forth instead of actually like engaging the edge. And like, as an instructor, I’ve seen it all too. There’s a million ways to get us nowhere to turn, but are they most proficient? Probably not. And so there’s a lot, a lot of really bad habits you can pick up.

Gale Straub:

That’s funny to think about a silver medalist with bad snowboarding habits.

Brittani Coury:

Gosh. Yeah. And I like, I train five days a week with my coach and my team and there’s always, there’s always stuff that I can improve on. And so that’s, you know, no matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. And even, even if you’re writing blacks like a boss, you can always get a lesson and improve your writing or improving your skillset or, you know, working on different fundamentals.

Gale Straub:

Hmm. I love that.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Another real barrier for a lot of people in getting started is cost. Brittani came up against this herself growing up. So she has some great tips.

Brittani Coury:

Beginning is so hard, but a lot of mountains have like rental package. Like if you’re going to get a lesson, they’ll include like a lesson with gear and lift ticket altogether. And so just calling ahead and asking if there’s anything like that can save your pocket book. And the snowboard that I ride every day, it costs me $50 and I got it on KSL. And so you don’t have to go out and buy brand new the nicest stuff to go enjoy yourself. I will say, make sure that your boots are appropriately sized because that’s what got me. And so I’m very, very strict boots. Like my boots are so small and so tight because I don’t want to have another injury like I did, but yeah, look on Facebook marketplace. Or like I said, KSL, and if you’re like trying to find gear or get gear, I mean, those are great places to find smoking deals.

Brittani Coury:

Like I said, I ride on a $50 snowboard when I’m not honest, several thousand dollar race board. So you, you don’t need, you don’t need to buy brand new stuff to get out there and enjoy it. There’s a lot of good stuff you can find play in sports, you know, go check out their inventory and their stock and see what they have. Or like me. I’m like, I have so many snowboards and bindings and stuff. It’s like, if I know somebody who’s their girlfriend or friend or whatever wants to get into it, I’m like, let me know. I might have a board that that’ll fit. So, you know, reaching out to buddies and seeing if they’ve got gear as well. And I know for kids, they do like the fifth grade pass where they can get out and get access to the mountain. There’s lots of ski areas.

Brittani Coury:

That’ll do season rentals. So you don’t even have to buy the gear. You can rent it for a whole season, make sure you get the insurance if you do that. But yeah, there’s a lot of programs that help, you know, there’s snowboard outreach society, which helps get at risk kids on the mountain to show them, you know, it teaches them responsibility and they have a word that they use everyday when they go out there that they’re focused on that helps build character and let them kind of get in that snow therapy. So yeah, I would just see what your resources are if are buying use. They’ll make sure you check out things like look at the base, make sure there’s not big holes in it and edges, which is the little edges around the border, around the skis. You want to make sure that those are intact and there’s not, they’re not like missing one of those metal pieces on either side or, you know, find a friend that a lot of times, if you like Facebook, there’s probably tons of groups for snowboarding or getting into the sport that you can ask. People hit me up on social media. I can help you if you need help to, or like you look on YouTube. If you don’t know what, what an edge is, it’s awesome with technology, you can figure out all kinds of stuff. Budget-friendly if you need a watch your snowboard, it’s, it’s pretty simple. It’s a pretty simple process that can save you a lot of cash during a season by just doing it yourself.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Brittany mentioned some resources that I’ll be sure to link in our show notes. I’ll also add some other organizations that help get more people out into the mountains, whether you’re just getting started or consider yourself an expert, one emotion crops up in mountain sports over and over.

Gale Straub:

One of the questions that came up a lot. So actually got this question from multiple people, but how, how do you manage your fear, especially when, when you’re first getting started about, about falling about steepness? I know I have memories of being a kid and being at the top of like an icy, maybe intermediate trail, you know, as a teenager and looking over the edge and just not wanting to, to go. And I know it sounds like you’re a little bit fearless by nature, but like how do you work through and manage that?

Brittani Coury:

Yeah, that’s a good question. And like you said, I lack the thing in my brain. That’s like, Hey, this isn’t a good idea. I usually like go for it. And then later I’m like, wow, I shouldn’t have done that. But there have been moments. Like when I went to the test of it in Korea, I had only done one border cross race. I was like less than 30 days on snow. And the course was big and people were getting really hurt. And so it took me almost an hour to finally drop in and try the course, you know, I kept going, Oh, you know, and then you’re thinking about things like I’m a nurse and I have to go back to working as a nurse. I don’t want to hurt myself for me. It was just kind of like I had to just take a step back and I was like, okay, I can just go drop in and try this first part.

Brittani Coury:

And if I don’t do this first part, then I can just hike back up and try it again. So it’s almost like sectioning out for me, the course, like, let’s get the start section dialed and then you can move on to when you’re going to have more sometimes just even breaking it down to that or, or taking a second to just breathe. Like sometimes I’ll be up on the Cirque traverse, which is a pretty big traverse at snowbird. And I’ll just take a second and then just look up and look at the mountain range or, you know, refocus your, your mind on the beauty of the mountains or the trees, or, you know, listen to the wind and the trees or other people hooping and hollering and kind of try to distract yourself from that immediate focus of danger. And it’s amazing how just the simple act of breathing and kind of refocusing can help just overcoming it.

Brittani Coury:

And I’d say like, don’t stand at the top too long. Cause once you, once you stand up there, you’re like the thing that is the size of a mouse, you can really quickly make it out to be the size of an elephant because you sit there and you look at it and you’re like, Oh my gosh, it’s big. And then you look at it again and you’re like, Oh my gosh, it’s getting bigger. And then you’ll get again. You’re like, Oh my gosh. Like, Oh, it’s, it’s huge now where if you just kind of attack it, sometimes it’s not as big as you think. And like, as humans, we are really good at like psyching ourselves out, but we have the ability to do incredibly hard things. And I guess that would be my, my advice. Just go for it safely.

Gale Straub:

And then try it again. Cause it’s probably a little bit easier the second time.

Brittani Coury:

That’s right. And sometimes it takes a hundred times I still get on runs at snowbird and I’m like, okay, here we go. Like, my big thing is like at the top, I, I say P Sherman 42 Wallaby way Sydney. And finally my team is like, what in the heck does that mean? Why do you keep quoting finding Nemo? And it’s like, well, I’m like if she could make it through the jellies, I can make it to the bottom of the mountain. Like sometimes, you know, just refocusing for me on something as silly as finding Nemo and like, okay, she can do it. I can do it. You know, I can do hard things. I can make it through the jelly is he, you know? And so for me, I use that as like my mantra when I encounter anything harder, my team tries to drag me down something I’m like, all right, P Sherman, here we go.

Gale Straub:

So I guess kind of in this vein, but what Alpine safety skills are important to have for base level knowledge when you are just getting into skiing and snowboarding and potentially want to do more in the future?

Brittani Coury:

I think just like knowing what you’re getting into, you know, do a little bit of research on the mountain and the terrain. And so respecting the signs and knowing a little bit before you go, I think is very important. And always, always having a buddy on powder days is, is crucial to, or letting people know where you are on the mountain because POW days are fun, but there’s a lot of, not really dangers… You always want to let people know where you’re going.

Gale Straub – Narration:

As fun as time in the mountains is there are real safety considerations. And this year there is an added layer of responsibility to follow protocol on the mountain due to COVID-19.

Gale Straub:

There’s like this extra layer of consideration this year, you know, and you know, it as a nurse who treated COVID patients earlier this year. So for someone who is going to a mountain resort for the day, or they want to get into skiing or snowboarding, what advice would you give someone for recreating, you know, responsibly this year?

Brittani Coury:

Well, I think it goes for anything. Like if you feel sick at all, stay home, you know, it’s not worth, it’s not worth exposing your community to get one more day on snow. If you’re feeling like you’ve got a fever or having any symptoms, just stay home, do everybody a favor we’ve never experienced COVID before. So I would encourage people to, to be nice and be respectful to those who are working at the resorts at the end of the day, they have your safety and the community’s safety as a number one priority. So if Lyft lines are longer or requirements are that you have to wear net Gator to cover your mouth, like please just, just be respectful. They’re not the ones setting the rules, it’s the CDC and the world health organization. So just be considerate and nice to other people. I love skiers just as much as I love snowboarders. And so let’s all just like get along and try to make the best of 20, 20 into 2021. Like I said before, research the mountain before you go know what their policies are, that way you don’t show up. And you’re not shocked that you had to make a reservation before you got there. You know, just do a little bit of research because the mountains aren’t necessarily making the rules and the employees are just enforcing what’s best and what’s safest for everybody.

Gale Straub:

It sounds like it’s a lot of the considerations that you would have just going to the grocery store. You know, it’s a lot of these practices that now we’re starting to internalize, you know, if we want to be, um, considerate of, of all people, you know, these skills are translating to other activities.

Brittani Coury:

Yep. It’s true. You know, we’re all, we’re all humans. We all, you know, we’re all in this together and just yet be respectful. It’s the golden rule, right? Treat other people how you’d want to be treated if somebody was walking into your workplace and they weren’t wearing whatever protective equipment they should have, hopefully somebody would say something and it would be for their protection. It’s trying times. And I know outdoor recreation is it’s a good way to kind of vent for me and, you know, be a place where I can kind of have a little bit of freedom. And so I say this sometimes, you know, one person poops their, and everybody gets a diaper. So it don’t poop. Your pants wear a mask and be smart so that everybody, you know, mountains, don’t close because senseless acts like people being ignorant, just be nice and follow, follow the protocols. They’re there for your safety and the community’s safety.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Rules are changing all the time. And Brittani’s right. That we have to be diligent in checking in and caring for the snow community, whether they’re on the mountain or in the surrounding mountain towns. But there’s a lot to look forward to too, as we look ahead to the winter season. But don’t take it for me, take it from Brittani.

Gale Straub:

So Brittani, as you look ahead, what words of encouragement do you have for listeners who want to make the most of this winter season?

Brittani Coury:

Just keep the stoke high. Winter’s coming. It’s getting cooler already. I’m getting excited. Like I said, I don’t know what the season’s going to look like. Nobody does. We don’t know what the competition season is going to look like, but I do know that, you know, we’re all in this together and we’ll make it through we’ll, we’ll get through this. And I just hope, I hope the mountains just get so much snow this year, that this, the winter kind of erases some of the isolation and the feelings of just being alone. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out in the mountains and at least have that good, positive energy, you know, strapping a snowboard on my feet. That’s like my favorite sound in the world is my bindings clicking. You know, it’s, it’s little things hearing the snow underneath your boots, you know, it’s good therapy. So hopefully we’re entering a good season for some good, some good snow therapy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *