Mountain People Episode 14
March 16, 2018
Whitney, one of Boyne Mountain SnowSports Academy Snowboard Instructors, recently obtained her Level III PSIA Certification - a feat that few SnowSports Instructors ever accomplish. While this certification comes with some serious bragging rights, Whitney humbly attributes her success to those who helped teach her for the test - a true sign of a good teacher.
"So I grew up downstate, but I started skiing here at the Mountain when I was two - my mom taught me. Then, when I was five, I learned how to snowboard - which I learned from my dad and a Level III instructor here. I started competing around here when I was 12, and that kind of escalated to where I competed on a national level - until I broke my ankle when I was 17.
Now I work as a SnowSports Instructor here at the Mountain, and I'm just super passionate about it. Teaching someone something that you love is a feeling like no other. When they get it, and they find that passion, it's rewarding for both them and you.
The challenge is finding what makes them tick - trying to use the things they already know in their life to teach them. There are kids that say, "I've wakeboarded before!" or, "I've skateboarded!" but then there's kids that say - "I really like to kick a soccer ball at home sometimes!" and you just kinda take that and relate it to snowboarding - and get them to find that passion.
The PSIA Certifications are teaching levels - and Level III teaches what is considered an advance level, so teaching things like carving, boardslides on rails, jumps - everyone at that level is just amazingly talented. Corey Schroeder, the head of our Terrain Park Crew helped me a ton - and throughout the process I rode with some amazing riders who really helped me learn. Then, when I passed my Level III, it felt amazing.
There aren't very many women that have there Level III so like, score one for the girls - girl power! It's totally a right of passage, to me. You work really hard for it, and it's something that doesn't come easily. But it's going to help me teach in new ways.
It's all about family - my whole family skied and snowboarded growing up, so those were the most memorable times. The relationships you build here, they're the ones you have for life. This sport is a release - if I go snowboarding, everything is okay. I can have a bad day, and just strap in and go take a few laps - it's a feeling like no other. I can't imagine my life without it...I want to do it until I'm 100, and I hope I'm teaching that long too!
I've worked here for eight years and overall, I've just grown so much here at the Mountain. I think the future for the Mountain is really bright, and I'm excited to see what happens here.
The staff at the Mountain does an amazing job, and I couldn't do any of this without anyone. Everyone - from bell hop to Mountain Manager - everyone does a great job, and I appreciate what they all do here."