This week we are sharing our interview with Elena Hight, snowboarder, environmental activist and advocate of incorporating adaptogenic herbs into her routine. For Elena, her world is a combination of adventure, passion and daily well-being and we are excited to take you into her universe...Sun Potion: As we find ourselves in the middle of “winter” in North America, this is - seasonally - your time to shine as a professional snowboarder… What do you love about this season?
Elena: The thing I love most about winter is the peaceful feeling it brings. There is nothing like being in nature when there is a fresh snow blanket and everything is quiet. It’s a calm that I have yet to find any other time of the year.
Sun Potion: At 13 years old you were the first female to land a frontside 900 in competition. What do you think drove you to exceed at such a young age?
Elena: I have always been motivated by the unknown.... the excitement that comes with doing something that hasn’t been done before.
Was there a certain moment you can remember that sparked your excitement about this path?
My dad taught me to snowboard when I was six. He has a contagious love for board sports, the outdoors and nature. He definitely passed that love along to me at a very young age through snowboarding... I remember wanting to make snowboarding my life from the very beginning.
What is your favorite part of being out in the elements - in YOUR element..?
My favorite part of being in the mountains on my snowboard is the freedom it gives me. Snowboarding is all about creativity and drawing your own lines down the mountain, creating your own spin on what is in front of you. It’s always different and always exciting!
Can you tell us about any spiritual / non physical connection with snowboarding you have, which transcend your physical abilities in the sport?
Ultimately what keeps me always coming back for more is the presence I feel when I am in the zone on my snowboard. It’s a mind body connection that is like a moving meditation.
Do you have a regular self-care practice?
As someone who travels about 80% of the year I find self care on the road necessary to keep me healthy and happy with a lot of changing scenarios. I have a morning routine that includes oil pulling, meditation, and a short yoga sequence. I also find things like incense, candles, sound tuning forks and crystals easy to travel with and really beneficial in keeping me grounded and centered.
Top 5 Sun Potion products?
When you are competing and need to be at the top of your game, are there specific rituals or foods that help you succeed? If so, would you share a pre-game recipe with us?
My pre-game ritual is mostly just breath work. I always get nervous and I find focusing on breath is always the best way to center, calm and focus.
You are an active advocate for the environment…. Is there an organization or cause you are invested in currently? What do they focus on and where can people learn more? How can we help?!!
I have been an ambassador for Protect Our Winters for about six years. Their main focus is to help turn passionate outdoor people into climate advocates, protect the places we play, and help the outdoor community have a unified voice to create positive change for our environment and climate. You can learn more about POW at protectourwinters.org and get involved with volunteering, donating, and helping spread the message and goal.
Top 3 dream vacation destinations (and season)?
Japan - In the Spring for the cherry blossom bloom
New Zealand - In their Summer (our winter) to surf and hike
Baldface Lodge in British Columbia - In the Winter, a snowboarders dream vacation.
What would you say is your greatest achievement thus far in your career?
My personal greatest achievement is winning the US Open. It is one of the first snowboard contests and a legendary event within our sport. Winning it was a dream come true.
What is/has been a challenging point in your career and how have you persevered moved to work through it?
I have had many ups and downs throughout my career. In 2014 I failed to qualify for my 3rd Olympic Games. It was a really tough time for me that made me really step back and reassess my priorities and processes. Ultimately I think what got me through the hard times of that was reconnecting with nature and finding passion again. Stepping away from technology and society... the inherent pressures and worries that come from everyday life, and that brew after a big failure. Taking time to reconnect and remember what is important, really giving myself time to feel it all! Then be able to then process and move on.
What are your goals for 2019, energetically and physically?
2018 was definitely a rollercoaster of a year for me. This year my goal is to take the lessons I learned last year and apply them. Patience is one of the main things I am learning and applying.... patience with trusting the process of life.
Physically in 2019 my goal is to try a lot of new activities! I have been getting into rock climbing so I want to continue that, I want to get into boxing.
What are you most excited about in your life right now?
I am dedicating my snowboard season to filming a movie project with Teton Gravity Research. It’s a dream come true to be able to spend the season riding with some of my favorite people and document it all for a film that I helped conceptualize. It’s a totally new avenue and challenge for me, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity and excited for what the year brings.
Last meal on Earth?
All the dessert! I have a forever sweet tooth...
To learn more about Elena, head here.