30 things I’ve learned.
Every time a ‘30 things I’ve learned‘ article or ‘20 things you should have learned in your 20s‘ crops up on my Facebook I have to read them. All of them. Despite the differences in character from each article’s author, a few points are consistent across these types of articles: do things that make you happy, money does not bring happiness, stay present, listen more than you talk…
In the last year (the first year of my thirties), a few things switched for me. I am viewing the world and people in it slightly differently. Things bother me less. Rudeness from ‘friends’ bothers me more. I’m better at communicating. I’m willing to call friends up on their behaviour and I welcome them to do the same with me. I want to continue learning and developing. I am even more open to change. I honestly believe this switch is to do with my age, thirty big ones!
So I wrote a list of 30 things I’ve learned now that I’m 30. Some points may ring true to you, some may not. Written from my perspective as a snowboarder, juggling a career in media that has taken me to the opposite side of the world, I wanted to share some of these little life gems with you!
30 things I’ve learned:
1.The most memorable sessions I’ve ever had have been with friends. When you can, get a crew together and go ride, surf, bike, jump or whatever it is you love. These will be some of your most treasured moments.
2. You are not going to be amazing at every sport – maybe just a handful, but a handful is enough.
3. Things work out magically when you say ‘yes’. Spontaneous ‘yes’ road trips, hot dates, work projects – they all gave me an incredible experience, and helped me to grow or forge a new relationship or connection with a person or place.
4. It is possible to have a career and keep progressing in action sports. I’m surrounded by BMX lawyers that hit huge jumps, teachers that surf 10ft waves and designers that jump out of planes every weekend. Whoever told you that you would have to work crap jobs to live your dream did not know what else is possible with the confidence to carve your own path.
5. Be curious. My curiosity has not only taken me down roads that I may never have travelled but I have also learned new skills, met new people and discovered interests that I never knew I had. Curiosity is a key character trait of all the successful people I have ever met.
6. Alaska is the final frontier for skiing and snowboarding. FACT. There is no place on earth that offers the terrain, stable snowpack and opportunity to scare yourself stupid. Go to Alaska. Save all your pennies and go there now!
7. Physiotherapy after injury is vital to your recovery. Pay attention to your body and put the time into your rehab or your injury may prevent you from performing at your best later on.
8. You don’t have to slow down when you get older, you just have to look after yourself better. Diet, fitness and rest need to hold a solid and consistent place in your schedule.
9. Don’t sell your first surfboard or snowboard (unless it was really ugly or you needed the money to go to Alaska or pay for another experience). Vintage equipment will come around and when you’re older you’ll want that thing on your wall!
10. Take photos. Make short films. Write a diary. Document your travels and experiences and celebrate all the wonderful things you have done.
11. Do yoga. Start young and practice often. The flexibility and suppleness it gives your body will ensure you can keep doing your favourite sports to a high level for years to come. Many pro athletes swear by it, including Kelly Slater who at 42 is still winning world surf titles.
12. Read books. They give you time to switch off your mind and rest your body. Stories can inspire you in wonderful ways. There is so much to learn in this world. Turn Facebook off and read a book.
13. Snowboarding and other actions sports have given me a global family. The community of these sports is incredible. We are blessed to be able to call multiple mountains, ocean towns or islands home. Keep in touch with friends and open your home to them to come and visit.
14. Do a winter or summer season when you are young. Do 3! The people you meet will become some of your best life-long friends.
15. Don’t always go back to the same ski town or resort. While I had the best time at my home mountain, I do wish I went to visit friends at other mountains and broadened my horizons.
16. Wear a helmet snowboarding. As I’ve got older, the lines I’m riding are getting gnarlier as I’m eager to get even more out of a day… the risks are higher than when I was younger. I started to wear a helmet at 30!
17. Be curious about nutrition and what your body needs. Learn to cook and enjoy it. Good health is one thing you can’t buy no matter how rich you are.
18. Be really clear with yourself what your priorities are and go after it. If that is to have children and start a family, make unapologetic sacrifices to make that happen. If it is to be happy snowboarding as much as physically possible, understand that that too will also come with sacrifices. Understand where your priorities lie and be confident to keep them no matter who tries to pull you off your path.
19. You always have time. Saying you ‘don’t have time’ is just an excuse. That thing you’re making excuses for isn’t a priority in your life right now. Be honest with yourself and others.
20. Embrace injury time. Injuries often happen for a reason and for me they have always been to slow me down. Use the time to learn new things, start new projects or re-connect with friends. Injuries give you some breathing space that you most likely needed at the time. Roll with it.
21. On the airplane, give your spare coins to the collection. You don’t need those loose coins rolling round your handbag and they will contribute to something far larger than yourself.
22. Sign up to frequent flyer or air miles schemes and collect points at every opportunity (flights, retail, phone bill). I’ve had free flights to Bali, Europe and Alaska from these initiatives, and at no extra cost. It baffles me why people don’t use these.
23. Wear a sports bra at all times for all sports. Droopy boobs are bad boobs!
24. It is OK to let friends go. Some people are not supposed to stay in your life forever. Wish them well and move on.
25. Enjoy and embrace fear. Fear to hit that big jump, fear to travel alone, fear to take a job you don’t think you can do. Overcoming my fears has given me the greatest rewards in my life. Conquer fear, that’s why you’re here!
26. Be passionate about what you love. Don’t feel the need to hide the thing that makes you happy especially in the work place. I’ve been so lucky that my employers have supported my snowboarding (I wouldn’t be there for long if they didn’t). Yes they may think I’m crazy but they love that I’m so passionate about something. So many people lack passion. Don’t be one of those people.
27. You will end up a product of your environment, almost an average of what surrounds you. Choose who you spend your time with and where you live wisely. You can’t underestimate how your surroundings will shape who you are. Remember you can always change your situation. You can even move to a new place, you are not a tree!
28. Go with your gut. If you get a bad feeling about the surf, don’t paddle out. You knew he was bad for you from the start, don’t go out with him. There has never been a time that my gut was wrong. I could have saved so much heartache and so many injures. Always trust your gut instinct.
29. Focus on doing what you love for a living. You spend 10.3 years of your life working. Don’t spend that time being unhappy or feeling trapped. Figure out what you are really passionate about and forge a way to make that part of your career.
30. Collect experiences not things. Your character is not defined by what you own but rather by what you have done, seen and experienced and the people you have touched along the way. Travel and travel often, with people that bring out the best in you and you in them.
I hope some of these ’30 things I’ve learned’ points resonate with you. Please leave a comment below if there are any lessons that you are passionate about and want to share. I don’t want to miss them!