Seated in one of my college classrooms, I received an email from Canada Olympic Park—a confirmation that I would be joining the team as a snowboard instructor for the season. A barely audible “awesome!” escaped under my breath. Puzzled stares from nearby classmates were understandable since that was not a common outburst in our Soil Mechanics class.
Typical to many kids growing up in Alberta, my after-school life revolved around hockey. As a goaltender, I perceived the game from a unique viewpoint, one where I was able to see the importance of small rushes and bursts of individual effort. Solid positioning gives you far more opportunities for success when it matters. When I left the game at 19, I quickly recognized that I felt out of position—it was time to shift focus and find a new athletic identity.
Strapping on a snowboard once again was exciting, although I knew there was a long path ahead to be at the level I wanted. Eager to put myself in a position that not only catalyzed my own progression but also allowed me to share my enthusiasm for learning to snowboard with others, I took the CSIA Level 1 and was accepted at Canada Olympic Park.
Although the pay was low, the stoke was high. The true currency was improving alongside like-minded athletes and seeing others progress in their skills. Teaching basics to motivated beginners supercharged my progression and ambition to learn. Even the chairlift was exciting. I would watch riders below—wide-eyed—analyzing their technique, replicating those better than me, and thinking about how I would teach progression.
Almost immediately following my college graduation, the chance to work in the Australian ski resort town of Jindabyne was an opportunity I could not pass up. The chance to improve my snowboarding skills with little distraction was a dream. I clearly understood that, beyond the confines of a conventional career path, I was embarking on a journey of duelling résumés—crafting one dedicated to my professional pursuits in construction management while nurturing the other as an adventure athlete.
I embraced many opportunities outside my professional career—guiding snowbound escapades throughout the Rockies, patrolling local Alberta slopes, and acquiring the skills of a ski technician. I finally landed on capturing experiences through videography and photography.
As my 30s quickly approached, life became hectic trying to maintain two paths of work experience. I’d met a wonderful partner, now wife, to create adventures with. I was now working out of town. We both knew that we wanted to raise a family close to the mountains and confidently chose Campbell River, doing all we could to contribute to the new, yet familiar, city. The Island allowed me the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming an adventure media professional. Although I started my company, RAD Media, years earlier, it’s only here that it has formed into what I envisioned—contributing media to Mount Washington, local professional athletes, and outdoor organizations while sharing the stoke through my YouTube Channel.
While the adventure résumé unfolded in unpredictable ways, the investment of time and effort, and all the experiences along the way, have landed me right where I’m supposed to be.
Go start your own adventure résumé! Vancouver Island is one of the best places for it.