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Meet Trailblazer Jordie Karlinski

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordie Karlinski.

Jordie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Aspen Colorado and started snowboarding when I was eight years old through our local Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. My professional snowboarding career took off when I was named to the US Snowboard Team when I was 15 years old for Boardercross. After two years on the US Boardercross Team, I decided to switch my focus to Slopestyle (jumps and rails). 2014 was the first time snowboarding Slopestyle was in the Olympics, so in 2011 a US Team was created for Slopestyle. I was then named to the US Snowboard Team again in 2011 but this time for slopestyle, with the hopes of making the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

For the next three years (2011-January 2014), I put my heart and soul into training, competing, and bettering myself physically and mentally. From December 2013-January 2014, the US Olympic Qualifiers took place. The US would only take 4 Slopestyle women to compete in Sochi Russia.

The 2013/2014 season was something I had never experienced before… so much pressure, so much tension, so much performance anxiety, and stress. We had five events, and only four ladies and men would make the US Olympic Team. Each event had two runs, best score counts. You receive points based on your placement at each event. At the end of the five events, the four ladies with the most points would go to Sochi.

I ended up getting 2nd place in one of them and was sitting tied for the fourth place spot on the Olympic team, with one event to go. All I knew was that I had two runs to beat my teammate to get on the Olympic Team. I landed my first run, something I was really proud of. I scored 85 points out of 100. My teammate scored 87 on her first run. At the moment, I knew I HAD TO land my second run to beat her. I was planning on doing a harder run, so I knew I could beat her.

I’m standing at the top of the slopestyle, ready to go for my second run… my last chance. I had my music on (for distraction), but inside I felt like I was disintegrating… like I was being eaten away by fear, doubt, anxiety, and stress. To say, I was nervous about my performance was an understatement. I drop in and I’m going into my first jump to do a trick, (all I could think was DO NOT FALL)… so naturally, I FALL.

Bouncing back from this experience took me a very long time. To me, it was a complete failure. I ended my snowboarding career on a poor note. I tried to snowboard “for fun” afterwards, but I couldn’t. I was not motivated, I was not focused, and I was not in flow. I had so much self-doubt and anxiety I didn’t know how to handle the situation.

This is where my personal-discovery journey and my mindfulness journey started. There was still self-compassion around the “failure” I needed to discover and I’ve done that through meditation. I began to realize how important the mind-body connection is when it comes to self-leadership, as well as mindful performance, so I began to take ICF (Internal Coaching Federation) accredited class through the Mindfulness Coaching School and I also have started a Mindful Performance coaches training program called mPEAK through the UCSD Center For Mindfulness.

I have now started my own Mindful Performance Coaching business where I coach athletes and individuals and help them perform at their peak with the support of mindfulness. I continue to snowboard almost every winter day and have discovered a new passion within snowboarding: exploring the Colorado mountains on my splitboard with friends. In summer months you’ll find me backpacking, trail running, fly fishing and sleeping under the stars.

Has it been a smooth road?
The snowboarding part was not always a smooth road, and creating my own business has not always been a smooth road either. When I look back, my experiences as a professional athlete has taught me so many things I can bring into the business world.

The few things that I have learned from being an athlete that has also kept me going on my business journey when I feel defeated, uninspired or experience setbacks are:
1. knowing clearly my “why” (why I started my business, remind yourself of it as often as you need)
2. setting short-term goals (daily, weekly, and monthly)
3. holding the long-term vision of what and where I want my business to be

There really isn’t a secret to being successful (not that I have found yet anyways!). Good old fashion hard-work is what is going to get you there. It takes athletes years and years of blood sweat and tears to reach their long-term vision. By setting realistic daily, weekly, and monthly goals not only will help your stay on track and eventually get you to your long-term vision, but they also serve as mini accomplishments and motivation. Acknowledge and celebrate yourself when you achieve your smaller, short-term goals! It is important to build up momentum and keep it going.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As a Mindful Performance Coach, I coach athletes and individuals to perform at their peak by developing present moment awareness. I know first hand how beneficial mindful practices and meditation can be when you are facing an upcoming performance, job interview, public speaking gig, or are just experiencing stress in your daily life from my background as a professional snowboarder. My past athletic experiences lead me to where I am now where I have the ability to share my old, and new, knowledge with others to help people live the best life ultimately.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I feel the biggest barrier today is gender-role stereotypes and this belief system that has been rooted in our country for a long time. Females and males have been put into these boxes of what society wants them to do for so long that I think it is hard for some people to unfold those boxes, get rid of the labels and stereotypes, and shake things up a bit. For me, it can be intimidating to pitch yourself in.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Zach Hayes

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