Parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are loud and attention-grabbing, while others are of few words. Some are long-winded, detail-oriented, and assertive, while others are very hands-off. The many emails involved in making this article series was a reminder of that. Those emails were also a good reminder that our parents, in their own unique way, are present throughout our entire lives. They see us at our best and at our worst. Therefore, they are probably the most important people to talk to when it comes to getting to know someone, even though they are often overlooked. This series flips that on its head. Adapted for the web – from issue 12.3 – this six part interview explores the childhoods of Scott Stevens, Mikey Rencz, Jody Wachniak, Mark McMorris, Seb Picard, and Chris Rasman, from the perspective of their parents. To backup Doraine and Dennis Wachniak from last week, we have Linda Peruggia this week, the mom of Canadian backcountry god, Chris Rasman.
Linda Peruggia interviewed by William Fraser
What do you think about Chris being a professional snowboarder?
To me, it’s like a dream come true. Who doesn't wanna be like a movie star or a professional athlete? It’s great for him. My only concern is wondering whether or not he is going to get hurt. I wonder if he will do something that could affect him for the rest of his life.
What kind of kid was Chris when he was little?
Chirs was super hyper, super full of energy. He would never sit down. I’d constantly be trying to settle him down, saying, “Chirstopher, Christopher, look into my eyes. Ok, get your shoes on, get your uniform. Everyone else is ready.” In response he would always be like, “But mom! I’m just going to show you this first. I just wanna go on the trampoline and show you this flip.” He was always running around showing me his latest things. He was a very active kid, until he got addicted to Playstation. That would keep him stuck on the couch for a while.
If Chris was not a professional snowboarder, what do you think he would have done?
As much as he wasn't super keen on sitting in class and doing school, he did always do well. With that, he might have gone off and done something in post-secondary. Other than that, maybe a different sport, like surfing. That has always been something he’s been doing. We used to take trips to Portland Oregon and Vancouver Island when he was young.
“My mom was always supportive of me being happy. It is as simple as that. At the start, she definitely had her worries and doubts, but at the end of the day she saw how much joy snowboarding brought me. I can genuinely say I would not be the snowboarder and person I am proud of today without my parents.”Chris Rasman
What is a parenting moment you’re the most embarrassed of?
When Chris was young I put him in an all-boys school, haha. It was a private Catholic school and he was there from when he was 13 all the way to Grade 12. He was always distracted, and a big part of it was his distraction with girls. At the time I thought he’d never be able to get through school with girls around.
What was his favorite superhero?
Chris was Batman, he had these ridiculous-looking boots, a cape that I couldn't take off, and something that looked like pajamas. I’d take him out like that. I couldn't get him to take it off. Then, it was Power Rangers after that. That was a Halloween outfit for a while.
Did Chris ever call you from somewhere far away with a problem?
He never called me to get help on stuff, which he probably should have. Like, this one time he was in Italy and they put diesel into a vehicle instead of gas. I don’t know what that ended up costing or anything, but I remember thinking a simple call or text would have helped. I’m Italian.
What was Chris’s first job when he moved to Whistler?
Christopher moved right after highschool to Whistler and his first job was working the phone as a taxi operator. He had pretty much been waiting to graduate and go. He stayed up there with two or three friends at a place they called, “The Barn.”
What was Chris’s favourite food growing up?
Lasagna. My mom used to make him his favourite homemade lasagna.
What are you proudest of Chris for?
I am very proud and thrilled for him in regards to snowboarding. He’s gotten very far and was very ambitious at keeping at it. But, I'm the most proud of who he is as a person. That he is a kind, good, positive person that encourages the people around him. He is very down to earth. I couldn’t be more proud of that.
Do you watch his snowboarding?
Ya, I do. He wIll send me clips of the stuff he is working on. He does not send me outtakes, though. He knows I would be horrified. But, I do watch it.