To finish this series for the year, we reached out to queen Marie-France Roy. Marie is the type of person who just seems to have it all figured out. In her life, Marie radiates laughter and joy, she leads with kindness, and possesses an inspiring ability to fight for what is right. Marie has also been an instrumental figure in the progression of snowboarding, as many riders have learned so much from her. Today we get to invert this, however, by finding out three things that Marie has learned from snowboarding. Here is what she had to say.

By William Fraser

[o] Erin Hogue

1. Snowboarding taught me what it means to belong

"You know, in the summer I was helping with lady’s skate night on Vancouver Island. It was awesome. At times I had never seen so many women at the park. Some were just learning to drop in, while others were riding barefoot and ripping. It was beautiful. There was such an insane sense of community there. It reminded me of when I first started snowboarding. I was so shy as a teenager. Snowboarding gave me self-esteem and a community. It made me feel like I was a part of something. I don't really think we talk about that aspect of our sport enough. So many people in the world feel lonely, but maybe all they need is a little snowboarding! Honestly, when I’m out there with my crew, joking around, it just feels like true friendship to me. That sense of belonging extends past friends, too. As I got older I realized how snowboarding has also given me a sense of belonging to nature. When I’m out in the backcountry, I feel like I get a sense of the bigger picture. All of a sudden I’m no longer in charge of what’s happening, but I am a part of what's happening. Snowboarding helped me gain that perspective."

2. I can do hard things

"Snowboarding is something that taught me if you love something, and you continue doing it, no matter if you have big goals or notdoors will open. I feel like when I was younger, I never realized that, or wasn't being told that enough. People say, ‘Work hard.’ But they aren’t saying, ‘Commit to the things you love doing.’ And, I am not just saying this because I made it to a pro level. I think it goes for someone who is learning, too. I think something as simple as learning a new trick, or learning how to carve, can give you confidence in other areas of your life. That’s where doors can open. Learning to overcome fear, that means a lot, it can do a lot for you. And, with snowboarding, it's even better because you can do that while having a lot of fun." 

3. Snowboarding is a tool

"Snowboarding for a living is fucking awesome. It’s so amazing to meet the goals and dreams that I never thought were possible. But, after doing it for a while, it started to feel a little self-centred. I started wondering about the bigger picture, like what about this environmental crisis? It was great that I had all these things from snowboarding, but I felt like I couldn't talk about the environment as a snowboarder. I felt like a hypocrite. I felt like maybe my sponsors would drop me, or that scientists and activists are the only ones who should be talking about it. At that time, I was like, ‘Should I quit snowboarding and live in the woods like a hippie?’ Would that make a change or legitimize my voice? Then I realized, that’s kind of the problem. Only scientists and activists are saying something. We are leaving environmental issues to only those people, even though most of us care. So, I decided that I was going to start talking about it. And, as I started doing this, I found out that snowboarding was the most powerful tool I had as an activist. Not only because of its connection with nature, but because of its connection with people and the community. Snowboarding allowed me to have a bigger voice. Looking back, I’m glad I kept snowboarding and didn't choose to live in the woods.” [Laughs]

[o] Erin Hogue

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