Champion female snowboarded and Mum, Emily Thomas, chats to us about how she keeps in shape, juggles her hectic life and her favourite website, Winter Volume!
So Emily, tell us a bit about yourself …
“I have spent the past 12 years snowboarding across the globe. I have been invited to compete at the X Games, US Open, Vans Triple Crown and Nippon Open of Snowboarding. I was the first female to represent Australia at the Olympics Games in Boardercross. Recently, I had a baby, so my normal Gym-work-Gym-Travel-Compete routine is a little out of whack. But I keep up a daily schedule of gym, cardio, variable interval training and cross-training. I like to keep busy, I have a great amount of energy.”
How did you get into snowboarding?“I started in my early 20s, when snowboarding was fairly new to Australia. I loved the acrobatics and hanging out with friends in the outdoors.” It must have been very physically demanding, what sort of training did you do?
“Snowboarding is a high impact and high energy sport and the fact that I lived and worked in Sydney meant I had to develop a creative “cross-training” schedule. Mountain Biking, Motorbiking, trampolining, skating, surfing, wakeboarding.”
Did you have to follow a strict diet?
“I think fad or commercial diets are dodgy. I follow the General Health Guidelines and eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. I limit my alcohol consumption, so that I can get up and train everyday.”
Do have a long injury list?
“Snowboarding is a high impact sport and I was on-snow up to 180 days a year, so the odds were stacked against me. I kept strong to take the impact of crashes but sometimes, bones got broken and ligaments got torn.”
What has been your career highlight?
“I have had so many amazing experiences. Two highlights were qualifying for the Olympics, after all the hard work and competing in the big US events such as the US Open and Winter X Games.”
Where are some of the best places you have snowboarded?
“I feel lucky that Snowboarding has taken me all over the world. I am a huge fan of the Japan Alps, as well as, European Resorts, such as, Mayrhofen in Austria and Avoriaz in France. Whistler and Big White have never disappointed. But there is nowhere like Australia, the gum trees are unique, and I love catching up with friends in Perisher and Thredbo.”
What has been one of the toughest things you have had to do career wise?
“I have had to make a lot of sacrifices over the years, I have missed many big events in my family and friends lives. The hardest thing was leaving my husband and traveling alone across the globe to compete.”
How have you managed to juggle motherhood with your passion for snowboarding?
“I feel lucky that Abigail is a very happy and content baby. My husband and I took Abi with us to Canada and the US in April and May this year. It was so fun to travel with Abi, she brings an amazing amount of joy to everything I do.”
Do you miss competing?“I loved competing because of the endless opportunity to travel and snowboard. One week here, one there. Competing taught me to be strong, driven, disciplined, independent and focused. After eight years of being a loner, I am enjoying spending time with my family. I still get my fair share of adrenalin highs.” What sort of exercise do you do now?
“I have always been extremely active. I am into running and surfing. I plan exercise into my everyday life with Abi and my family. Abi and I just ran our first City2Surf.”
What do you think the benefits are physically of winter sports?
“Strength, balance, co-ordination, agility, focus… I mean the benefits of any exercise are endless and doing it in a beautiful setting in the outdoors you can’t beat it. It becomes a lifestyle, I am always motivated to get up and go riding.”
How do you think wintervolume.com will help people (women especially) interesting in skiing and snowboarding?
“I think Winter Volume can show women what a great sport snowboarding is. I am actually pretty passionate about how women of all ages should get into mountain sports. There is nothing better than fresh air and cruising around the mountain on skis or a snowboard. What I really like about Winter Volume is the approach they are taking to women and the amount of information they are providing that is women specific. I have also been really impressed by the diversity of women they have been profiling as role models. It is a by the riders for the riders.”
Did you get to the snow this year? What was it like?
“I rode in Whistler and Mammoth, earlier this year. Those resorts always deliver the goods. I hooked up with some good friends and we cruised the parks and even got some sweet powder days. We took it in turns to mind the kids. How grown up are we? I have been riding in Perisher this season. The conditions were fair but I just love the crazy vibe of the Aussie resorts.”
The WinterVolume team feels strongly about the lack of coverage, news and information for Women skiers and snowboarders, so we have dedicated a section of the WinterVolume site purely for female skiers and
snowboarders. The social networking capabilities will also allow women to interact and communicate with other like-minded snow enthusiasts. Get on board at www.wintervolume.com.