Welcome back to 20 Questions! Today we have with us four-time Olympian Kelly Clark, widely considered to be one the greatest female snowboarders of all time. She has won every major event in the history of snowboarding, including the Olympics, the US Open and the Winter X Games, among others. Kelly is the winningest woman in half-pipe history, and since 2010 she has also been running The Kelly Clark Foundation, a registered nonprofit that provides youth with the resources and opportunities they need to achieve their highest potential through snowboarding. I am honored to have her here with us today! Here are her answers to my 20 Questions.
20 Questions — Soul-Style
1. Who are you?
My name is Kelly Clark and I am 30 years old.
2. What do you do?
I am a professional snowboarder.
3. Why do you do it?
I love snowboarding because you can be creative and you can never master it. I have been snowboarding for 24 years and I am still learning.
4. How did you find your way to it?
I always say I started snowboarding before it was cool; it was the first year it was even allowed on my mountain. It looked new and different, and I was hooked from day one.
5. How do you feel when you do it?
If I had to put just one word to it, I would say I feel "free" when I snowboard.
6. What is the joy that keeps you up at night?
I love that there is always room to improve...I like thinking about making progress each day.
7. What is one thing you still have to practice every day?
Bending my knees? Ha! That is what they tell you when you take your first lesson, and it is still the most frequent advice from my coaches.
8. What are you always searching for?
I am always searching for the fun. I have found that with a little creativity, you can make just about anything fun.
9. What have you found after searching?
That life is much better than we think it is.
10. How do you stay connected to your inner core of peace?
I try to be the same person day in and day out. And when I live a life of consistency and live from my values, it helps me happen to life instead of having life happen to me.
11. What makes you feel led or guided?
I believe in Jesus, and I often see my life as led by him. And reading the Bible is life giving as well.
12. What do you do when you can’t hear God (or the Universe, or Source, or your intuition) speaking to you?
I don't let my circumstances affect my decisions. If I can't hear God, I stick to what He last said...If He is not speaking, maybe it is for a reason :)
13. What is the difference between resistance and fear?
Fear is the opposite of love. I don't come across it often, but when I do I focus on God's love and it usually rights things for me.
14. Where does the idea come from that we are broken, unworthy or undeserving?
I first read about it in the Bible, and then I found that idea put to rest through believing in Jesus.
15. How do you move past that to connect with others on a soul level?
Having a relationship with God and knowing that we are worthy and deserving of love is the first step toward loving each other well.
16. What advice do you give to the kids who are part of The Kelly Clark Foundation who maybe believe that making their dreams come true is too far-fetched or impossible?
I hold the value that nothing is impossible, and my life is a testament to that. And I think that value spills into my foundation and the kids we get to support. And as far as advice, I would say don't discount the power of working hard. I was never the best snowboarder; I just made the most of what was given to me.
17. How (or with what) do you fuel your body to keep it in such tip-top shape for practices and competitions?
I am constantly eating. I am so active and demand so much from my body that I need to constantly refuel it. I love juicing in the mornings and then smoothies through out the day.
18. When you feel like you're at a breaking point, either physically or mentally, what do you do to snap out of it (and does it work)?
Behind every great athlete is a team of great people. And there are days when I do not feel on it, and I need the people around me to rally me. I am thankful for the people around me who believe in me when I don't believe in myself. I would not have made it this far if it were not for the people investing in me daily — my coaches, family, managers and friends. And I also remember what I have overcome in the past, and that helps me tackle the future.
19. How do you bring your faith into what you do for a living — do you ever feel called to witness when you're out there on the snow?
I have found people don't care what you know until they know that you care. So I focus on building good relationships and let the integrity of those friendships bear fruit. As a Christian, if we don't love people, we are missing it.
20. When do you feel closest to God — do you think being out in His creation every day allows you to feel His presence more than someone who, say, works in a cubicle or in front of a computer all day?
I think God will meet you in any situation or location. But it is easy for me to recognize Him in creation as I am always out there getting to enjoy it. I feel closest to God when I listen to music; it is a nice little tool for me to focus in on Him regardless of what is going on around me.
Thanks, Kelly! I love this girl! Can we take a minute to reflect on a few things? "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." It can be hard for me sometimes, as a writer/editor/MOM, to get out of know-it-all mode, because people expect you to have all the answers, all the time. But...if there's no love in that, there's no teaching, no lesson for anyone. And this: "God will meet you in any situation or location." Amen, sister! He has met me in my office, on my yoga mat, in the car, and certainly at church. It is so nice to be reminded that God can use whatever He wants, wherever you are, to bring you back to center.
Stick around next week for...drumroll please...the incredible Leonie Dawson! If you don't know Leonie, she is a teacher, author, artist, mama, entrepreneur and mentor...to over 50,000 women. You don't want to miss it!
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