The pursuit of happiness

29 Oct, 2010

Since the Declaration of Independence we’ve each been granted certain rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness can mean so many things, each person has their own idea of happiness. For many of us happiness can be found on the mountain, in the cold chill weather with the sounds of the chairlifts overhead and the turns of a snowboard underneath your feet.

I remember what it was like before I found snowboarding – like an empty void that I couldn’t figure out what to fill it with.  For many people religion might save them but for me, snowboarding saved me.  Like any teenager, I was awkward, depressed and in the very typical teenage angst at that point in life.  I had already begun experimenting with drugs, alcohol and was already heading down a path where bad things could have happened very easily.  I often joke now that I rebelled so much in my teen years that by the time I made it to college, I actually studied because I had already done all that.  The photo below was taken before I found snowboarding as I sat in a field completely miserable, not knowing who I was and just wanting to hide from the world.

In a matter of months I ended up finding my true love – snowboarding and we’ve been together ever since.  For me, my pursuit of happiness involves being around snowboarding.  It’s changed my life in more ways than I could imagine but also saved me. I look at those two photos, my happiness and my unhappiness…and I wonder who else has been saved by snowboarding?

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

Related Posts


  1. October 29, 2010

    You took life by the horns and shifted into a more positive direction; awesome!!! I can honestly say we share a common happiness as it relates to snowboarding. Cant wait to shred with you and all the mammoth homies this season!!


  2. October 29, 2010

    Your experience speaks to me as I am sure it does many. Good on you Shay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and passion. Inspiring.

  3. November 01, 2010

    True words Shay! Snowboarding is life

  4. gags
    November 01, 2010

    This sideways thing is a game changer…..moved my life in a much better direction for sure.

  5. Steven
    November 01, 2010

    I was helping shut down operations at the end of the season when I was given a Unity 163 that was left behind. What, at the time, seemed insignificant turned out to be a life altering event. Things have never been the same.

  6. KM
    November 02, 2010

    That really strikes a cord close to home. I can’t imagine what my life would be like or how I would be living with out the countless things snowboarding has given me.

  7. November 03, 2010

    I can’t say that it has saved me, but everyday it gives me more drive and purpose to live my dream of living and working in the board sports industries. Great write up, and thanks for letting us into your life a little bit more! Your snowboard pic is so much better than your down and out pic! +1 for snowboarding!! Jon T

  8. Susannah
    November 04, 2010

    Yes, snowboarding saved me. When I was diagnosd with multiple sclerosis 7 years ago I thought my life was over. Within months all the things I loved seemed out of reach. My right side was so weak and my body so uncoordinated that I couldn’t control two separate skiis and hold onto poles and stay upright. I spent the next year doing yoga, qigong, anything that might help me get my strength and flexibility back. Six years ago I strapped on a snowboard, took lessons through an adaptive program, and have never looked back. MS is a disease that takes and takes until the person with it has no more to give – it’s progressive and there is no cure. I know I won’t be able to snowboard forever, but I can ride now. I ride as much as I can because every turn I make today will become a memory that carries me through what lies ahead.