Getting Inspired with Jordie Karlinski
For those who live in Aspen, it’s hard to visit a coffee shop, check local social media, or spend any amount of time on the mountain and not either run into Jordie Karlinski in person or see her likeness promoting any of the healthy and inspiring events that are constantly going on in Aspen.
See, Jordie is ALWAYS out on the mountain. She has almost 50 days in this season alone, so far. In addition, she is always striving to create outdoor adventures for locals and visitors alike. She has spearheaded countless days out on the snow or in the mountains for women looking to complete their avalanche safety courses or strengthen their backcountry knowledge. She organizes group runs and hikes to help encourage people to get outside. And she is constantly representing various brands in the Aspen Snowmass area that align with her philosophy including Aspen Snowmass, Outdoor Voices, and of course, Strafe Outerwear.
But all of this is who Jordie is, not what she does. What she does is even more inspiring. She recently founded her own business offering mindful performance and leadership programs. She has taken her desire to inspire others to the max and created a career from it. This desire to help others was inspired by her own journey through the ranks of professional snowboarding and all the ups and downs that come along with it.
Jordie is a local to Aspen. She grew up here. And with that came a desire to be the best she could be in the sport of snowboarding. She was named to the US Snowboard Team for boardercross when she was just 16. But boardercross didn’t have her heart and she switched to slopestyle two years later. She was named again to the US Snowboard Team in 2011, this time for slopestyle and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was all she could think about. She failed to make the team by two points. One missed landing was all it took to shatter her dreams.
But those who know Jordie know this was never going to keep her down. The only problem was, Jordie herself didn’t know this at the time. It took her some time to realize she had an identity outside of snowboarding. Through the whole process or losing her snowboarding identity and finding who she really was, Jordie realized something else: There are those out there who might also need help finding who they are and becoming their most “badass” selves. She helps individuals, organizations, and athletes develop mindful practices and personal leadership skills. She has recently worked with female ski instructors at Aspen Snowmass and is hosting multiple goal setting workshops in conjunction with local businesses. On top of all of that, she is training to compete in her first Ironman this summer.
To say we are inspired by Jordie is an understatement. We sat down with her to find out how she fits it all in and what inspires this inspirational human.
Tell us a bit about your new venture of providing leadership and mentorship?
I am a mindful performance coach for athletes, individuals, and organizations! My goal is to empower people to ultimately lead their best, high performing life, and to discover their inner potential. All while being happy so they can accomplish their goals and dreams, whether they are an athlete or not. My programs are all about awareness, focus, and dedication achieved by developing mindful practices.
A lot of my Mindful Performance coaching is rooted in self-leadership; getting to know oneself (strengths, weaknesses, good or bad habits, areas where one may lose their power) and also developing present moment awareness because that is where change and actions are made. This is where the mindfulness comes in — present moment awareness. A big part of my work is to help people overcome unproductive, or reactive thought patterns such as fear, doubt, stress, and judgment. All of these things can prohibit people from performing at their best, as well as living their best life.
I work with private clients and can meet in person or over the phone, as well as organized groups. For instance, I just hosted a mindful sports performance clinic for 13 female snowboard instructors from Aspen Ski Co. We spent the morning going over mindful performance concepts and tools. Then we took those concepts and tools to the slopes. We worked on riding park (jumps and rails) and overcoming fears and doubt that some of the ladies’ experience when it comes to trying to progress in the park. I also lead complimentary core values, goal setting, and creating good habit workshops for the Aspen community.
What led you to venture down this path?
When I retired from competitive snowboarding at the end of the 2014 winter I learned of a self-leadership program called Lightyear Leadership. Initially, I was looking to “find myself” because I didn’t know who I was outside of snowboarding. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It can be a gnarly transition for a lot of athletes — going from competition to living a “normal” life. There are aspects I still struggle with today even though I have done and continue to do a lot of personal work. Because of my struggle with post-competition life, I created a program that helps athletes who are done competing. So, much of the content in my programs is from my first-hand experience.
Competitive snowboarding was my life for 16 years. Lightyear Leadership helped me get clear on a lot of things including what I valued in life, what goals I wanted to set for my career and personal life — not just for snowboarding — and just an overall awareness of who I am. I got so much out of the program that I decided to become certified to lead the work which I completed in January 2017. I always knew I wanted to work for myself, and I was looking for a silver lining in missing the 2014 Olympics and dedicating my entire life basically to snowboarding. So, I decided to take my experiences as an athlete as well as my leadership certification and combine the two. I am a product of what I preach. I know it works, and I continue to do the work on myself today.
What are some of the goals you have for yourself within this career?
Eventually, I want to work with the US Team and help athletes with their mental game. Smaller goals are to work with organizations like USASA. Being able to travel with a team would be really fun.
How did your past snowboarding career influence this shift?
I believe athletes develop so many great traits through their rigorous training schedule and performing at a high level including focus, dedication, overcoming setbacks and fear, clarity on what they want to achieve, and focusing on the process and not the outcome. I see a lot of these traits in myself, so in a way, my competitive snowboarding career has given me the confidence to start my own business and to create a new career path for myself.
Once I was done competing and I began to really reflect on my snowboard career, I realized the silver lining for not making the Olympics. It was so that now I can relate to more people who have also gone through the same experience of thinking they’re a failure or have had their dreams shattered. My reach just became bigger. It became clear to me that all of my experiences from the past — good and bad — were meant to happen and are now a platform or an example for me to help others.
What are some of the external interests you have that complement this path?
Right now, I am training for my first Ironman 70.3. Since training for an endurance sport is much different than what I have trained for in the past, I have had to use a lot of my own mindful practices on myself if I don’t feel like training, or I feel unfocused. Mantras and really being in the present moment and not focusing on the outcome has helped me immensely in training. Sometimes it can be overwhelming the distances or length of a workout, and it’s all about going with the flow!
How has snowboarding been an influence? The mountains?
There is a lot of creativity involved with snowboarding. I have found that over the years I have learned to become more creative on how I approach things or business. The mountains also inspire and influence me. When I am exercising in the mountains I always come up with my best ideas. Whether I’m splitboarding, snowboarding, hiking, or trail running… these are all my form of meditation. I feel the most present, alive, and creative when I am moving my body with minimum noise or people around me. I think a lot of people in the Roaring Fork Valley can relate to that.
What role does snowboarding play in your future?
Snowboarding allows me to experience joy and being in the flow. The feeling of strapping my board on my feet, being outside with friends, carving or riding powder…. all of that fills me up. I want to continue to have snowboarding in my future as a hobby because that’s when I can get out of my head, enjoy the simple things, and lose time. It is important to me to have hobbies where I lose time.
Why and how does Strafe complement this current career and your personal life intention?
Strafe’s tagline is “At Home In The Mountains” and that’s truly how I feel. To me, life is all about going through it the best we can and having fun while doing so and I believe Strafe really embodies the “having fun while do so” part, too. Everyone experiences being in the mountains in a different way, however being out in the mountains is what we all love to do. Between Strafe and myself, we are both using the mountains to inspire us, get out an adventure with friends, and continue to learn from. I feel the most alive when I am in the mountains and they have been a part of my entire life. They’ve absolutely helped shape who I am today just as they have also helped shape Strafe.