You went to Mt. Hood not too long ago—how was it being on snow again?
Going to Mt. Hood was so fun. I didn’t go there to actually ski, but rather to hike and see people. I had a chance to put on my sister Jeanee’s gear and slid around a little. I would barely even call it skiing; I took it super mellow. But everything worked—my mind, my body and definitely my happy emotions. I saw a lot of friends who hadn’t seen me since I got hurt. I was so excited to see them and I know that I’ll be able to ski for real sometime soon.
What is your mindset like, regarding competitive skiing, having suffered a traumatic brain injury?
Well, I can’t wait to get back to skiing. I’m really lucky because I expect to be able to go back to skiing and competing. I’m not scared because I don’t remember falling, being in a coma or the beginning of my recovery. Every person I’ve met in rehab has a different reason they got hurt. The most common was being hit by a car, so I still think cars pose a greater risk than skiing. Because the sport of skiing is so small, when anyone gets hurt, everyone knows about it. I am really glad I had my helmet on because it saved my life. I always wear my helmet. If I hadn’t been wearing it, I’d be dead.
What’s a normal day look like for you?
No day is the same for me. During my stay in the hospital I had a usual schedule for the first time in my life. Now, I go to three hours of therapy—speech, occupational and physical—three days a week. On days I’m not going to therapy, I love to go for hikes, do yoga, swim, dance and hang out with our dogs and friends. Even when I’m not at therapy I have lots of tasks and assignments to do.
How about the road ahead?
I can’t wait until I can get back to skiing. I probably can’t compete this winter, so don’t look for me in the competitions. It will take a lot of time and energy to get back to where I was before the accident, but I am determined to do so. I want to start public speaking to inspire and help others who are recovering from a life-changing injury. I’m making an appearance at the summer Dew Tour in Los Angeles in August for Rockwell Watches with my sister Jeanee and we are super excited to get to meet a whole new group of action sports athletes.
You just received an Empowerment Grant from the High Fives Foundation, how is it working with such a supportive organization?
It’s very inspiring to receive help from High Fives Foundation. I will be a High Fives Athlete for the rest of my life and that’s a big honor. I am planning to be a representative for them doing public speaking. Being invited to work with High Fives gave me a new strength, knowing that others outside my family believed in me so much.
It’s really terrific to be alive and doing so well. I can’t imagine how my family would be right now if I weren’t able to be myself. I’ve learned to always make sure to live every day of my life to the fullest, because you never know when it might change. I want to give my thanks and love to everyone who has offered prayers, ceremonies, and love to my healing, that energy has really helped. The support we have received has inspired my family to help others who are having similar experiences. I also want to thank FREESKIER for interviewing me and letting me share my story. I hope it inspires you and everyone who reads this to live, love and love living.
Editor’s note: Jamie’s recovery and progress has been an inspiration to all of us. She is a leader in the world of women’s freeskiing and her return to the arena is one to be praised. She’s doing better, but she’s not out of the woods yet. If you’d like to help alleviate the cost of Jamie’s medical treatment and rehabilitation, consider donating here. You can also follow Jamie’s journey through, Facebook, Instagram and the hashtag #MoCrazyStrong.
For more details on Jamie’s injury, click here.