Skier extraordinaire, Michelle Parker, brings us back-to-basics with her get-after-it yet carefree approach to winter
Winter brings with it a notorious plethora of changes. Whether it is adjusting to the colder temperatures and shorter days, craving comfort foods, or an all-consuming excitement to hit the slopes, it can take intentionality to adjust to the winter season.
In this series, we take a look at how some of the most inspiring athletes and wellness experts welcome winter. It takes more than just willpower to adapt to this season, and each person has their own tips, rituals and philosophies to keep up with their goals while still finding time for enjoyment. Get inspired by the mental, physical and emotional approaches these seasoned winter veterans take to make the most of this winter.
One of the industry’s most versatile and dominant skiers today, Michelle got her start as a ski racer at her home resort of Squaw Valley, California. She has appeared in over a dozen ski films and she won Best Female Performance for her segment in Matchstick Productions’ “Superheroes of Stoke” at the Powder Video Awards and the International Freeski Film Festival. Michelle is on the board of the High Fives Foundation, which helps injured athletes, and she helped launch a women’s avalanche safety clinic, SAFE-AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education for Avalanche and Snow Safety). She also never leaves home without her ukulele.
As fall blends into winter, another period of transition forces us to revisit how we approach our health, mind and days. Michelle Parker can always feel the transitional phase of winter approaching, indicating to her that it's time to kick things into gear. Heading into the ski season, she puts specific and intentional effort into making sure her mind and body are prepared.
Paying close attention to her truth allows Michelle to stay grounded and tap into the things that bring her the most happiness. The transition also forces her to let go of the carefree play she gets more of during the summer months and welcome the more intense season of winter. That being said, Michelle doesn't abandon all play for work. She ensures that even her winter days, though stacked with commitments, maintains a balance of fun and getting after it.
She finds that maintaining a balance between work and play is possible only if she makes committments to her health. Michelle brings it back to basics with sleep, nutrition and getting into the mountains. Waking up at 5am to train hard in the mountains and ski as much as possible allows her to trust that her body can meet the physical demands of winter.
"I take this part really seriously with getting into winter shape because that makes you a stronger mountain partner and allows me to go on bigger missions in the winter without having to worry about being in shape."
Michelle also emphasizes the importance of sleep and nutrition in making sure her headspace and body are properly prepared. By starting ski days with an early wake up call, she's able to maximize the daytime, allowing her to go to bed earlier. As she is more active during the winter, Michelle adds more calories and an immunity boost to her coffee with HANAH ONE, ghee, and Coffee Boost. With longer days of more intense workouts, she feels the impact on her body but alleviates her soreness with Turmeric+.
"I am a huge believer in the Turmeric+ pills for soreness and the side effects that come with pushing your body to the limit day after day."
Although Michelle puts a lot of emphasis on getting in winter shape through nutrition and rest, her main focus is always the same exact thing — “To have the most fun possible!” Rest, healthy food, exercise and a clear headspace give Michelle the edge to make the most of the winter season, when physical and mental demands are at their peak for this renowned skiier. Her approach to tackling these demands shows us that the basic things in life can sometimes be the biggest game changers. Also, always make sure to add a dash of carefree fun.
Photos of Michelle by Aaron Platt
Want more Michelle Parker? Check out these blogs:
- Michelle's Japan Rituals
- Michelle Parker on why she founded SAFE AS
- HANAH Mastery series: Michelle Parker