Living beyond limits
If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go? That’s the question that changed my life forever. Growing up in the hot Last Vegas desert, all I wanted was to be free. I would daydream about traveling the world, living in a place where it snowed, and I would picture all of the stories that I would go on to tell.
It was this moment that I asked myself that life-defining question: If my life were a book and I were the author, how would I want the story to go? And I began to daydream. I daydreamed like I did as a little girl and I imagined myself walking gracefully, helping other people through my journey and snowboarding again. And I didn’t just see myself carving down a mountain of powder, I could actually feel it. I could feel the wind against my face and the beat of my racing heart as if it were happening in that very moment. And that is when a new chapter in my life began.
Four months later I was back up on a snowboard, although things didn’t go quite as expected: My knees and my ankles wouldn’t bend and at one point I traumatized all the skiers on the chair lift when I fell and my legs, still attached to my snowboard — (Laughter) — went flying down the mountain, and I was on top of the mountain still. I was so shocked, I was just as shocked as everybody else, and I was so discouraged, but I knew that if I could find the right pair of feet that I would be able to do this again. And this is when I learned that our borders and our obstacles can only do two things: one, stop us in our tracks or two, force us to get creative.
, I had no idea what to expect. But if you ask me today, if I would ever want to change my situation, I would have to say no. Because my legs haven’t disabled me, if anything they’ve enabled me. They’ve forced me to rely on my imagination and to believe in the possibilities, and that’s why I believe that our imaginations can be used as tools for breaking through borders, because in our minds, we can do anything and we can be anything.
It’s believing in those dreams and facing our fears head-on that allows us to live our lives beyond our limits. And although today is about innovation without borders, I have to say that in my life, innovation has only been possible because of my borders. I’ve learned that borders are where the actual ends, but also where the imagination and the story begins.
So the thought that I would like to challenge you with today is that maybe instead of looking at our challenges and our limitations as something negative or bad, we can begin to look at them as blessings, magnificent gifts that can be used to ignite our imaginations and help us go further than we ever knew we could go. It’s not about breaking down borders. It’s about pushing off of them and seeing what amazing places they might bring us.