Zoe Oksanen: Life as a pro snowboarder’s wife

Then there’s the time I woke up from a simple knee scope to find out I’d had a far more serious surgery and would be on crutches for three months and stuck on a machine on my bed for four weeks with two little boys to look after. Jussi was leaving a week later for an extended trip… I could tell you these stories all day long, but needless to say, my mom is on speed dial in England.

zoe-jussi-oksanen-life-in-a-snowboard-family-2

Probably the toughest part of all of it, though, is this: “Isn’t it dangerous? Aren’t you frightened something will happen to him?” I get asked this question a lot more frequently than I’d like. Of course I am frightened! My husband jumps off 60-foot cliffs for a day job! I’m not worried that he’s going to miss the 6pm train home… I fear avalanches, rocks and snowmobile accidents.

But this is our normal. It has been for over 10 years and however insane your normal is, it becomes just that: Normal. I vaguely remember Jussi calling at the end of a day of filming one time talking about a “little slide” he had been in (Finns are famous for understatement). I probably said something like, “ Oh, that’s nice. The kids drew all over the new doors today. When are you coming home?” It wasn’t until the end of the season when I saw his video part that I realized that my husband, the glue that bonds my family together, had been buried in a real avalanche that day and was very fortunate to escape unscathed.

But before I send any potential Mrs. Snowboard wife running from the altar, let me tell you about the beauty of our life.  I have snowmobiled side by side with my husband to the most beautiful peaks of Alaska and seen him perform feats that should defy nature right before my eyes; the gift of long summers of freedom and the means to spend them well has translated into incredible experiences and exceptional family time that most people can only dream of; my children have been inspired to believe that nothing is impossible, that anything short of pursuing your wildest dream is a cop out; and they have glimpsed in to worlds of excitement and success that will hopefully propel them to achieve their own greatness one day. After all, how many four-month-old babies can say they got to fly back from Aspen in a private jet with their dad’s X Games medal round their neck?

zoe-jussi-oksanen-life-in-a-snowboard-family-3

You see, there are many things I’d change if I could, like having a husband who comes home every night or not looking like the single mom to my son’s soccer team, but at the close of every winter season we all take a deep breath, thank the Universe for giving us the gift of mountains and a life less ordinary, crack open a pack of beers and have a summer that dreams are made of.

Yes, ours is a journey of extremes. But then again, isn’t that the very nature of the sport?

Read More:

Comments

Up Next

November 21, 2019

Jake Burton Carpenter, legendary founder of Burton Snowboards, dies at 65

Header image via Burton on Facebook. After a battle with cancer that stretched back to 2011, Jake Burton Carpenter, the...
October 17, 2019

[Giveaway] Win a pair of Hestra’s new Freeride CZone snowboard-specific mittens

This week, we’re teaming up with Swedish glovemaker, Hestra, to give away a pair of its latest creation: snowboard-specific...
May 24, 2019

Aspen Mountain to Open for Riding Memorial Day Weekend

Photo: @kp_inthewild / @aspensnowmass Hopefully you haven’t put your gear away already… Aspen Mountain is opening this weekend for...
May 13, 2019

Desert Highs – A Tale of Sandboarding in Morocco

As snowboarders, we’re adventurers and thrill seekers by nature. We’re drawn to new experiences and lust after lines we’ll...