Zeppelin Zeerip’s story is one of resilience and determination. Born in Michigan, Zeppelin grew up with an alcoholic father and a string of road bumps and challenges more difficult than many face at such an age. However, through all of the ups and downs, his passion for snowboarding and the outdoors remained a guiding force and a light at the end of the tunnel. Fly High, Go Far isn’t Zeppelin’s full story, but rather just the beginning.
Read the start of Zeppelin’s story in his own words below.
Doctors, my family, friends, they often have to remind me that alcoholism is a disease. It’s an addiction, the same as heroin or crack. 1 in 12 American’s is an alcoholic, and 40% of the beds being used in hospitals are used to treat conditions related to alcohol consumption. When I was younger I was quick to cast blame. It’s my way of coping, and anger was the only emotion I know how to harness and work through. As long as I could get angry with my dad, I could push past the grief and anguish. So that’s what I did, because it was easy to do. His drinking led to my parents divorce. It led to jail visits, DUI’s, and a constant fear in my life that I’ll be an alcoholic. Eventually, it led to his death. Having lived with an alcoholic and without an alcoholic in my life, I can say it’s almost easier without.
After my father passed away it was smooth sailing, for a time. Four years later my families home burnt to the ground, taking with it all of our material possessions and family dog. In a sense, this was freeing. We were no longer surrounded by the memories of my dad that filled that house, and we had a chance to build a new life.
Before the rubble was even cleared I broke my leg snowboarding at Keystone Resort. Having pursued professional snowboarding for years and having endured constant injuries, this was the final straw for me emotionally and physically. I left the mountains and turned to a life on the sea, working as a deckhand on yachts throughout Florida.
Despite this, the pull of the mountains never left my heart. I’m happiest outdoors, whether that’s the sea or mountains, but snowboarding was my first love, and I soon found myself living in Salt Lake and attending Westminster. The outdoors are my grounding mechanism. The way the place that I find peace and provide myself clarity of mind.
Summed up, the Ski Utah piece is the story of a young man, who after having endured extensive emotional and physical trauma was able to come to terms with his circumstances and learn to thrive in the mountains of Utah.
Immediately following the video release I’ll be releasing a Kickstarter for a novel/memoir that I’ve spent the last years writing on and off. It begins with a road trip immediately after breaking my femur in Colorado, and follows me throughout the National Parks of Utah, west to LA, and north to the Canadian border. Think of it as Edward Abbey meets Hunter S. Thompson, but without the drugs.
Watch Also: Zeppelin Zeerip: Mt. Hood to Argentina