I had missed this accident, literally, by hours.
maybe even minutes.
On December 31, 2009, i was riding a chairlift over the halfpipe in Park City, Utah, watching a kid fly so high off the sides of it, that i remember thinking how it simply had to be a future Olympian training for some serious competition.
2 days later, back in Portland, i hear the news that Kevin Pearce had hit his head on the side of the halfpipe in Park City, Utah, and was in critical condition at the University of Utah hospital.
The athlete i saw was him.
Kevin lived. And I have had the honor of getting to know him and his incredible brother Adam, who has stood by his side since that fateful day.
This weekend, we saw a moment on TV. If you were watching football, you hopefully saw the Bing commercial celebrating the monumental recovery and milestones that Kevin has reached, as he got back on his board this December, two years after his accident, and rode again.
And soon, you will see a documentary, directed by my amazing friend Lucy Walker, (who is busy at Sundance Film Festival celebrating her incredible latest film, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, which was just nominated for an OSCAR!!!) on the story of the incredible journey he has taken.
Fast forward two years, to this week.
I am up in Whistler for an offsite with my team. And we hear the tragic news about Sarah Burke, a beautiful Canadian freestyle skiier, a pioneer in her sport, destined to compete in the sport’s debut in Sochi 2014. She died on Thursday after crashing on the very same half pipe.
I have never met Sarah, but i know many athletes and friends that have. And as the week has passed i have heard stories that make my heart soar.
In accordance with her wishes, Sarah donated her organs so that another human being may be given a chance at life.
The US Women Ski Jumpers, who are also making their olympic debut in Sochi 2014, have donated a portion of their World Cup earnings to Sarah Burke’s family to help with medical expenses they incurred.
So i guess the point to all this is that we never know what will happen on any given day.
Our world can turn on us in a minute.
So we should probably have no regrets.
So while our literal Earth is turning, but our proverbial World is still, it’s time we bleed a little more.
Bleed compassion by telling someone going through a hard time that you are thinking about them.
Bleed by showing that you can change the world by making an animal noise.
Bleed bone marrow by swabbing a few q-tips in your mouth (my husband and i did it together, it was SO romantic) and register for Be The Match Foundation.
Bleed into a new life by making sure you have clearly stated on your Drivers License and your Will that you are an organ donor.
I was asked by a commenter last week why i didn’t just “stay in the kitchen where i should be and accept things as they are.”
(that is actually the PG version… the actual comment had a few additional nouns, several of which rhymed with “funt” and “pouche rag.”)
This question is ridiculous on two fronts. First and foremost, because i am the shittiest cook on the planet, which anyone who knows me will confirm.
Secondly, that would imply that the status quo is just peachy and requires no act on our part to be a better citizen.
But when my husband “lets me out of the kitchen,” (sorry, commenter-who-sucks-so-i-have-to-give-you-shit) i really enjoy kicking ass at my job, and i also enjoy taking pictures.
So i will end with a few pictures i was able to take of my friend Kevin Pearce, who i am honored and humbled to know, and who has inspired me to take a stand against all odds.
here, KP stands with our mutual good friend David de Rothschild, my speed chess partner, and the man behind the most amazing website ever.
his “brain injury” is better than “any excuse to accept the status quo.”
KP and Ellery Hollingsworth… two of the most incredible people i know.
his incredible sense of humor that the fateful day on the half pipe never touched.
Adam Pearce. I heart.
Adam and Omar (Salazar) getting an iPad design tutorial from the one and only Tinker Hatfield. I know. seriously.
another of Kevin. I love this one. He and Matthew Modine are “thinking it out.”
i was honored to capture this moment, as it was a landmark one. Kevin and Adam, out on paddleboards, a true test of KP’s balance. we were all watching on shore, sharing in the amazingness of this moment.
His FABULOUS, GENUINE, PERFECT smile.
And to Sarah, who i never knew, but wish above moons i did, i salute you, your athleticism, your beauty, and your legacy.
don’t be passive.