Imagine an endless winter.
From November to May, then July to November you’re surrounded by snow, crisp icy air and mountains covered in powder. This is the life of snowboarding legend Torah Bright.
This year will be the first time Torah has spent Christmas in Australia for 15 years, and she can’t get enough of it.
I was lucky enough to get some time with Torah, to talk about snowboarding, keeping fit and healthy and about her new passion – dancing. Here’s what the bubbly Cooma local had to say.
Torah Bright and I.
How did you first get into snowboarding?
TB: I grew up in Cooma, near the Snowy Mountains and my parents skied – it was just what we did as a family.
They [my parents] just taught the kids how to ski. When I was about 2 years old I think, we all got on skis. I didn’t start snowboarding until I was about 11- and once I tried snowboarding, I was done with skiing.
I think what hooked me on snowboarding was that I saw the mountain in a totally different way. I saw it as if it was a blank canvas where I could just go and do whatever I wanted.
I still love to ski but the free style, but the free aspect of snowboarding is what stole my heart.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue it professionally?
TB: No not at all.
It’s not something that I even thought was a possibility when I started – I just…loved it, loved doing it. I didn’t know that there was a world outside of the little world I had – I didn’t know that there was an industry, I knew nothing.
But then I just started being asked to go on shoots and travel and Mum and Dad allowed me to take those opportunities and then all of a sudden I’m competing in Italy in the Junior Worlds and I got a podium there and then the next year I’m like, ‘I’m going overseas again.’ I ended up in Big White and Whistler in Canada and after that season it was on – I never spent another year at home in summer….(laugh)…until now.
Big thumbs up from Torah.
As an elite athlete how do you stay fit? What do you do?
TB: Lots of different things. But I need a base strength, definitely. The stronger you are, the quicker you bounce back from injury – you don’t get hurt. You’re strong too.
My winter kind of starts from November and goes through May. And then I’ve got June where I just take off, go on a surf trip and then in the middle of July I’m back in Australia doing the winter – so there’s a really short period before the Southern winter and before the Northern winter that I work in physical training. There’s a little bit of gym work but mostly just being active and not using heavy weights – if I can squat my body weight cool, but I try and do workouts that really relate directly to my movements in snowboarding. So it’s light weight, but a lot of reps and explosive movements.
What about staying healthy?
TB: I grew up with a mother who was an absolute health fanatic – I don’t think I knew what sweets were until I went to school.
Mum would make her own bread – like everything that is cool and hip and new age now, my mum was doing 30 years ago. So she gave us a good head start in that realm. But that being said, I like to binge – I love chocolate.
I think when I listen to my body I give it what it wants and I eat pretty clean wholesome foods: meat when I feel like it and lots of fruit and veg.