This story is part of the 2020 Project, a special men’s health project that examines the lives of 20 different 20-year-old men across America. To learn more about the others, click here.
SEEN SUCCESS easy – maybe even accidentally – to get to the snowboarder Red Gerard. Gerard was the youngest American man to win a gold medal since the Great Depression. The media resorted to what they considered Ultra-Gen Z about the 17-year-old: his alleged attitude of caring about devils, including the fact that he slept through the day of the competition and couldn’t find his jacket, because he had to borrow one from a teammate. Gerard later insisted he was more together than the media made it sound. But he freely admits that he had to grow up. “When I was 17 I was honestly such a punk ass,” he says. “I really had no idea, to be honest, why the Olympics were so hype.”
At 20, he doesn’t claim wisdom, but he knows that being young and bold is one thing and maintaining your talent is another. Not traveling this summer didn’t bother him as the Silverthorne, Colorado resident has tried new ways to reach new heights. His eyes were on the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. Here is his four-part plan:
Step 1: Do other sports. Seriously.
In a rare relationship with an Olympic gold medalist, Gerard admits that he “didn’t go to the gym as much as I would have liked this summer”. But he is expanding his sporting repertoire and “does the things everyone else does.” does this ”, like golf (see below), tennis (“ It’s a pretty easy sport to make progress, and it’s a good workout ”) and most importantly surfing (“ It keeps my legs pretty fresh and hopefully pretty snow ready ” ). .
Step 2: get good at being bad.
“I have a love-hate relationship with golf,” says Gerard, but he sees it as the best thing he can do now to improve his mental snowboarding game. “I’m an action athlete, but it’s such a patient game. I’m going to go out and have a really bad lap and say, “Dude, I don’t know if I can do this.” I can be so frustrated. If I try to calm myself down and refocus in the moment, it’s a total, total mental game. “It’s the same feeling he gets when he learns tricks – minus the erasures. “It can be an all-out battle with ten to 20 rounds to fall,” he says. “It’s just utter patience.”
Step 3: maximize downtime.
One way to compete better is to compete a lot. During the quarantine, Gerard tried to stand in the competition’s headspace, even if he’s just sitting on the couch. “I’m trying to relive that feeling in my head so it isn’t so uncomfortable when it comes to it,” he says.
Step 4: be humble.
Next year Gerard will be in the Burton Snowboards film One Worldwith riders at some of the best snowboarding locations in the world. Although Gerard has made history, he has great respect for others who strive around him, even if he has defeated them once. “To be honest, I wouldn’t give advice to anyone older than me. I look to older people for advice! “
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