This week we got to sit down with avid skier, instagram fanatic, and Ltd. Optics rep Brooke Gaynes to find out what keeps her avidly exploring the outdoors in Utah.
Tell us some of the basics about yourself and how you ended up in Utah.
Growing up in the suburbs of Utah, I couldn't wait to get out. After graduating from college, I was looking for jobs in San Fransisco. Having blown my savings in Bali, I instead took a "short term" job at the University of Utah (where I currently work in Human Genetics). After meeting John in the lab, we began to explore the beautiful mountains and deserts in Utah. I fell in love--- not just with John, but with Utah.
You seem to be going everywhere all the time biking, hiking, running, or skiing constantly. What drives you?
When I take time to get outside, I feel so much happier! So much more grounded, and grateful for the good things in life. No matter how crummy my day is, if I catch a sunrise or sunset (or preferably both!), I can keep the big picture in perspective. Having a border collie helps too--- Ollie makes sure I take him out for a ride or a run on the trail every day ;-)
Tell us about how you got into skiing.
Within the first year of our marriage, John made it clear that he would be spending saturdays on the slopes. Having skied a few times growing up, I had mixed feelings, but was willing to make the "sacrifice" and learn to ski so we could spend time together. The first day we went out together, I fell in love with the snow covered mountains, the challenge, and the cold air and sunshine on my face. The rest is history. A borderline unhealthy addiction. Playing in the mountains with somebody you love is the best feeling! Especially when skis are involved!
What would be a perfect day for you?
My perfect day would start with a sunrise ski tour in the mountains with John and some friends. Sore, sleepy, yet invigorated, and happy, I'd get into work just in time and have a successful day of cloning in the lab (along with large amounts of caffeine). After work we'd stop home and pick up the dog and the bikes and hop on the trail, catching a beautiful Salt Lake City sunset. My perfect day would end over pizza with John and my family or friends. Wow, I feel so grateful to enjoy lots of perfect days like this. Life is beautiful.
You are heavily involved with lots of companies, what got you started with them?
I am so grateful to be working with some truly amazing companies and products. I love finding companies to work with that make quality products and really care about connecting with the consumers and community. I feel so honored to be able to work with companies like this, and to help get the word out about these products to other skiers/ climbers/ bikers/ hikers/ and friends. Since we are outside nearly every day, I am able to get a lot of mileage and exposure to the products I rep. The relationships we make within the community can be so enriching! A big thanks to ltd. Optics, Pistachio Chewy Bites, Hillsound Crampons, Alta Ski Resort, Ethnotek, Freewaters Footwear, Designer Whey, Topo Athletic, and Pret helmets.
As an avid skier who visits Alta a lot, what is your stance on allowing snowboarders into Alta?
Ha ha, I have to be really careful about this one! Since I work with Alta I have to be really careful about what I say. I should probably abstain from saying anything. Half of the people we tour with snowboard--- we love you guys! The way you guys shred down the mountain is beautiful, and looks like so much fun!
Social media seems to rule our lives these days, what is your best and worst social media.
Instagram is BY FAR my favorite form of social media. I always feel so inspired seeing photos of my friends across the world getting out and getting after it! I have a hard time getting into Twitter. It's my least used platform. One time on Facebook I posted a video called "Sh*t Mountain Biker Girls Say", and my dad expressed his displeasure. Oops! #facebookfail