7 questions with snowboarder Spencer O'Brien

We caught up with snowboarder Spencer O’Brien at the Winter X Games. This girl’s got an enviable life: she recently signed onto the Nike team and has plenty of bling for her event, Slopestyle. She spilled on getting over fears, having fun and her craziest food experience ever. 
GL: You’re known for your major tricks: how do you keep fear at bay while you’re riding?
Spencer O’Brien: I am a baby, a huge one and I’m far from fearless. I work in steps and build up to things, whether it’s a jump or a trick I want to try. Taking small steps and building up my confidence takes most of the fear away.
GL: We saw on Twitter you went dogsledding. Was it a good workout? 
SO: Dogsledding was super fun and a completely new experience for me. It’s definitely a good workout for the driver, tons of running and I’m sure a lot of abs, but when you aren’t trained you just get to sit in the sled and enjoy the ride.
GL: What are you secrets for staying warm on a long day?
SO: Layers, lots of layers and neck warmers. If it’s super cold I make sure I have no exposed skin. Frostbite is the worst.
GL: What are your favorite ways to cross-train?
SO: I do a lot of weight and strength work to keep my legs strong in the off season. I also like to hike and road bike to mix it up and get in cardio.
GL: What’s the toughest workout you’ve ever done?
SO:  Any new workout with my trainer Damien is the toughest workout I’ve ever done. He makes me work harder than anyone and every time I think I’m in awesome shape and he’s going to be super impressed, I am huffing and puffing and so sore the next day.
GL: We love that you coach camps. What’s the biggest lesson you try to hit home for younger riders?
SO: When I’m coaching I always try to make sure my girls are having fun. That’s the most important thing in snowboarding because if you aren’t enjoying it you aren’t going to progress and get better. It’s a fundamental aspect that I use every day in my own riding.
GL: And, because we’re kind of obsessed with the Food Network, what was it like being on Dinner: Impossible?
SO: I am the biggest Food Network nerd, I love it! Being on Dinner: Impossible was awesome, I can’t even describe to you how stoked I was when they told me I was going to be on the show. I was really surprised at how real the show is, Chef Robert really is working under a crazy time crunch and it’s amazing what him and his crew are able to crank out. Everyone was really nice and it was fun getting to cook under so much pressure.


by Katie Abbondanza | 2/1/2016