Jamie MoCrazy of MOCRAZY STRONG: “The key is after my three deep breaths I don’t let myself think or waver, I move”

…The key is after my three deep breaths I don’t let myself think or waver, I move. I commit to taking a step, moving my skis…. I Always make myself commit after three breaths. Even if it’s jumping off a cliff into the water. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie MoCrazy who grew up on […]

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…The key is after my three deep breaths I don’t let myself think or waver, I move. I commit to taking a step, moving my skis…. I Always make myself commit after three breaths. Even if it’s jumping off a cliff into the water.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie MoCrazy who grew up on the ski slopes. By the time she was 18 years old, she had won the Junior World Championships and moved to Utah to continue training as professional slopestyle and halfpipe skier. However, in April 2015, Jamie crashed at the World Tour Finals, went into a coma, and became paralyzed. In an instant, Jamie went from being one of the world’s best slopestyle skiers to relearning basic gross motor skills, such as walking up the stairs and riding a bike. Jamie did not let the results of this horrific accident keep her down. Instead, she worked hard to recover, leaning on her friends and family for support. She charged forward in life with optimism. Miraculously, eight months after the accident, Jamie started skiing again. Shortly after, she started college and began her motivational speaking journey, where she set out to inspire others in hopes of creating luck in the face of trauma. Get to know Jamie a little further by reading through the article below.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up a very active and imaginative child. I would climb up just about anything. You see, my mom would let me climb up anything knowing I also had to climb down by myself. I would walk across jungle gyms as well as convince the children I was with, including my little sister Jeanee that we had to jump above cement from the locker room to the locker room for some adventure game I was playing. We were always finding bad guys, escaping, adventuring. Once I told my mom about a robber in our neighborhood and it was a real robbery! A great story which tells about my competitiveness from early childhood is when I was five years old doing a mitey mite ski competition with my team. We were trying to see who could get in the most number of runs. Well, the lift stopped one run when I was on it. It was an old-school double seater lift that wasn’t super high, however, it was about a story. I was above fresh powder snow and I didn’t want to wait so I jumped off the lift!

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional athlete? We’d love to hear the story.

Ever since I was a child I dreamed of being a professional athlete. You know how you ask a six-year-old what they want to be when they grow up? Well, my answer was to be a professional athlete. At 9-years-old I won State Championships in gymnastics. Earlier that year I had won a state championship in skiing. When I was interviewed for a newspaper about my gymnastics win I wrote down my dream was to combine gymnastics on snow. I did that with freestyle skiing. However, my introduction to freestyle was from a dare by the last year boy in high school when I was a first-year girl!

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

The foundation I can trace every part of my different successes back to is Mama MoCrazy. As a child, she taught me to always perform at my own personal best. What that means is your best is different every day. It also means your own personal best is your own personal best regardless of any sexual stereotypes. This was incredibly important to my athletic career, becoming the first woman in the world to double flip in a slopestyle run at X-Games, as well as foundational for who I am today.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I was so scatterbrained as a child I used to leave my stuff all the time at competitions. My mom even started offering rewards and after my friend made 100 dollars with every 5 dollars found sports item I started keeping track of my stuff much better which served me well when I started traveling internationally.

What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your career?

If you have a dream, go for it and trust yourself not to get in the way. On days you might know what you are supposed to do, however, you don’t want to or are scared, take three deep breaths and after your third breath, commit to taking action. Your body is your #1 tool. Take your time recovering from injury, eat and sleep right and remember to rest.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

The MoCrazy ladies- Jeanee, Mama MoCrazy and I, are always working on new projects as they get confirmed so make sure to follow @MoCrazyStrong on Facebook and Instagram and check out our website www.MoCrazyStrong.com! As covid-19 is beginning to get under control we are very excited about the retreats MoCrazy Strong will be hosting combining physical activity, nutrition and mental health in a fun and adventurous environment! We also are very involved in Traumatic Brain Injury recovery and change in protocol for increased person-centered practices.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As an athlete, you often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

First, I always have a little routine before any stressful and high-pressure situation. I envision how I would like to perform. I try to really feel the success of accomplishing what I am setting out to do. I decide I am going to do what’s in my mind and that is the right decision. Then I take 3 deep, slow breaths, and countdown each breath 3,2,1…. Then I commit and take action. When it was skiing I hop turned and started the run, or as a motivational speaker, I walked out on stage. The key is after my three deep breaths I don’t let myself think or waver, I move. I commit to taking a step, moving my skis…. I Always make myself commit after three breaths. Even if it’s jumping off a cliff into the water.

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques to help optimize yourself?

Like I explained above. I always take three deep breaths to calm and focus before I commit.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

My breathing and mantra routine.

How about your body? Can you share a few strategies that you use to optimize your body for peak performance?

It is really important to care for your body. That includes your physical body as well as your mind. It is important to eat healthily and keep your body active for the point of your physical fitness as well as your mental health.

These ideas are excellent, but for most of us in order for them to become integrated into our lives and really put them to use, we have to turn them into habits and make them become ‘second nature’. Has this been true in your life? How have habits played a role in your success?

This is exactly what I talk about in MoCrazy Strong resiliency keynotes. In order for you to change your behavior, it starts with your mindset, believing you can change your behavior and it is important to make this change. Then it goes to setting attainable goals and accomplishing attainable goals at your own personal best every day. This starts you up your alternative peak toward your growth goals, those goals that are views at summits. The repetition of turning attainable goals into habits changes your synaptic connections and the nerve pathways in your brain. This allows those habits to turn into “second nature.”

The same resilience is true for many brain injuries. Scientifically that knowledge has just become prevalent with an understanding of neuroplasticity. What I mean if the first time you do many things after a brain injury it is really hard; almost impossible like walking through snow up to your neck. If you repeat that action, walk the path repetitively, you will flatten that snow down and it will be easy to walk that path. Creating that path all comes from walking it the first time and then sticking with walking it again and again, even if it seems virtually impossible and you get frustrated and overwhelmed.

Can you share some of the strategies you have used to turn the ideas above into habits? What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

To turn an idea into a habit requires action. To stop bad habits a person has to replace the bad habit with something optimal. For example, If you think you come home from work and turn on the TV and you don’t think that habit is good for your health the first step is to think about how you want to replace the bad habit with a good habit. Maybe you want to instead walk the dog, or read a book… The first step is to decide what you are going to replace the bad habit with, and then go through the steps I listed above to create the habit you want.e

As a high performance athlete, you likely experience times when things are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a mind state of Flow more often in our lives?

The mindset of flow has a lot to do with really focusing on the present moment. On a daily basis, we think so much about the future and the past, we forget to actually enjoy what is currently happening to us. Calming yourself down, focusing on your breathing, limiting your thoughts, are all tips to experience more flow in your life.

Do you have any meditation practices that you use to help you in your life? We’d love to hear about it.

I use many meditation practices. I always envision the outcomes I want to experience in stressful situations. A cute story about meditation is 33 days before I started dating my fiance. I did a love mantra for an hour every single day. Now, my fiance Reggie and I had been friends for a year, and my purpose of the love mantra was to find self-love. It was three years after my TBI that ended my competitive skiing career and left me feeling lost and thinking about my past and who I wanted to be in the future. I was totally forgetting to focus on the parts of my current life I loved, as well as actually loving my current self. During those mantras, I would focus on taking the time and dedication to fall in love with my current self. Sometime during that month, I began to feel I was in love with my best friend as well so Reggie and I started dating. We dated for three years and recently became engaged on April 11th! My Alive to Thrive day and Reggie’s birthday!

Many of us are limited by our self talk, or by negative mind chatter, such as regrets, and feelings of inferiority. Do you have any suggestions about how to “change the channel” of our thoughts? What is the best way to change our thoughts?

To be honest, one of the things I am constantly working on is my negative mind chatter. A big struggle I went through was feeling I didn’t deserve my athletic success. Now that I’ve had my brain injury I feel through relearning gross motor skills and everything I had to relearn the question of if I deserve it or not is not relevant anymore. Besides having a brain injury I would suggest to quiet your mind and think about how much work you put into receiving your success. So much of luck is created by the habits we build and the mountains we climb. Some tips to “change the channel” are every night writing one thing you are grateful for that day and one thing you would like to accomplish tomorrow. Something I am doing right now is writing in a booklet a phrase about money and opportunities I was to manifest. I write that sentence three times in the morning, six times mid-day, and 9 times in the evening. The phrase is how I am grateful for the money and opportunities to create my dream life. It is very important that every time we write down something we want to manifest we speak as if it has already happened and express gratitude.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I am very proud of the work I have done creating a campaign with the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah for caregivers. As soon as my memory returned after my TBI I began to understand how important my caregivers were in my recovery. I felt very fortunate that Mama MoCrazy had so many years of education regarding how the brain works. Many people are thrust into the caregiving role with no understanding of how to be a caregiver to the best of ability for both themself and the survivor they are caring for.

Our Heal the Healer’s campaign contains educational videos for brain injury caregivers on the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah youtube page or the MoCrazy Strong website!

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My favorite life lesson quote is what I grew up with from Mama MoCrazy; “be your own personal best.” That means do your own best for that day. Every day you have a different best you can perform. It might be from external sources or internally how you are feeling that day.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I have met some amazing people, and there are a lot I would LOVE to meet. I would really love to meet Taylor Swift and let her know how influential her music was in my TBI recovery. I relearned how to move my body again to her music, and I would play her song, Style, three to five times a day! I really connected with the chorus; “we come back every time we go crashing down, cause we never go out of Style, we never go out of Style.”

This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

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