Aspen snowboarder Jordie Karlinski starts mindful performance business
Maybe Jordie Karlinski would still be competing if only she had today’s version of herself as a mentor four years ago.
As it is, the 28-year-old Aspen snowboarder has put that part of her life in the past, but plans to use what she’s learned all those years as a professional athlete to help others in the present.
“Something is providing me all these crazy life lessons and now I feel I need to be there for other people who are experiencing the same things,” Karlinski said. “You can train as much as you want physically, but your mind is such a huge aspect to doing well and succeeding. Through my own experience I wish I had a little bit more of those mindful practices.”
Karlinski recently launched a “mindful performance coaching” business under the tagline, “Unlock your potential.” While not quite the same as being a sport psychologist, she hopes to aid athletes who may struggle with mental blocks such as fear and doubt, while teaching self-leadership along the way.
Karlinski battled many of the same issues through her career. She was named to the U.S snowboard team’s boardercross roster at 16 and later was named to its slopestyle team. She’s competed in everything from Grand Prix events to World Cups to the X Games, with only the Olympics eluding her.
Her best chance to make the Olympics came prior to the 2014 Games in Sochi, when she fell on her final slopestyle qualifier and missed the cut by only a couple of points. This failure ultimately led to her retirement from competitive snowboarding at 24 years old.
“I still tried to go back and do some smaller competitions and train and I just couldn’t … I wasn’t there mentally to put that failure behind me,” Karlinski said. “I’m in a good place now where I can look back on that and be like that was an amazing experience and also be excited for a lot of the people who are going through that same experience right now, even though I didn’t make the Olympics.”
Like most professional athletes after retirement, Karlinski had a bit of an identity crisis. She had been nothing but a snowboarder since she was 8, and now had to find a new life off the snow. She went back to school, graduated from the University of Colorado, and attempted to find a “normal” life back home in Aspen.
The most difficult part in all this came about a year ago when her brother, Teddy Karlinski, died. Only 16 months apart in age, Teddy was the main reason she got into snowboarding in the first place.
It was ultimately through her management job at Lululemon that Karlinski discovered her skills and love for leadership and her desire to use her past struggles to help others. She earned a certification in leadership development earlier this year and finally, in the past two weeks, launched her website and her new career path.
“I have some big ideas. It’s just starting to work with clients and athletes and grow my programs,” Karlinski said. “There is a lot of room for people to be a little bit more mindful and to explore self-leadership a bit more.”
At least to start, Karlinski plans to work mostly with snowsports athletes, as it is what she has the most background in. But she doesn’t plan to limit her clientele to only skiers and snowboarders, or even athletes in general, nor do they have to be based in Aspen.
Karlinski simply wants to take her life failures — including her own doubts and worries — and turn them around to benefit those currently trying to find his or her own way.
“It’s been incredible. I think there has been a lot of great support from the community,” she said. “I would love it to be a lifelong thing, because I think the world needs it and it’s something I’m really passionate about.”
To reach out to Karlinski and explore what programs she offers, visit http://www.jordiekarlinski.com.
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.