Design is about purpose and improvements, like everything in life. When I recognized a connection between design and athletics, that’s when I was reminded as to why I was so excited by the CMCI Studio. I realized that design thinking is very similar to an athlete’s way of thinking. Being a ski racer has taught me that every single decision I make is going to impact the outcome of my results. Every training day, I have to make decisions and those decisions will determine if I succeed or not. When you find love and passion for something, you can put in the extra time and effort required to impact performance and achieve goals. I also believe that the quantity of learning will eventually lead to quality and that the only way to learn is by doing. I have learned in my sport that developing imprinted reactions and solutions before a problem arises, you have a toolset that provides you with a plan for finding solutions to problems that may arise every day. This way of thinking is fundamental in design to envision alternative futures. How I ended up here is directly related to what I mentioned above. I want to understand the needs and problems for users and design solutions for them. When I created a mind map of my journey to this point and beyond and I found that it is harder than I thought to dig into my motivation, experiences, and strengths and communicate this.

I think that my personal story as an athlete plays a significance in the problem-solving process of design. With the program’s specialized courses within brand design and experience design, I wish to implement a unique skill set to solve future problems within design and push limits. I also want to learn how to think one step ahead, focusing on the future of design, and learning how to grow as a creative.

Coming into this program I have some experience with Adobe Creative Cloud programs like Photoshop, Adobe XD, InDesign, and Illustrator. All of which I learned as an undergrad in Media Design at CU. I also took courses where I learned about the importance of storytelling and how that is used to get insight into users’ needs to build empathy to reach an audience.

Part II: Things I love and hate

Things that I love: The Mountains, Skis, and Full Body Spandex Suits. The reason I chose these is that these are the three main objects a ski racer needs for any day skiing. I grew up close to the mountains, so I have always considered the mountains my home. Skis make it possible to arc turns when pressuring the edge of the skis on snow. A spandex suit is something we are required to wear on any training or race day.

The mountains are a unique and beautiful gift sent to us from mother nature. The mountains are where I feel at home and where I can truly feel myself. As mentioned, I grew up in the mountains, so I like to say that there is always a little piece of mother nature in me. Mountains, to me, hold a very special place in my heart because not only do they make me feel myself and make me feel calm, the mountains are where I compete, so they bring out the cutthroat attitude that is inside of me. The mountains are so intriguing to me because not only are they my home away from home, but they are also my battlefield.

I like to think of skis as the connecting piece which satisfies my adrenaline cravings. Skis are what connects my body to the beloved mountains and that is why they hold such a special place in my heart. Skis can’t only be seen as an instrument that gets someone from point A to point B down a snowy, icy mountain because they are much more than that. A ski is that final cell that completes the electrical circuit. A ski is that final missing piece that completes the 1000 piece puzzle. A ski is that final link that connects me to my happy place. Skis are so important to me because, without them, my personal electrical current would be disconnected.

Who doesn’t love a full-body spandex suit? MEE!!! I would say my relationship with a spandex suit is a love-hate relationship. The hate part is the obvious part; they are very cold, they constantly give me wedgies, they are way too tight, they never seem to fit right, and they honestly make you look like you’re about to tame lions at the circus. But, there is this little part of me deep down that does love them, very deep down. Without a spandex suit, I wouldn’t be able to compete in the sport that has formed me into the woman I am today. Without all of the wedgies, I probably wouldn’t have had the best four years of my life at the University of Colorado Boulder. Without freezing my ass off every day, I wouldn’t be competing on the NCAA circuit battling at one of the highest levels of my sport. So, full-body spandex suit, as much as I hate you, thank you for everything!

Things that I hate: Scam calls, Flight companies, and contact lenses.

Who doesn’t hate scam calls? These robocalls make me not trust any callers these days. Tax season is the prime time for scammers however, recently I have been getting robocalls abusing concerns about COVID-19. The fact scammers during a global pandemic use illegal robocalls to profit from fears that come with COVID-19 is just so absurd to me. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that during a global pandemic scammers are trying to break people and profit from it instead of bringing people together and being united through these times of crisis.

I love traveling however, traveling comes with a lot of stress caused by flight companies themselves. Especially recently, air travel has become a frustrating situation for many travelers. I don’t mind wearing a mask and sanitizing to keep myself and others safe. However, the problem lays within different flight companies changing their flight schedule last-minute without notifying passengers. This can be frustrating if you don’t have a flexible schedule. Another thing that I have been getting frustrated about is when I call customer service to cancel a flight, because of travel restrictions to keep myself and others safe, these companies don’t show any appreciation for taking action to avoid the spread of COVID. They refuse to give refunds for flight tickets and provide flight credits instead that have an expiration date of three months. Traveling at this moment increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID, so why would flight companies not support people so that they can move their flights to when it is safe to travel again?

Why wouldn’t you hate something that can ruin your entire level of comfort because of one speck of dirt under your contact? Or when you desperately need a nap, leaving your contacts seared to your eyeballs and every-time you blink they just drop on the ground and are invisible. When you have different prescriptions on your right and left eye, you will definitely mix them up at some point, which will make your sight even worse and before you realize the problem you will think that you are slowly going blind. I also lose sleep over these stupid lenses. If you wear contacts, you will have to wake up at least an hour earlier because it takes forever to insert them and when you drop a contact lens, because it will happen, you can’t find it even if your life depended on it. Finally, to top it off, the biggest question I have is this: How can I find an invisible contact lens without my contact lenses in, because without them I FEEL BLIND!

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