February 10, 2022

#046: Beijing 2022: US Snowboarding – Lucas Foster

Hosted by Fran Racioppi

The halfpipe is the marquis event in snowboarding; launching riders 20 feet into the air while rotating up to four and half times. Or as the newest member of the US Olympic Snowboarding team explained – nailing a 1620. In our second episode of our coverage of the 2022 winter olympics, Lucas Foster joined us just before hopping his plane to Beijing. Lucas has his eyes set on making an impact at the games and in the sport – a sport in which America has dominated since its Olympic debut in 1998. 

We cover the halfpipe and how to combine amplitude, variety and execution to convince the judges of your performance. Lucas shares what it’s like to stand beside snowboarding legends like Shaun White and how growing up without a halfpipe taught him to be creative, resilient and adaptable. Lucas also shares how organically growing in the sport has kept him grounded, humble and gracious to be considered one of the sport’s best.  

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About Lucas Foster

TJP 46 | US SnowboardingLucas Foster is a 22-year-old member of the US Ski & Snowboard Team who competes in halfpipe. He is one of the youngest members of the team yet possesses some of the greatest potential to represent America in the 2022 at the Winter Olympics and, most importantly, to be standing on the podium at the end. 

Lucas got his start on his snowboard from his father Steve Foster who shared his love of the sport the same way a father shares football. Lucas immediately fell in love with the lifestyle and the day-by-day process (and extremely hard work) of becoming an excellent snowboarder. Through his journey to athletic success (thanks to his mentors and peers), he has expanded his horizons beyond the snow and is actively learning and practicing mindfulness, functional and corrective exercise, and mental/emotional stability and growth. Through this “journey” he receives fulfillment by sharing his knowledge and “hard-fought wisdom” with other human beings. Lucas strongly believes based off of personal experience that with improved changes in everyday routine, clear self-awareness and self-love that any human on this planet can find true happiness and success in any area of their lives. More importantly, they can utilize their past hardships, past trauma and shortcomings to their advantage and potentially to help someone else. 

While Lucas continues to pursue his athletic career and compete in the 2022 Olympics, he has intentions to inspire and positively impact not only the snowboard community but also individuals and groups beyond the snow. He is on a mission to share knowledge, resources and his “hard-fought wisdom” to help any and every human being find their true path and “Personal Legend.” With that he hopes to help them dominate their paths and “crush” their time on planet earth.

Beijing 2022: US Snowboarding – Lucas Foster

Snowboarding has quickly become one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics. The halfpipe is snowboarding’s marquee event. Its tricks require athletes to combine physical capability, mental focus, and their own artistic self-expression as they launch themselves twenty feet in the air while spinning around up to 4.5 times, or as my guest this episode explained, nailing a 1620.

In the second episode of our coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Lucas Foster joined me before hopping on his plane to Beijing. Lucas is the newest member of the US Olympic snowboard team and has his eyes set on making an impact at the games and in the sport, a sport in which America has dominated since its Olympic debut in 1998.

We cover the halfpipe and how to combine amplitude, variety, and execution to convince the judges of your performance. Lucas shares what it’s like to stand beside snowboarding legend, Shaun White and what he’s learning as a rookie on the team. Lucas grew up in Telluride, Colorado, a town known more for skiing. Without a halfpipe, he had to be creative, resilient, and adaptable.

Lucas shares with me how organically growing in the sport has kept him grounded, humble, and gracious to be considered one of the sport’s best. We’re launching this episode in the middle of Lucas’ three-day Olympic snowboard competition. Join us as we cheer him on, the rest of the US team, and we vie for victory in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Lucas, welcome to the show.

Thanks. Happy to be here.

Congratulations on making the 2022 US Olympic team. I appreciate you taking a few minutes to spend it with me. I know you got a lot of things going on. You’re leaving for China in a couple of days. You’re up there in beautiful Summit County, Colorado. I’m jealous. I’m in the total opposite place of you right now. I’m in the Caribbean. We came down here for a couple of days for a college reunion. You and I spoke and we’re like, “Let’s get it done before China.” I’m here in the hotel room in the heat. You’re up in Colorado in the winter snow. We have totally different worlds, but we’re jumping in on this conversation. I do appreciate your time because I know you got a lot going on.

I’m happy to be here. I’m glad we could do it before I head out.

Let’s start with the Olympics. You’re certainly no stranger to competition. You’ve been on the US snowboard team for a few years. You’ve competed in many of the international and US events during that time. Beijing is going to be your first Olympics, so you’re a rookie to the team. You finished fifth at the US Grand Prix in Mammoth. You were the highest American to finish there. You finished seventh in the World Cup in Switzerland. You’re up there and you’re competing at the highest level. What is making the US Olympic team for the first time mean to you?

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Lucas Foster: “The US team is so competitive. Everyone on the team has the ability to make the US team. There are 8 or 9 of us that are gunning for four spots.”

 

It means a lot. The US team is so competitive. Everyone on the team has the ability to make the US team. There are 8 or 9 of us that are gunning for four spots. It’s all about who can perform consistently and get it done at the right time. I always knew in the back of my mind that I’d be able to do it. It was more of a matter of like, “Is it going to happen?” To watch it all come together has been surreal. I’ve been on the team for a few years, but I also was a total underdog going into this season. I went from being on the US rookie team to being on the pro team to making the Olympic team the same year, so it’s been a quick evolution. It’s crazy. It still hasn’t hit me.

It’ll sink. You get on the plane, you’re going to go over there, and then eventually, you’re going to turn around and go, “Here I am.”

I’m excited.

2022 team features some of today’s and yesterday’s best men and women in the sport. The US historically has one of the best and the best record performance in snowboarding in the Olympics. Snowboarding was introduced into the Olympics in 1998. The US has 14 golds and 31 medals in the six games since that time and nobody’s competed at that level or achieved that.

On this team, in the halfpipe, you have Taylor Gold and Chase Josey as your teammates, each in their second Olympics. We can’t forget and have to mention the legend of snowboarding, Shaun White coming back for his fifth Olympics. On the women’s side, Chloe Kim, a gold medalist from the last Olympics and also a second-time Olympian, Maddie Mastro is going in competition.

As the rookie, you’re sitting there and you’re competing against these athletes. You’ve been in the competition and won against them. You talked about it setting it, but we talk about effective intelligence on the show. This concept of there’s something that is learned and gained from being on earth longer. You are in a great position here with people like Shaun White who have been there, done that, and have achieved everything in this sport and are still competing at the highest level. It’s so commendable to watch and it’s amazing for us as spectators to see that. What do you take from them? What do they share with you? You’re the next generation of leaders in this sport.

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Host Fran Racioppi and Lucas Foster Discuss…

Being on the team with those guys is crazy. I grew up watching Shaun White before I could remember, and then Taylor and Chase have been on the team with those guys for the last few years. I’ve gotten tight with them. I totally remember watching Taylor make the Olympics in 2014. That’s back when I was a legit fan of snowboarding and was nowhere close to being in the same circle as him. Now, Taylor’s my roommate, so it’s cool to be here with him and watch how he approaches his career. I totally respect how they go about their careers.

Chase Josey is another example. Everyone’s got a different style of how they compete, train, and go about their careers, so it’s cool to watch them. You can pull value from everyone’s career. You don’t have to be so black and white like, “This guy does it this way. Every other guy that doesn’t do it that way sucks.” It’s like, “I see little things that Taylor does to succeed, little things that Chase does, things that Shaun does.”

That approach has helped me feel like I’m a well-rounded rider that’s able to implement different styles in my career. It’s crazy to be hanging with those guys now, especially Shaun, because he’s so much older than me. He’s been around forever. I never thought that I’d be on an Olympic team with Shaun because he’s gone to every Olympics. It’s cool. I got a lot of respect for those guys.

Making the US Team is all about performing consistently and getting it done at the right time. Click To Tweet

In our last episode, we spoke with Steven Nyman. He’s been on the US national team since he was nineteen. He’s a legend on the skiing side and made it to four Olympics. He was pushing this 2022 to make it into his fifth, and then it fell out at the end and he was vying for that last spot. It went another way on him. He’s a huge supporter of the show. We love Steven here and we look forward to his continued success. We’ll be tracking that.

We were joking about this. When you look from our perspective, the older guys, you got to develop that younger generation of leaders. It’s important to see that come to fruition and it’s cool to watch. I want to ask you about teamwork. We talk a lot about teamwork as one of our core values. It’s 1 of our 9 characteristics of elite performance that we talk about in Special Operations, one of the things we assess and select folks on.

In snowboarding and in the halfpipe, there are two elements to this. There’s the individual competition side where individuals have to perform at their best. To some extent, you are competing against your teammates. There’s also a team factor here because the better the US does, the more medals they win and the more it adds to the medal value. There’s this team collective and a lot of the things that you spoke about, helping each other and learning from each other.

Can you talk about how does the team is now that it’s selected? There’s certainly more of an element of competition to try to get into those last four spots until this point. How do you now come together? How does it work collectively as individuals who are now going to form this team to go to China and work together in a lot of ways?

Making the Olympic team is hard, especially for US riders. Now that we’ve all made it, we all want to go there and put on our best performances, but we also want to see our teammates do their best. The ultimate dream is to make it to the Olympics and have the best run of your life. That’s all you can control because snowboarding is a judged sport. There are no specific criteria for the judging. It’s like, “Does this judge like your run?”

All you can do is focus on you and what you can do. We’re all such good friends. I want to see Taylor do the run of his life. I want to see Chase do the run of his life, and Shaun and myself, and then we let everything else fall into place as it should. It is an individual sport. My performance doesn’t necessarily help Taylor and Chase, but in a way, it does because we feed off of each other. I watch Taylor put down a good run and that gets me stoked, pumped up, and inspired to go give it my all, too. At the end of the day, we’re all happy for each other no matter what happens.

The subjective nature of the sport is it’s a judged sport. With Steven, we talked about that it’s about timing, what separates 1st from 2nd. A 100th of a second can be the difference between a gold medal and not even making the podium. Over the summer, we had spoken with Olympic gold medalist and platform diving, Laura Wilkinson, another judged sport. How do you approach that competition? How do you frame that in your mind? What do you have to hit and take in as the inputs that help you to decide what you’re going to do out there that gives you the best chance of scoring highly?

You have a rough idea of what you need. These days in snowboard halfpipe, you need a 1260. Amplitude is the most important one, how high you go out of the pipe. You could do a run that’s not super technical with smaller tricks, but you could go massive and score well. You also got to be clean, wall the wall, so we have a good idea of what the judges want.

The tricks are getting so big these days that a lot of the riders are doing the same runs and the same tricks. That’s where you start splitting hairs. Sometimes you can do some of your tricks higher up in the pipe and get score better, or you can throw in some creative tricks that some riders aren’t doing to score better.

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Lucas Foster: “We all want to go there and put on our best performances, but we also want to see our teammates do their best, too.”

 

In a nutshell, you want to have some big tricks like 1260s or 1440s. Now we’re seeing triple corks and 1620s. Having that one finale trick is super important. That’s how I look at it. It’s like, “I need to have my 12s. I need to have my banger trick. I also need to go massive and execute it cleanly.” There are trick books of like, “This frontside 900, score is 6 out of 10.” That’s not like that. The criteria for judging are amplitude, variety, execution, and overall impression. That’s all you can workaround.

It’s funny to think about how far the sport has come because when it was introduced, they launched the X Games, and everybody started watching snowboarding in the winter sports arena, somebody would launch a 360. You’d be like, “That’s crazy. They turned around in the air.” You’re talking about 1440s and 1620s. We’re talking 3, 4 revolutions in the air.

The sport is a combination in my mind. We talked a little bit about this with skiing, this physical capability and technical requirement, and this mental and emotional strength required to conduct these feats of physical activity. How do you break down the sports? Do you look at it in terms of a physical component, a technical component, and then a mental component as well? Is there any other factor that you throw in there? How do you then balance those three in your preparation in your training, and then we get out there and you’re standing on top of a wall?

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Lucas Foster: “There is no difference between the body and the mind. The body is the mind.”

First and foremost, we all started snowboarding for the love of it and for the sole idea that it’s an art for most of us and a way of self-expression. Competing is super fun and it’s a double-edged sword because it is dangerous and stressful at times, but it’s rewarding. For these high-level tricks that require a lot of focus, it’s a total blend of physical and mental.

For me, there’s no difference between the body and the mind. The body is the mind. Your physical is always going to be feeding your mental game. You’re never going to go out there and try these big tricks if your body is all beat up because that’s going to be playing into your mindset of like, “This part of my body is in tons of pain. I don’t feel good.” It’s all about feeling good, confident, and having that fine balance of feeling powerful, relaxed, and feeling like you can breathe deep.

Stay grounded before trying these big tricks. If you’re too jacked up, you’re not going to be focused, you’re not going to be rooted, and you might do some crazy stuff out of impulse. If you’re not powerful and aggressive enough, then you may not be pulling the trigger at the right time and you might be dragging your feet. It’s a total blend. The body is the mind and there’s no difference between the two, in my opinion.

 

You’ve been called perpetually calm and collected. I’m hoping you could talk me through an evolution of one run on the downhill. You’re standing there, you’re on top of the wall, and it’s go time. As you are into the run now, you’ve got 4 or 5 opportunities to send it. What’s going through the mind as you’ve launched off the top, and then you get into those 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th attempts?

It’s always changing. I remember the first contest of the year compared to the last one I did at the X Games. Seeing how my approach has evolved and how much I’ve learned through 4 or 5 events is crazy. The cool thing about not just halfpipe but snowboarding, in general, is you have to be fully present. If you’re thinking too much about the third hit in the pipe, you’re going to mess up on your 1st hit or your 2nd hit. Every hit requires full presence, stillness, and attention.

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Lucas Foster: “Every hit requires full stillness, full presence and full attention.”

What’s cool about halfpipe is if you mess up the first hit, it ruins the rhythm of your whole run and it’s hard to correct course. It’s these building blocks. When I’m up there about to drop in, it’s hard to explain exactly what’s going through my mind. It’s almost like you enter this state of no-mind and flow state. The goal is you don’t want to be thinking. Leading into the contest, you’re thinking the whole day. You’re not fighting to stop thinking, but you’re trying your best to click into that flow state when you’re lacing up your boots at the bottom of the mountain or something.

Once you strap in and realize, “This is what I do, I snowboard. I’ve been doing these tricks for years. This is what I love to do and this is what I’ve been dreaming of doing since I was young,” all you can think of is, “Thank you. I’m super blessed to do this. I’m going to have full trust in my preparation for these events and full trust in my skills.” What’s helped me is having that inner knowing and that unwavering belief of like, “I belong right here. It’s all going to work out.” Having that faith is important.

 

The ultimate dream is to make it to the Olympics and have the best run of your life, and that's really all you can control. Click To Tweet

Your story is cool because you didn’t grow up in a town that was necessarily fully embracing the snowboarding culture. You grew up in Telluride, Colorado, one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it did take Telluride a while to come around snowboarding. From what I know from living there and being there, and then also checking on some research, they didn’t even incorporate snowboarding onto the mountain until 2004, 2005.

There was no halfpipe there for you growing up and there was no snowboarding team. People questioned your ability to compete at this level because they said that you “got a late start” compared to others. You said, “There were a lot of people that didn’t think I would make it far because of my situation living in a place with no halfpipe and not being part of a team.” You called growing up in Telluride a unique upbringing. Can you talk about growing up there, what it was like and why it was a unique upbringing?

Growing up in Telluride was amazing. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The ski area there is revolved around freeriding, so riding the mountains rather than riding terrain parks or halfpipes. It’s all about riding the mountain in front of you. The terrain is gnarly and steep. It requires you to be a good snowboarder or a good skier. That’s what I learned how to snowboard on, this gnarly terrain.

It was an organic upbringing. I remember until I was fourteen, I knew about the Olympics, X Games, and contests, but I didn’t know how to get into it. I didn’t care to get into it. I just love snowboarding. For the first four years of my snowboarding career, it was freeriding around the mountain with my friends and family and doing it on the weekends. I went to a normal school till I was sixteen years old.

The unique part comes in when most halfpipe snowboarders, especially the riders I’m competing with, grew up going to academies for skiing and snowboarding. They grew up doing online school and doing these ski and snowboard programs five days a week, which is amazing. There’s no disrespect to that at all. That’s what is required these days if you want to make it. You either got to have that foundation or you got to have a ton of money to be able to go to New Zealand in the summer, go to Mount Hood in the summer and train, and do all these expensive camps and stuff.

As I got older, I got more opportunities and made the right connections to slowly get into those more elite camps like BKPRO. Bud Keene is one of the legendary coaches in snowboarding. Every couple of years, he would give me the opportunity to come to his camps for either free or for cheap and let me ride the halfpipe. That’s where I got my start to seriously compete in the halfpipe. It was situations like that where it’s like, “I get to go to Copper Mountain for a week. I’m going to get the most out of this.”

Telluride didn’t have a good program. They have the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, which is more of a grassroots program for kids learning how to snowboard and wanting to get into lower-level competitions. I remember when I was first getting into the amateur level events, I had to do all of my own research and figure out, “These are the events I got to go to. This is how you get to this point.” Luckily, it all came together.

It was a unique upbringing. There are not many people that I’m competing with that had that type of upbringing, but that’s what sets me apart and that’s what’s cool. I don’t think it’s cool for everybody to have the same upbringing. You got to have people from different walks of life to make this sport unique and to make it more of a culture rather than some cookie-cutter sport.

Why halfpipe? You grew up more on the slope side. I watched a bunch of videos of you competing on the slope side. Why make the transition to halfpipe?

Growing up, I rode halfpipe here and there when I’d go do slopestyle contests and it was fun. I had a blast riding halfpipe. I would do good because I was a skateboarder and still am. Halfpipe is similar to skateboarding in bowls and stuff. I kept doing it for fun. As I got a bit older, when I was seventeen, I remember one specific event where I learned frontside 900 the day of the event. It was the nationals when I was seventeen. I accidentally did it twenty feet out. At the time, that was not what I did. I usually would go ten feet out in the pipe. I caught an ice patch and went huge and stomped it. I remember that video getting a lot of attention.

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Lucas Foster: “That’s the ultimate dream. Make it to the Olympics and have the best run of your life.”

One thing led to another. In a nutshell, I got opportunities from that, one clip to go train and ride at the US snowboard team that spring. Also, the opportunities with Bud Keene. I was getting to go ride halfpipe. I was progressing and getting better and better. The next season, I got put on the US snowboard rookie team. I was like, “Maybe this halfpipe thing is my calling. I’m getting all these opportunities. I’m getting more attention.” I’m naturally being considered more of a halfpipe rider now. That was in 2018 when I got on the team. That was it.

You had to decide, “I got to lean into this thing,” and it’s working out for you. The halfpipe itself is ice down. How hard does it hurt when you fall off that thing? I know it’s a stupid question, but I have to ask that question.

It hurts, for sure. That’s what makes it calculated. One little mistake, you’re landing either on the deck and falling into the bottom or you’re landing deep in the pipe. That doesn’t feel good. It’s the real deal.

I had a period of time in my life when I thought I was going to start getting into the terrain park on my skis. You get in there and you get a false sense of confidence and you’re like, “I can do this thing. I’ll hit a couple of these well.” I hit one. As soon as my skis made contact with the rail, they slipped out from under me and all I remember was seeing my skis above my head. I heard the people behind me screaming as I was in the air. I came down right on that thing and had a contusion on my ass for about 2.5 months.

It’s a dangerous sport. It’s is a double-edged sword because it makes it fun, but it also makes it scary.

You’re going to compete. We talked a lot about the evolution of the sport and what you got to put together. Do you have any sneak peek at what you’re planning on sending when you get up there?

The run I’ve been doing this 2022 has been treating me decently well. I learned a trick in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, called backside double 1620. I’m hoping that I’m going to do that in the finals, for sure. Doing that trick cleanly will treat me well. That’s the main one. I’m hoping that I can shift around some of the tricks that I’m doing in my run in different spots or points in the run.

I have a good idea of what I’m going to do. Every half pipe is different. You get there and you get to get a good feel for the pipe, and then you can make a call from there. It’s always disappointing sometimes when you think of a run, and then you show up and the pipe is not good for that run. We’ll see. I’ve heard the halfpipe over there in Beijing is super good, so it’ll be a great event.

I want to ask you about the impact. This is a driving factor for me and my life, what I ascribe to do, and also on the show. We talk a lot about impact. One of the goals that you’ve spoken about is to make and leave an impact. You credit your upbringing for your ability to relate to others, which you’ve called the first step to making an impact.

Competing in snowboarding is super fun. It's a double-edged sword because it is dangerous and stressful at times, but it's very rewarding. Click To Tweet

In episode 44, we interviewed Patrick Murphy, the first congressman who was an Iraq war veteran to be elected to Congress. He also was the Secretary of the Army for a period of time. Patrick said, “You might disagree, but you never become disagreeable.” You said, “You’ve got to be able to meet people halfway and understand other kids’ situations. If you’re too elite, it’s going to be hard to make an impact.”

When we were catching up, we spoke about the support you’ve shown to veterans and also to kids who are coming up in snowboarding and looking for snowboarding to provide solace in their lives. I like the humility that you display here. Humility is 1 of our 9 core characteristics as well. Can you define what you mean when you said that if you become too elite, it’s going to be hard to make an impact?

These last few years, being in this pro snowboard scene, you get to see where snowboarding is at. Even skiing is such an elite silver spoon sport these days. Snowboarding especially never started like that. What draws many people to snowboarding is the culture. For me, I look back to when I started snowboarding, I was young and I wasn’t sure.

At eight years old, you don’t know what you want to do in life. You find this piece of wood with bindings and you get to slide down a mountain and try tricks. You feel like the world is yours when you find that snowboard. I know how far it’s brought me. Now, I’m seeing that half pipes are so hard to find. You got to be swimming in money to be able to get into this sport, which sucks to see because it’s going to make it harder for kids to get into it. What I mean is, if you’re too elite, it’s hard to make an impact.

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Lucas Foster: “You gotta have people from different walks of life to make this sport unique.”

Most kids can’t relate to being sent around the world to go train in the halfpipe when you’re nine years old. Kids can relate to being, “I’m a normal nine-year-old kid. I want to have a good time and have a good time with my friends.” That’s the most important thing. That’s what’s accessible for kids. Have fun and find yourself in a sense. Snowboarding has helped me discover who I am and discover my path in life. That’s relatable. It’s not relatable watching people do triple corks on TV even though that’s what we’re participating in. People got to know how it all started. We got to come back to our roots beyond competing, beyond the Olympics. It’s all a form of self-expression.

That culture piece is vital in the sport. You talked about skateboarding and bringing the skateboarding culture and you invoke that. You see it on the mountain. When I envisioned my kids growing up, I want them to become good skiers and be afforded the opportunity that I did, too. It is cool to see these young kids out there. You also have to remember, many of them are normal kids who want to go out there and have a good time.

For me, I was disturbed when I got into this whole scene seeing some of these riders I looked up to and seeing how closed off they were. Some of them are too cool for school and that was such a letdown for me because that made me not want to be a part of it. I was like, “I looked up to these guys for years and now they are too elite.” That isn’t inspiring. It isn’t making me excited.

You can set that aside and decide to realize there’s so much good in the sport and many amazing people. You don’t want to focus on those few bad apples. Seeing how some of those riders are closed off and are on their own program, I’m not going to name names, but that sucks. I understand that you got to do what you got to do. You’re not going to leave an impact and inspire people if you’re on this other planet.

Never lose it. It’ll be awesome to see and watch you grow and take the reins of this sport over the next couple of years. You’re in the position to form that culture and drive that impact throughout not only those who touch you but the whole sport of snowboarding. I know it.

Thank you. That’s the goal.

Lucas, as we close out, the Jedburghs had to do three things every day as core foundational tasks to be successful in their world. They had to be able to shoot, move, and communicate. If they were proficient in these three core foundational tasks, then their energy and focus could be on the other challenges that came their way. What are the three things that you do every day in your world to be successful?

Number one is I always do some form of meditation and connection to quiet my mind. I’m a spiritual person. I’ve had a lot of mentors in my life that has led me down this path. It’s been the most life-changing thing that I’ve implemented in my life. What I mean by any form of connection is taking twenty minutes to sit and meditate or taking time to do moving meditation or doing breathwork.

I’ve even gotten into forms of prayer and gratitude to disconnect from this craziness that we’re living in these days, especially the months leading up to the Olympics. Now that I’m going, everything is wild. You have to take time to breathe. The things that make me slow down, breathe, stay grounded are everything. If you’re too jacked up, if you’re all over the place with things you got to do, if you’re too much of a busybody, it’s hard to not burn out. Meditation is number one.

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Lucas Foster’s 3 Foundations For Success

Number two is movement. Movement is medicine for our bodies. That’s what our bodies are built to do. Movement is a form of meditation as well. Things like Tai Chi and Qi Gong have helped me slow down and quiet my mind but also keep my body moving. That’s what you want to get to in snowboarding, a point where snowboarding feels relaxed and you can do these complex tricks while feeling tuned in and still.

Number three is also connecting with people around me. Relationships are everything in life. Having things like meditation to keep you grounded and be tuned in with yourself helps you have these fruitful relationships in life and help you attract those relationships to you. Having a relationship with yourself is the start. Once you get to that point, you get to experience what life is all about, which is love, connection, and friendship.

I do my best to be present with those around me. That’s always a difficult thing, especially when you’re busy. It’s hard to remember, “I got to call that guy today,” check in with my family, or go snowboard with my friends. It’s difficult to stay on that. You feel good after you’ve taken the time to check in on people and give your time to people and feel that love coming back to you.

That ties into your impact, too. It starts with building relationships and keeping them. Meditation, movement, and relationships, I like those three. We talk about the nine performance characteristics defined by Special Operations Forces, drive, resiliency, adaptability, humility, integrity, curiosity, team ability, effective intelligence, and emotional strength. Elite performers exhibit all nine of these and they exhibit variations of a number of them at any one time, depending on the situation that they’re in.

I take one at the end of each of these conversations and think about my guests and the conversation we’ve had and learn about them. For you, I think about emotional strength because it sums up so many of the things that you’ve spoken about. You came from Telluride where you had to figure out, “How am I going to become a halfpipe snowboarder in an area that doesn’t have all these opportunities that everyone else has?” You’ve maintained humility as you’ve built your career, which is tremendous. I commend you for that.

Movement is medicine for our bodies. That's what our bodies are built to do. Click To Tweet

You look forward to the future and you think about, “How am I going to continue to drive impact?” You look at the competition and how you compete and approach it with gratitude. All of those things require a tremendous amount of emotional strength to bring calm to chaos because it can become chaotic. When we’re grounded, when we do things like meditate, we provide movement and create meaningful relationships that drive impact on ourselves and those around us. That takes emotional strength. I commend you for displaying that in everything that you do.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Lucas, I wish you the best. Everybody who follows the show is wishing you the best. We will be behind you as you compete in Beijing at the Olympics 2022. We wish you the best. We’ll be cheering for you and for team USA. Get out there and nail the backside double 1620. Continue to bring impact to the sport, to kids, and to all of those who admire and support you when you get up to the top of that halfpipe and you get ready to drop in. You’ve put the work in. Send it with conviction. We’re right behind you.

Thanks. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me on.

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