Episode 197: Kimmy Fasani - Luminosity
How the legendary snowboarder is tackling the biggest challenges any of us are likely to face with her trademark mix of generosity and grace.
“Death isn't scary to me. Dying isn’t scary to me. I’ve seen it, and I’ve been close to it.”
When my friend at Whitelines magazine asked me to chat to snowboarder Kimmy Fasani about her cancer diagnosis for this year’s annual, we decided to join forces on a print/audio double-header. The print version of our conversation was released last week, followed by the full audio version of our conversation on the podcast.
The result was a hugely affecting conversation that moved me greatly. As I wrote in my introduction to the Whitelines story:
“Death, serious illness, grief. These milestones are or will be a part of all of our lives.
Yet as a society, we are strangely reluctant to deal with them or even consider them until they’re in our immediate future.
So when we see somebody we care about confront these hidden commonplaces, and address these taboos openly, it has real impact. And when that person has a high profile in their field, and chooses to share their experiences in a vulnerable, confrontational, yet generous way, it can change the way we all think about and see them”.
“How else to explain the awe-inspiring power of the way Kimmy Fasani has chosen to tell her story through the prism of snowboarding?
As a rider, Kimmy has always been held in great affection by the snowboarding community. She is also somebody that has long been aware of how her profile gives her the ability to ‘shift the needle and change the conversation’, as she puts it.
Following the birth of her first son Koa, she did just that by challenging the perception of what it means to be a mother and a professional snowboarder.
Now, thanks to the wisdom and grace she has shown in sharing her experience of being diagnosed with and treated for stage 3 breast cancer, she is doing so again - by openly exploring the biggest, scariest themes of all.
Over the last decade, Kimmy and her family have dealt with a series of escalating crises that culminated in her diagnosis with stage 3 breast cancer at the end of 2021.
By choosing to share their experiences with her trademark combination of grace, beauty and great generosity of spirit, Kimmy is once again changing the collective snowboarding conversation in the most powerful way of all”.
I’m so grateful to Kimmy for the generosity and trust she showed during our conversation. Big thanks to Owen for the Zoom portraits, too.
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