Looking for significance
When I was 18, I found myself in a place where I had accomplished everything that was in my heart to do. I had money, I had fame, I had an Olympic gold medal, I had won every major snowboarding event I had ever dreamed of winning when I was a kid.
Apart from that, I didn’t have a whole lot going on in my life. All of the experiences were incredible and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but it wasn’t fulfilling me. I started asking myself a jarring question over and over again: “Now what?”
I didn’t really know who I was and what I was doing. Everyone knew me as Kelly Clark—pro snowboarder; Kelly Clark—Olympic gold medalist, and that’s who I was. That’s who I was to other people and that’s who I was to myself.
I was thinking: If this is what life is, if I’ve accomplished it all, if this is everything: I don’t want to do it anymore. I went through the motions for a few more years, but I was looking for something more.
I strived to drink the most. I strived to be the rowdiest, all this silly stuff. That didn’t seem like a very good idea, but at the time that was what I thought was gonna make me cool. I wanted people to like me.
I had spiraled into this depression and into this place that was just real dark. I was at this contest, and I was staying by myself. I spent the morning writing about how I didn’t want to live anymore and how it wouldn’t even matter.
In all those external successes, I was really looking for that sense of significance. I think our greatest need as humans is to be significant, and we’ll look for that everywhere. That’s just what I did with my snowboarding.