Carrie Scheick Snowboarding
The Truth of a Tattoo
While the words may be subtle, the phrase tattooed along the forearm of Carrie Scheick holds a much deeper meaning. The expression inspired by a Brené Brown quote and written in her own handwriting is a daily encouragement for Carrie. Three simple words, “own your story;” remind her that while areas of her life have challenged her and are a part of her, those events and trials don’t define her. She feels it’s important to be real and honest when sharing your story and wants to give back to other people who are struggling.
“There is power in storytelling. I can relate to a lot of people in our community by owning my story,” shares Carrie. “We live in a place where it can be hard to meet people, find housing, and build healthy relationships.”
A Cross Country Move to the Mountains
Like many residents in our area, a love for the outdoors began Carrie’s transition from the East Coast to the mountains of Summit County. Originally from New Jersey, a cross-country road trip with her family first spiked her interest in the area. Ten years later, after studying Environmental Science, she decided it was now or never and made the move. After applying for various jobs, she accepted her dream job, working at Keystone Science School leading all-girls backpacking trips and managing the girl’s STEM program focusing on the study of science, technology, engineering, and math.
She also fell in love with snowboarding, working part time and spending much of her extra time at Arapahoe Basin. Although Carrie loved many things about her new life in Colorado, she also felt isolated and alone at times. She had previously been diagnosed with general anxiety and depression after dealing with the side effects of Lyme disease.
Now across the country from her support group of friends and family she was having trouble managing the stresses of a new environment, new job, and new home in a healthy way. Her relationship with her boyfriend also began to struggle because of this.
“I remember crying in the shower. I didn’t know how to regulate my emotions and began to have suicidal ideation,” shares Carrie. “I never made a plan, but sometimes I did think about what it would feel like to just go to sleep and never wake up.”
Turning challenges into personal growth
After Carrie confided in her best friend over the phone, she realized the severity of these feelings and the need to build better coping skills with her feelings of depression and anxiety. She continued working with her therapist from home virtually. She found solace on her snowboard, creating a positive outlet for her mental health. Unfortunately Carrie’s relationship with her boyfriend didn’t survive the challenges and the couple split up, causing additional stressors.
Despite these challenges Carrie experienced good personal growth in 2019 and was able to focus on her physical and mental health. She found a good living situation with roommates who made her laugh, and also began attending Building Hope connective events. It was at one of these events she discovered she was not alone. There were other people living all around her struggling with similar issues. She was inspired to even become an ambassador for Building Hope, attending events as a leader and resource for her community.
A big step backwards
Just as everything felt like it was falling into place, Covid hit in March 2020. She remained with Keystone Science School throughout the first months of the pandemic, but eventually in September Carrie lost her job. “I joke that Covid took all of my professional outdoor education dreams and goals away, but it feels true, I took a big step backwards.” Her feelings of depression and anxiety returned, as her life was not how she pictured it should be. She contemplated moving away from the area. Lockdown was hard, but she enjoyed the company of her two roommates, making the best of a hard situation and grateful to not be alone.
With more tools and methods to deal with her stress and anxiety, Carrie once again began to rebuild her life. She applied for different jobs and in November a new opportunity arose with Breckenridge Grand Vacations. She started at the front desk at Grand Colorado on Peak 8 and soon moved up in the company. Her current position has her working with events and communications. This has also allowed her to contribute to her passions of wellness and sustainability for the company, prompting her to work towards a certificate in sustainability leadership through Colorado Mountain College.
Carrie Schieck plays ultimate frisbee
Photo by Drew Porter @mtndrewporter
Everything Happens for a Reason
“Despite all of the struggles I’ve been through, getting laid off from Keystone Science School during the pandemic was one of the best things that has happened to me. It opened the door to many new opportunities. I have grown into myself, found a new job that I love, and even learned new sports like mountain biking.”
After attending another Building Hope connective event, Yoga with Leslie Glenn, something clicked for Carrie. She enrolled in Foundational Yoga training and also remains active as an ambassador for Building Hope. She is honored to be a representative for the organization, and proud to connect with friends and provide resources for those in need. “I had a friend feel comfortable enough to reach out and ask for help. I was able to provide him with the proper resources.”
Each day the phrase “own your story;” remains true with Carrie. Not only will the tattoo ink stay a part of her forever, so will the trials and tribulations she has endured. She is hopeful that by sharing her story she can be relatable and accessible for other members of Summit County. She is proof that difficult challenges don’t define you, but can help you endure and grow stronger.