Editor’s Note: To launch the BFGoodrich® Trail-Terrain T/A® tire, we featured real people pursuing real adventures to build meaningful lives, like snowboarders Justin Morgan and Jordan Chamberlain, who have shaped their lives around their passion, their sport, and the mountains where the two met. This is their story.
Sunrise, 6 January 2021, Wasatch Mountains, UT:
[Blurred mountaintop background washed in early sun. Blue on blue on blue. In full snow gear, a woman rests in one-legged chair pose. Eyes closed. In focus.]
Dusk, 31 August 2021, Mt. Superior, Cottonwood, UT:
[A field of pure white, lit by a dim blue. A man in red quickly carves through the snow. A jetstream of powder trails behind him before settling back into stillness.]
Justin Morgan and Jordan Chamberlain are not professional athletes, but you wouldn’t know that from scrolling through their Instagram accounts, (@jmosends and @iamjordi_c, respectively) which are brimming with the kind of epic mountain action shots that would be right at home on the covers of outdoor magazines.
Like many in their generation, Justin and Jordan create curated slices of their lives with their friends on Instagram. These two have enviable accounts — sharing the kinds of posts that most people travel far (and pay well) to add to their feeds.
But on Justin and Jordan’s accounts, the photographs are not from a recent vacation. They’re not doing three-day weekends in the mountains when they can “get away.” Rather, they’re waking up at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday to watch the sun rise from a mountaintop, and snapping a quick photo before blasting off on a geyser of powdery, fresh-fallen joy.
How’d that happen?
They say in life, there’s the family you’re born with, and there’s the family you choose. Same goes for homes. Neither Justin nor Jordan were born in the mountains, but they each made very intentional choices to build lives there. It’s not the kind of place you’re drawn to for the great food scene or the nightlife. It’s somewhere you end up if the mountains have called you — and you have the guts to answer.
Justin was at a golf tournament reconnecting with an old friend when he first heard that call. He was living in the Boston area at the time, not far from where he grew up. During this period, Justin was in his car a lot: commuting to his sales job, visiting clients, seeing family, and almost every weekend, driving for hours up to a buddy’s house in Vermont to chase gravity on his snowboard.
These weekend trips to do what he loved kept him going for a good while. But just as his “living for the weekend” lifestyle was getting old, a friend showed him photos of the powdery snow that falls in the mountains around Park City, Utah. He was transfixed.
“My buddy told me about how close he lived to the ski lift, and how he would pop out of the house, run a few laps, and then go back to his computer to work, and a switch of some kind went off for me. Before long, I’d packed up my car and said goodbye to Boston. Thirty-six hours later, I was in the mountains, and I knew it was the best decision I'd made in my entire life.” – Justin
Both Justin and Jordan critically considered their relationship to work while making big choices about their lives. They’re not alone in this examination. Many Americans are taking a hard look at these things in their lives right now, often rejecting the default ideas around what work/life balance should look and feel like. For Jordan, this aspect was especially important to her as she answered the call of the mountains. A choice that was just as much about taking care of her mental health as it was about chasing gravity.
“I went back to school to get a master's degree so that I could make enough to only have to work part-time. I love my job being a therapist, but I love my freedom more. In order to take care of my mental health, I've formed my life to allow me to do what makes me happy.” – Jordan
These careful and intentional life adjustments have paid off for Justin and Jordan, who are both living happy and well-balanced lives full of adventure. Not special, “vacation-days-only” adventure. Any-day adventure. Tuesday-morning-before-work adventure. Lunch-break adventure. They’ve carefully chosen paths that put their passions and personal growth first. The results are as enviable as their Instagrams suggest.
“Every year, I’ve seen an incremental step in my snowboarding skills and just learning in general. I literally live 30 minutes from the Trailhead. I live 15 minutes from the ski lift. I can snowboard whenever I want. I have this freedom to balance my life.” – Justin
“I’ve gone out a lot with J-Mo snowboarding and done some things that I was so scared to do. In the moment, it's so terrifying and I just want to be home, but then afterward I'm like, wow, that was the best day of my life. That was amazing.” – Jordan
As avid snowboarders, being able to push themselves on a regular basis is key to their growth as athletes and adventurers. Living in the mountains makes a quick snowboarding run easy and accessible. But they don’t end their exploration at the city limits. They’re within a few hours’ drive of so many places to see and ski, and with the right gear beneath them, they take full advantage of that as often as they can.
After moving to the mountains, both Jordan and Justin quickly learned to see their vehicles — specifically, the tires beneath them — as essential gear. Stock tires on sedans just don’t cut it in canyon country. Especially when it's 4:30 AM and the snow is still coming down. Unsurprisingly, they were both stoked to hear about the new Trail-Terrain T/A® tire, which was built to perform in highway, gravel road, and light off-roading situations. This multi-terrain approach to tire engineering is ideal for their adventurous, ski-city lifestyles.
“For the first five years I lived here, I drove a ’95 Honda Accord. I had to hitch so many rides because my car wouldn't make it if it was snowing. Now, I have ‘Spruce Lee,’ my Subaru. With the right tires and the all-wheel drive, it can handle anything. It's so nice to not need to hitch a ride. Now I can drive other friends.” – Jordan
“Out here, my SUV is everything. It's my ability to get out there effectively and safely. It’s just as important as a pair of gloves. Without it, I wouldn't be able to do the things that I do.” – Justin
Again, talented and dedicated as they are, Justin and Jordan are not professional athletes. They’re simply two young people who —after thoughtfully considering who they are and what they need from life — have built their lives around their passions for snowboarding and their endless appetites for outdoor adventure. This is something everyone can do, on one level or another. Perhaps you can’t shred the same way, but if you listen closely, something might be calling you.
“Some people don't know what they're passionate about. They just live in some city, unsure of why they're unhappy. Travel! Explore! You have to see what's out there. Once you find what you're passionate about, do it as much as you can.” – Jordan
“Everybody has to make a choice about how they want to live their lives. I was sitting in traffic every day. I was doing that 9-to-5 grind, driving six hours just to maximize my weekend and do some of what I love. And man, if there's one piece of advice I could give to people: Do it sooner. You're limited in your older age. So why wait?” – Justin
So, what’s it gonna be?