It’s not that Michelle Parker dislikes trails, she just doesn’t have much use for them. After exploding onto the ski racing scene in her early teens, Parker left the slopes and delved into a fulltime freestyle career. She competed in the X-Games at 17 then began a career in the movies, costarring with some serious terrain in outrageous documentaries, including 2013’s seminal Days of My Youth. This is a woman who doesn’t know how not to go big.
Parker told Maxim about her life crushing peaks, eating fresh and, occasionally, wearing dresses.
At the most basic level my main goal is just to have as much fun as I can and to experience new things where I get to meet new people, see new environments and have these shared experiences in the mountains that are really special.
Something that’s stuck with me from a pretty young age is the art of healing. Whether that’s a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, or even a sport’s psychologist, all of those professions that get people back to where they want to be are all careers that I’ve benefited a ton from and I think I could apply that to my future in life as well.
My favorite place would have to be the Eastern Sierras. It is surrounded by lakes and no people around hiking, no campsites, no fires, just in the mountains looking up at the beautiful sky with no lights so you can see the skyline and the stars perfectly. You’re just in the middle of nowhere. Just you and the mountains.
My favorite curse word would be fuck because it has the most effect. I’m hanging out with guys all the time and inevitably their language rubs off on me so I try not to say it that much, but, fuck, when you throw it in a sentence, it makes a difference.
A guy can get my attention with a sense of humor, confidence and a love for the outdoors. I am inevitably traveling with and surrounded by guys 24/7 especially during the wintertime. It’s really helpful when a guy can be completely confident in himself enough to totally trust me and let me do my thing.
My favorite food is anything that’s local, in season and organic. If it’s coming from a close proximity, it’s generally fresher and if it’s in season, it’s really fresh. It’s special when you can support your local farmers and eat healthy.
My ideal first date would be some sort of an adventure to somewhere I’ve never been. I’m really easily adaptable and I love learning new things so if someone can expose me to something I’ve never done and if they’re really passionate about it and they share that passion with me, that gets me really excited, I love that.
My favorite part of my body is my mind. Does that count? Freestyle skiing is all about mind control and being completely confident in what you’re doing. When you want something and you put your mind to it and put that energy towards it, it will happen. It is so powerful.
I feel the sexiest wearing a dress and heels because it’s so rare. It’s not that I don’t like to wear them, but it’s just not part of the usual mountain uniform. When I get to dress up and people are like “Woah, Michelle’s wearing a dress, this must be fancy or something,” I feel that much more special.
I just really like being in the moment and having as much fun as possible right now. As a professional athlete you never know when that can get taken away from you, so why not enjoy it while I have it?
Photos by Red Bull