Fly Butterfly by Dana Forbes, CEO

I have a tattoo on my shoulder of half of a butterfly. People will ask, why only half? My answer is simply that I like being somewhere between the beauty and the goo. When a caterpillar forms a cocoon and starts to morph into a butterfly, they literally become goo.

The three stages of a butterfly’s life can be viewed as metaphors for life, death, and resurrection. The caterpillar represents life, the cocoon signifies death or a transition phase, and the emerging butterfly symbolizes resurrection or new life.


I often tell people that when I work hard towards something, that I am morphing into my next….”me.” As I near the goal I have set, I imagine the single wing of the butterfly poking out of the cocoon, almost completing metamorphosis. At this moment, I am somewhere between the goo and the beautiful. Most people would want to fast forward to the beauty, but I like both. It is in this state they are evolving, growing, and changing.


I love to grow, change, and evolve so maybe that is why I like the in-between? I am also notorious for getting so close to completion then deciding it can be even better or something different. I am guessing many of you reading this are similar in that regard.


As the season comes to an end, consider the moments where you grew, evolved, and faced change over the years. Now go back to when you were the “goo.” It was messy and ugly, and you were likely wondering if you would ever get there. How did you respond to those moments? Did you embrace them? I can assure you that if you embrace change, rather than resist it, you will learn to love the in-between and become more comfortable sitting in it and visiting it many times throughout your life. But this takes courage. Courage is the root of change, and change is what we are meant to do.


Last month I wrote about not getting discouraged, which is the loss of courage. I encouraged you to remember that you are amazing educators and sliders, and that one bad day can’t take that away. Now I am asking you to have the courage to embrace all the changes you will face in the industry, and in life.


“People die 1000 times to get to who they are” ~Zach Bryan


So be the caterpillar, the cocoon and the butterfly and you will get to fly thousands of new times in this lifetime and that is what it’s all about!


A special thanks to the women who inspired this article:


Last week at our big Vail event I had the opportunity to ski with six beautiful butterflies. While we only spent a few hours together, what these women did for me and one another spoke to the strength of our sliding community. They embodied the courage to change, evolve and grow. Thank you, Julie, Maddie, Sami, Shauna, Grace and Hannah. Keep spreading your wings butterflies!




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