Surfing


Tom Tollen talks about his experience with his favorite activities and how they have connected, shaped, and transformed his life.

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Surfing


Tom Tollen talks about his experience with his favorite activities and how they have connected, shaped, and transformed his life.

Surfing

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When did Tom Tollen Learn to surf?

It all started when I was 10. My parents took me on vacation to Hawaii. I was enthralled with watching the surfers from the beach. Next thing I know, my parents enrolled me in a surfing lesson. I was excited to say the least, but I definitely didn't expect all this.

I remember my mom yelling for me to come in for lunch long after the lesson ended, and I thought she was crazy.  "Tom, the chickens are going to eat your lunch, if you don't!" she hollered. Needless to say, I went to bed hungry that day.

WHY SURFING?

To me, surfing is so much more than a sport, it's a way of life. It's poetic. On one hand you have all this pressure, power, and force produced by mother nature herself. On the other, there is grace, speed and elegance. When combined, we have a dance. A captivating relationship between the surfer and the ocean. There's something to be said for an activity that can transport onlookers and partakers so effortlessly.

 

 
 

Snowboarding


The mountains became Tom Tollen's second home.

Snowboarding


The mountains became Tom Tollen's second home.

Snowboarding

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whEn did you first learn to snowboard?

As a kid we always spent a significant amount of time at our cabin in Durango, Colorado. Which is mainly why I call the mountains home. I am thinking I was about 7 when I got on my first board, and similar to surfing, I was hooked. Over time, I have only begun to increasingly appreciate the sport. It has had a significant impact on shaping who I am today, both as an athlete and as a person. 

goofy or regular?

Most definitely Goofy! Life is more fun on the goofy side of things.

Favorite mountain or resort?

I have to take it back to my roots and say Purgatory resort in the rocky mountains of Colorado.

 

 
 

Mountaineering


Mountaineering pushed Tom Tollen to places he did not know he could go.

Mountaineering


Mountaineering pushed Tom Tollen to places he did not know he could go.

Mountaineering

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When did Tom TOllen First get into mountaineering?

I first started mountaineering around 12 years ago. You could say it's one of my more recent endeavors. I think it goes to show that it is never too late to try something new. I am a firm believer in stepping out of the comfort zone.

Any hesitations about starting something unfamiliar?

Of course I had moments of doubt, but that is all part of the process. Age; however, should never be an excuse to not try something new. I think if anything, we are failing ourselves if we forget to challenge ourselves every so often. That's what mountaineering did for me, it pushed my limits to places i did not know I could go, both physically and psychologically.

 
 

Paragliding


Soaring through the sky is an experience unlike any other.

Paragliding


Soaring through the sky is an experience unlike any other.

Paragliding

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WHAT FIRST PROMPTED TOM TOLLEN TO TRY PARAGLIDING

Well it all started with a film I watched called, "Paragliding Across America". The movie documented a paragliding expedition across the United States from coast to coast. It was really inspiring to say the least. They also made it look terrifyingly easy, when in reality it was just plain terrifying.

HOW WAS YOUR FIRST PARAGLIDING EXPERIENCE

Once I mentioned the idea to a buddy of mine, he introduced me to his friend Chuck, an avid paraglider. That was when my fascination with paragliding took off. Next thing I know, we are flying! Like I said, it was one of the more terrifying experiences I have had, but well worth it.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU PARAGLIDE?

Not as often as I would like. I cannot say there is anything like it. Except maybe hang gliding? I'm not familiar with that one. 

 
 

Biking


Tom Tollen enjoys the road less traveled.

Biking


Tom Tollen enjoys the road less traveled.

Biking

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Tom Tollen Enjoys Biking of all sorts

Mountain biking, cycling, street riding, whatever you want to call it, Tom does it. 

When did you first take cycling seriously?

I would say not until my young thirties. That's when I really started coming into my own. I found it relaxing, and a great way to relieve stress. 

You say you ride all types, but do you have a Particular preference?

Well I started with rode biking, but I have slowly graduated to other types. I would say I am not particularly partial to any style of biking, I think I actually prefer switching it up as often as possible to keep things interesting.