Hello! My name is Tyndall Bounous, and I have been a ski instructor for WAS for 2 seasons. I grew up as a child playing in the Wasatch Mountains, and am the 3rd generation of ski instructor/coach in my family, beginning with my grandfather Junior, my father Steve, and now myself. My parents raised me to love skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, and pretty much any outdoor activity. The ability to be physically active in the outdoors has played a big role in shaping who I am as a person.
When I was 13 years old,I started waking up in a lot of physical pain, and at 14 I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.It was a struggle physically and emotionally learning to live with these chronic illnesses, and I had to step back from doing things that I loved like playing volleyball, hiking, and skiing. At the time, I didn’t understand the implications of giving up the physical activities I loved to do would have on my mental health. The more time I spend outside doing something physically active, the better my physical and emotional health both are.
I knew about the Wasatch Adaptive Sports program while growing up at Snowbird, and after graduating with a BA in psychology, I knew I wanted to find a way to use my degree while enjoying the outdoors. After joining the WAS team, I’ve been able to witness the benefits of outdoor activity for well-being countless times.
This summer, their fundraiser, the Wasatch At Home Hustle, has been such a fun way to stay involved with WAS and raise awareness for this great non-profit while also challenging myself to get out and stay active. It feels great to help WAS fundraise so their influence can reach more people. I won’t lie; I was on the fence about participating. The last fundraiser I did was at 10 years old, performing magic tricks around my neighborhood for a quarter each for the Red Cross after 9/11. I was nervous about if I’d be able to raise any money or complete my physical goal.
It’s amazing how you can push yourself to do more if you have the inspiration–a strong “why” that is your driving force. My “why” has been inspired by the incredible moments I’ve been lucky enough to see while working with WAS: the pure joy and laughter of someone on skis zooming down the mountain, the empowerment someone feels re-learning how to ski again after an accident, the beautiful stories of resilience you are told on a chairlift ride, or the giggles from a snowball fight with the kids we teach.
I hope that through efforts like the At Home Hustle, we will continue as a community to raise awareness about adaptive sports and keep working to make the outdoors an inclusive space for everyone. Happy hiking!
Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
9385 S, Snowbird Center Dr.
Snowbird, Utah, 84092-9000