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Matthew's Story

I was a born on the north-side of Chicago in the 70’s to middle-class, hard-working parents.  I would be a big brother a few years later and my sister and I grew up understanding the world was a fun place to experience, though life was at times tough.

My mom moved our family to Northern Michigan when I was eleven.  In my memory, it seemed that overnight I had a new freedom that was unimaginable when we landed in a small northern Michigan town – Traverse City (we actually just drove in though) Coming from, then south-side Chicago, to Traverse City was a young boys dream.  I had freedom to ride my bicycle across town, into open fields, and to the beach.  In Chicago I could not leave my one city block.

I grew up active.  Tossed papers in an apartment building and played baseball.

I also grew up with Tourrettes Syndrome which made me know I was different.

In high school I was a good student, usually toed the line, until my senior year.  At this time I lost trust for the ‘system’ and I began to drift a bit.  For two years I moved through college without a real desire to do much.  I went to school because that is what I thought I should do.

I kept running into people that I knew or admired who spoke of “Western” and this town in Colorado called Gunnison.  I was intrigued and still not engaged enough in my life to take real actions.  I seriously met people during the summer and then different people in the fall who lived or was making plans to live in Gunnison. Then Crested Butte Mountain Resort was in my school’s cafeteria offering jobs. And sometimes the universe just delivers your next steps to you clearly…There was no way I wouldn’t work for a year out there.

I, left Michigan, worked at the ski resort and fell in love.  I’ll never forget the feeling of being on my skinny Dynastars – brand new 195cm rockets – and coming around the top of Paradise bowl – from the Queen. I was in awe of the absolute beauty and rawness of the mountain (it was early November). While it took another few years, I ultimately rooted myself in Colorado’s western slope.  And it is here where I type.  Now married, enjoying the growth of two little ones, and helping communities build strong youth.

I love what I get to do and the places I get to explore.  Life is an adventure.

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Matthew Scott Kuehlhorn