Meet Julia Murray, former Olympian, retired Canadian freestyle skier, female entrepreneur, fitness advocate and owner of Jules Fuel. Julia has recently accepted the position of Performance & Nutrition Editor with PowHERhouse, and we are proud to partner with her to continue building strong women, together!
“Make goals and dream big. If you look at the big picture, it may seem overwhelming and near impossible, but continuing to take the little steps towards achieving your goals and dreams makes anything possible. Before you know it you’ll be creating the next goal for yourself.” – Julia Murray
An intro to Julia’s story…
I have been skiing since the age of 2, then ski raced until the age of 17 before switching to ski cross. With my mother being a professional freestyle skier in the 70-80’s along with my Dad’s background of being one of the four Crazy Canuck Downhill ski racers in the 70-80’s, skiing is definitely in my blood! I grew up in a town filled with inspiring people who shared my love for the mountains.
In grade five my teacher had us write down our dreams and goals, with drawings, on a opened up paper bag. With coloured pencils I wrote:
My Olympic Dream Is…
“To be a down hill skier because my Dad was one and my Mom was a freestyle skier. So I want to be something to do with skiing. I think I have the ‘jeans’ in me. I would also like to travel.”
So there you have it! Write your dreams down and you will be one step closer to making them come true!
My skiing career took me to countries in all four hemispheres; the World Cup podium multiple times, to the Olympics in 2010, and 2nd place at the World Championships in 2011.
Ups and Downs
It wasn’t all easy! I blew my knee one month before my Olympic race (I was considered a medal contender). With positivity, physio and a surgical scope, I made it into the start gate with my teammates and my friends and family cheering at the finish line.
I was really disappointed at the time, but looking back, 12th place in the state I was in, is okay. Reconstruction surgery followed right after I proudly marched in the closing ceremonies with my teammates as part of Team Canada.
The next year I came back – and blew my knee again at X Games (overshooting a jump and flying 150 feet)! I competed at World Championships the next week, as the x-rays were unclear and the doctors didn’t know for sure that I had torn my ACL. So, I earned myself a silver medal skiing without an ACL! Then, in the following days, I underwent a more serious surgery – full reconstruction and microfracture surgery –which was followed by 1.5 years of rehab, no skiing, and going to Capilano University to complete my Communications diploma.
I decided it was time to move onto other things. I went to Capilano university and completed a communications diploma, started the Ski with an Olympian program with Whistler Blackcomb, and set out to create Jules Fuel!
PH: What kept you going, what was it about the skiing that kept pulling you back to the mountain?
It all stems from growing up in Whistler and more directly from the Olympic Dream school project that I created in grade 5 (little did I know that I would live my project to a tee). It was ingrained in my mind before even knew what it really meant. Growing up with kids in my community competing in multiple different sports had a big impact on growing to love competition. My parents were always there to support me but never pushed me in any particular direction. I really enjoyed skiing throughout high school with all of my really good friends, and that created a good base for the years of competition to come.
Joining the national ski cross team five years before the Olympics was impeccable timing for me in my life. My passion for alpine ski racing wasn’t at a high point, and this was exactly what I needed to re-fuel my excitement. It was the beginning of the last steps of making my Olympic dream come true.
Injuries, Disappointments and Rising Again!
Being that close to stepping into the start-gate as a medal contender and then enduring a horrible injury just one month prior to my Olympic race was incredibly bad timing. It was extremely hard to take mentally (and physically). It was everything I had been working for for as long as I could remember. My focus was tunnel visioned to get to that start gate it in front of my family, friends and team mates to prove it to myself that I could do it… To be a part of something bigger than myself… to be part of making an impact in my sport.
At the point of my injury before the Olympics, I was a trained elite athlete with a set goal in mind and an incredible support crew around me with the same drive and goal to help me achieve my dreams. Even though my surgeon recommended against me racing, there was so much more within me and surrounding me that persuaded me that I had to race and I could race.
It all happened very quickly – using every moment leading up to the Olympic race to get my knee in ‘race-able’ condition. From picking the right knee brace to physiotherapy for multiple hours each day and tedious exercises in the gym along with a scope to allow me to bend my knee. But at that point, I was in the zone with my dream goal just a finger-length away.
PH: Can you talk to us about athletic lessons learned that you are now incorporating into your entrepreneurial life with Jules Fuel?
There are so many crossovers between being an athlete and my entrepreneurial Jules Fuel adventure. As an athlete, I had to promote myself to sponsors to gain support. With Jules Fuel, I’m excited to promote something that is outside of me that will help others to obtain their optimal health. Sharing this experience excites me!
As an athlete, training and competing was my life. And you have to have fun in life! Baby-steps (going to the gym 5-6 days a week, visualizing, on-hill runs down the course, etc.) are what counts in the big picture, and what gets you to your epic goal. During each baby-step, it was important for me to have fun with it and enjoy what I was doing.Having fun with team mates, goofing around on training days… this kept the passion. Training as an athlete each day is very much like taking the steps with Jules Fuel. We take it day-by-day, and excitement comes as well as issues but each step, whether it be a hurdle, or little detail, gets us further and closer to our next goal. Looking back, it looks like I’ve done a lot to get to where I am now but each day it feels like I’m never doing enough!
Editor’s note: Jules Fuel is a quinoa-based, superfood breakfast cereal with goji berries, chia, flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It’s something that I used to make for myself as an athlete. Now it’s available in all Whistler grocery stoes, Vancouver Whole Foods, Spud, Nesters and IGAs, including Gibsons and Wilson Creek. It’s a breakfast that will help you to make the most out of your day and be the best you can be!
PH: What do you do ‘for thrills’ now that you don’t ski at that same level? You must miss the adrenaline.
There’s nothing like racing head-to-head down a ski cross course. It’s the only way you can tell what your full potential is. There’s also no shortage of thrills to be had in British Columbia, and in my home town of Whistler. I have the coolest carbon fibre mountain bike – ‘The Uprising’ from Evil Bikes – to pedal up and charge down all of the amazing bike trails in my back yard. I’m also really into back-country skiing/ski touring. I am especially excited to represent a local company – Prior Skis – who make our skis just a 5-minute walk from our house. Gotta love local business! My other incredible sponsors include Oakley and Lazer Helmets.
Editor’s note: There certainly is no shortage of thrills in beautiful British Columbia. Check out this recent video from Destination BC. We are certain you will agree. #wildwithin #hellobc
What’s next for me?
- Another Jules Fuel flavour or product! Continue to slowly expand the Jules Fuel love
- Continue with my Ski With An Olympian program bookings with Whistler Blackcomb
- Become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist
I’m becoming a Holistic Nutritionist. Here are some tips on what a day of eating should include:
- Drink a big glass of lemon water, apple cider vinegar and cayenne upon wakening.
- Eat breakfast! Make it a complex carbohydrate meal that is low glycemic and full of antioxidants – Jules Fuel topped with fruit and kefir!
- Snack on low glycemic snacks (apple with almond butter).
- Lunch – work on food combining – If you’re a vegetarian, eat legumes and grains together in a salad for a delish lunch option.
- Instead of grabbing a 4:00pm cookie- blend yourself a smoothie with kale, romaine, carrot, banana and berries. OR eat Jules Fuel by the spoonful to tide you over until dinner.
- Dinner- should be the smallest meal of the day. Include a big salad with lettuce, tomato, avacado. Get your essential amino acids from either a lentil and rice stew (if you’re vegetarian) or a wild salmon packed full of essential fatty acids.
- Dessert –Banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended wih vanilla and cinnamon), or a piece of fruit, or popcorn with coconut oil and some sea salt if you’re having a movie night. 😉
julesfuel.ca @julesfuelyum (Twitter/Insta)
‘Jules Fuel Whistler Superfood’ Facebook
juliamurray.ca @juliamurrayski (Twitter/Insta)
‘Julia Murray Fan Page’ on Facebook
You can order Jules fuel across Canada online at evitality.ca !