Community & Society
By Stephanie Richards
Liz Brodahl’s future husband was standing in New Zealand when he placed a Skype call to Mr. and Mrs. Milne asking them for their daughter’s hand in marriage. ‘Of course,’ they said, and wanted to know what she was doing.
Their daughter was jumping out of a plane.
Several weeks prior, the couple chose to participate in Shotover Canyon Swing, a freefall swing “ride” over sheer canyon walls.
Add bungee jumping and navigating river rapids on a kickboard, and you might just get a sense of the kind of adrenaline junkie this gal is.
“I live in a world of dualities,” Brodahl says. “I want and need to be a good daughter and spouse and mother, but I also need the adventure. It’s that push and pull that creates excitement in my life.”
Married for eight years to her husband Matt, the couple has two daughters ages 4 and 9 months, and yet Brodahl continues to seek out excitement and physical activity. In fact, the couple just completed the BoulderBOULDER—6.2 miles with a kid strapped to each of their backs. We can’t tell which is more tiring: that, or the two marathons she’s run (New York City and a Chicago qualifier).
Energy radiates off her as she laughs her way through every story. Perhaps it’s in her blood.
Originally from Michigan, the newly minted 35-year-old spent most of her childhood outside: boating, wake surfing, sailing, playing golf—you name it, Brodahl did it. Not too surprisingly, her family spent many vacations skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.
“My first memory is when our family celebrated my grandmother’s 70th birthday in Aspen. She was part of the 70+ ski club in Michigan and here we were with three generations skiing in the Aspen Valley,” Brodahl says.
She and her brother went to their first ski school at Buttermilk mountain, and the siblings still remember their first instructor, Mad Max, who invented ‘Weenies in Space,’ aka hot dogs with cheese launched into aerial orbit atop a bottle rocket.
Sounds somewhat more imaginative than a game of Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
True story: As Brodahl sent her eldest daughter off to her first day of ski school at Buttermilk Mountain, she found herself on the chair lift with one of Mad Max’s old friends.
It is a small world after all.
When this mom of two is not running obscene distances or jumping out of planes, she works as a Regional Sales Director for Exclusive Resorts (ER), a luxury vacation and travel club.
“ER is really about bringing people together and caring for them like they are a part of our family. When I look at my entire career (she’s been there seven years), I’ve really focused on the client. Our members are the reason we do what we do,” she says.
Connecting with people is a core component of who Brodahl is.
After being approached to ride on a cycling team during her sophomore year of college at Indiana University, Brodahl went on to compete in a national competition, broke a time trial record and competed in the Little 500, an annual bike race which draws over 25,000 spectators.
“These experiences propelled my life in the direction it ultimately went,” she explains. “In the past 16 years, I’ve only missed one race. [Cycling] helped foster the idea that you could enter into something without really having an expertise in it and that through hard work and commitment you could have great success. An example is being a parent. No one has a background in motherhood until they are a mother. If it weren’t challenging, it wouldn’t be worth pursuing or fulfilling.”
We can’t wait to hear about Brodahl’s next big thing.
CE: What do you do to relax?
LB: I go for a run, a bike ride or listen to music—Maroon 5. Adam Levine has my heart.
CE: Favorite Denver eatery?
LB: One of the things I love about Denver is there are always new restaurants popping up, and I love trying new things. I loved Tavernetta, 12 @ Madison, Ultreia in Union Station. For quick and easy, anywhere in the Stanley Market Place. Annette was really great.
CE: What was your last major splurge?
LB: I wish it was a new bike. I’m saving up for that. Probably it was a new handbag one year ago or personal training.
CE: Favorite TV show to binge watch?
LB: “This is Us.”
CE: Dogs or cats?
CE: Who is on your speed dial?
LB: My husband, Matt. We probably talk 3 – 4 times a day on the phone.
CE: Best vacation or trip you’ve ever been on.
LB: A trip that Matt and I took to Kapalua Bay, Maui. It was the type of honeymoon we never had. It was a good mixture of adventure, luxury accommodations with ER, and great food. Would go back in a heartbeat. I am into the beach thing now.
CE: What would surprise people about you?
LB: I played the piano for 18 years and used to compete in piano recitals all the way from kindergarten through high school and carried on through college.
CE: Who inspires you?
LB: Fellow career moms.
CE: Why do you love living in CO? What has been your most notable Denver moment?
LB: Jazz in the Park at City Park where we have attached a grill and camping chairs and picnic baskets to the back of our bikes with our kids and cycled over for an evening of music with friends. Also, I had a decent stint when I was biking to work, and that always made me feel very lucky to be in CO. When we moved here, someone said that you need a six-pack and a dog to live in CO. A six back of abs and a six pack of beer.
Stephanie Richards holds a master's degree in Journalism. When she is not writing or editing, she is competing her horses around the country or traveling with her husband and their two dogs.
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