So she recently approached me about doing a public service announcement for HIV testing. I was a little nervous because I was used to doing casual and/or silly roles, and this one was, obviously, more serious. My mom told me to go for it because it would be interesting and different, and she was right. I had a really good time, and they let me be a part of the audition process for the other five deaf women who were involved with the commercial, which was interesting.
The commercial has all the deaf women saying why they are going to get an HIV test, and at the end I load my dirt bike onto my truck and ask: “What’s your reason?” It was all done quickly and efficiently, and I loved that about it!
After shooting the commercial, I flew to Michigan for the holidays to meet my parents and brother at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house; my great grandmas joined us there, too. That was nice because I usually only see all of them once a year. We came a couple of days after Christmas, and stayed through New Year’s.
I hadn’t been snowboarding since last season, and Michigan had lots of snow, so I brought my snowboard and told my family they had to go with me! They had never been snowboarding. Mom and Dad used to ski, but that was a long time ago.
Dad planned our snowboarding trip. We were to drive further up north for better snow; snowboard all day; get a hotel; and then go again the next day up to Frankenmuth, a small German town an hour and a half’s drive northwest of Detroit.
I was so pumped to get to the mountain, until my pulled into a parking lot and I looked around saying, “Where’s the mountain?” It turned out to be more like a hill, compared to what I’m used to at Big Bear in California. Oh well, I was there to have a good time and teach my little brother snowboarding. We got all of our gear out, and the guy behind the counter asked my dad who I was because I looked familiar to him. Dad told him about me, and the guy said that he thought it was pretty cool that I was a motocross champion.
After that, we hit the slopes and the fun began! My mom was so sketchy. She could not stop laughing because she couldn’t figure out how to use the snowboard. I was trying to help my brother, but he was not comfortable at all, either. They only had tow ropes, and every time he tried to grab a hold of one, he would fall over. I had the same problem at first; it took me forever to get used to it because Big Bear just has chair lifts. My mom was determined to learn, so I kept trying to help her get a hold of the rope, but we were both falling and laughing hysterically. Soon two teenage boys came over and started talking to my mom. They wanted to know if she was Ashley Fiolek’s mom. Oh no, they found me all the way up in the snowy north! I said, “Hi,” and they said they were excited to meet me.
I went down the hill a few times with my dad because he was finally getting the hang of it. Mom still couldn’t stop laughing and gave up. We were all having a blast. Finally, my mom took my little brother into the lodge, while I crashed down hard on my hip and decided I should probably join them. Dad stayed on the hill, still getting the hang of snowboarding.
In the lodge, everyone was kind of staring at us and it got quiet. Finally a couple of boys came over and asked my mom if I would sign an autograph and take a picture with them. It turned out the whole lodge was watching us trying to snowboard! Mom was so embarrassed. I took a bunch of pictures, and some of the boys showed me pics of themselves ice racing on dirt bikes. How crazy is that?
All in all we had a great day up on the slopes, even though we didn’t get much snowboarding in.