Tessa Treadway & the Art of Raising a 'Freerange Family'
Renowned skier & solo-mom Tessa Treadway talks motherhood and adventure, in collaboration with Peak Performance.
Words: Chafic La Rochelle
When you think of an athlete in action, you probably think of someone young and carefree, as though belonging to another world altogether. A world where adrenaline, glory, and epic parties dwarf the mundane. Well, all of that may be true—sometimes.
But, most of an athlete’s time isn’t spent ripping 720’s over a halfpipe. It’s actually spent doing something far more relatable. Namely, real-life. That’s right—raising a family, having fun in the Great Outdoors, and just trying to stay one step ahead of the chaos.
Authentic brands like Peak Performance know this and take a holistic approach. Instead of merely sponsoring their athletes as action stars, they sponsor them as human beings, too. This means extending support to their educational goals, their side hustles, and yes—even to their families.
Renowned skier, solo-mom, and friend of Peak Performance, Tessa Treadway, is the perfect example. In collaboration with Peak Performance, Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Brand Director at Altitude Sports had the pleasure to speak with Tessa about how she keeps up an active lifestyle while busy raising kids and inspiring others!
Tessa’s passion for skiing began on the slopes of Kicking Horse, before she moved on to dominate Whistler Blackcomb. She’s come a long way since then, both as an athlete and a mom of three. And, today, her story is inspiring countless other parents to cultivate an active lifestyle with their own kids.
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: You said in an interview that ‘adventure is not over when you have kids’. What does adventure look like for you today?
Tessa Treadway: Adventure isn’t over when you have kids but it definitely changes. To be happy in life we need to adapt to our environment and our needs, as a family changes and grows, the needs change and those needs must be catered to if you wish to have a positive adventure experience.
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: Can you tell us one of your best memories of an adventure with your family?
Tessa Treadway: Snowmobiling into the backcountry and setting up our family winter camping tent, we all had a blast skiing, snowboarding and spending time together inside the tent warming up by the wood stove.
The Freerange Family, as they’ve aptly named themselves, proved that starting a family doesn’t mean the end of adventure. Rather, it’s a new beginning, an opportunity to pass the torch on to a new generation of little outdoor-enthusiasts. Their motto? A family that plays together, stays together! This couldn’t be truer of the Treadway clan—though, of course, it’s sometimes easier said than done!
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: Let’s be real: when you try to get the kids geared-up for skiing and they don’t want to cooperate, do you have a secret tip that works every time? Goldfish crackers are my best friend—what about you?
Tessa Treadway: One kid at a time! I usually pick the one who is being the most challenging that day, then do whatever I can to help get them out the door first and as quickly as possible. Take a breath, and then go for number two… As soon as my boys are outside everything seems to be easier.
But a challenge in one moment can translate to a lifetime of memories in the next.
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: What was it like to see your kids on skis for the first time?
Tessa Treadway: The best! That’s why I continue to put endless effort into getting my kids skiing, it’s just the best!
For Tessa, it’s not about separating her life into smaller and smaller chunks—it’s about mixing the most meaningful parts into a seamless whole. That’s why, whatever it takes, she’s bent on giving her kids the same access to outdoor sports that she had, all while nurturing their sense of natural wonder.
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: Did you always live an ‘outdoorsy’ lifestyle? How do you think your kids would be different if you were living in an urban setting?
Tessa Treadway: I have always lived in rural areas with abundant space to enjoy and explore, I honestly can’t imagine a different way of life for us. We are so connected with our outdoor environment; I think we might go crazy without it ;)
We know, we know—it’s not always sunshine and rainbows when taking the kids on an adventure. So for those of you wondering how to make the most of your outdoor time together, Tessa had some wisdom to share:
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: What is the single item that saves the day every time you’re out with the kids?
Tessa Treadway: A positive and creative attitude.
It’s this very attitude that makes Tessa an accomplished skier, a stellar mom, and an awesome role-model. Brands like Peak Performance know that being an avid skier is about more than just being rad at a sport—it’s about inspiring others to embrace life.
Tessa reminds us that staying active and having a family aren’t mutually exclusive—they’re the necessary ingredients to leading a fulfilled life. Yes, it will be challenging. Yes, it will be chaotic. But when you meet chaos with love, gratitude, and persistence, the world opens up to you.
Marie-Hélène Zaurrini, Altitude Sports: One word to describe your very own ‘motherload’?
Tessa Treadway : Chaos.
And, really—would she have it any other way?
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