What Came Before Jules Fuel? Julia Murray's Olympic Story
Ever since the beginning, sports were a priority in my life. You can't grow up in Whistler without developing a deep appreciation for nature and what the outdoor playground has to offer. Whistler provided me with a surrounding of incredibly inspiring people in the sports world and an everyday motivation to get outside and play.
My Olympic dream started in grade 5 with a paper bag art project. Not kidding. Our teacher simply said 'Write or draw your big life dream on this paper bag'. Sometimes it's the simplest moments in life that make the most profound impact.
My father, Dave Murray, was a 2-time Olympian, Crazy Canuck downhill skier. My Mom, Stephanie Sloan, a 3-time World Champion Freestyle skier. So, I guess you could say I was born to be a skier to some extent. I definitely was inspired at a young age to dream big in the world of skiing.
Jump ahead 10 years - I had just completed my 8th year of competing as an alpine ski racer and had made it to the BC team, but was coming to the crossroads of - ' do I keep competing, or do I start the next chapter of my life?'
At 17 years old, I couldn't help flying my hand up in the air as my coach asked who would be interested in trying out for the first ever Canadian National Ski Cross team. After 3 qualification camps, I was one of 4 girls named to the inaugural team. My life path over the next 4 years was now carved out for me to provide me with the ability to excel and go for the gold in the 2010 Olympics.
Yup, full-time schooling could wait a few more years.
It was an incredible life experience travelling the world, competing in 13 races per season and on snow training down south each Summer. I was improving each year, with multiple World Cup podium finishes, I was named to the Olympic team early and considered a medal contender for the Games in my hometown. YAY! I remember there was a lot of pressure leading up to that, so what a relief.
Then, my world flipped upside down, one month prior to the Olympic race day.
During the training for the last World Cup before the Olympic race, I tried something the boys had been doing on a feature (it was way faster than what us girls were doing) in hopes of having a competitive edge when race time came in the heats. Rather than 'doubling' a train of rollers, I tried 'tripling'. But, I flew too far, got squashed on the take off of the next jump and spun around with my knee tearing itself apart.
That night we found out I had torn my ACL and MCL plus had a bucket handle tear on my meniscus (it was torn and folded ontop of itself), which prevented my knee from bending past 90 degrees.
The docs told me ' don't compete'… but…. it was the OLYMPICS! My paper bag dream couldn't be squashed as easily as my knee.
Instead, I went in for a 'scope' to get rid of the little flap of meniscus that was preventing my ability to bend my knee, then carried on with my torn ligaments for a few long weeks of physiotherapy, IMS, icing, cortisone shots, rehab, and a whole lot of visualization and positive thinking. Lots of time was spent with my surgeon, physiotherapists, teammates, boyfriend and coaches.
With my knee in my brace, and quite a bit of anti-inflammatories, I made it to the start gate along with my good friends and team-mates, a crowd of friends and family cheering at the finish line, and a whole lot of adrenaline rushing through my body.
I endured quite the battle but made it through a couple of heats and ended up coming 12th.
Life throws all of us curveballs at inconvenient times. What I can take from that experience is the realization thatwhen you put your mind to something, put the blinders on, and try everything in your power to achieve a goal, anything is possible.
With that note in mind…
Moving onto the next year after I had full reconstruction surgery, I ended up flying 150 feet off of the last jump to land on the finish line at the X Games Ski Cross one week before the World Championships. Yes - too far. It hurt, and there was said to be some cartilage damage, but that's all they saw. So - another Cortisone shot to the knee, and on to the next race.
I achieved my best result at the World Championships with a Silver medal, just behind teammate and good friend Kelsey Serwa. What a day!
Later that week, I find out I had a complete ACL tear once again since the X Games crash! Not only that, but my tibial plateau had 2cm of bare bone on bare bone - my cartilage and meniscus weren't there to cushion anymore.
I went in for Micro-fracture Surgery and full ACL reconstruction. 2 months non-weight bearing and 3 weeks of sleeping with a Continuous Passive Motion machine followed.
This is when I decided to think about transitioning into the next life phase. During my year of rehab I finished my Communications Diploma and came up the idea of JULES FUEL !
Europe provided a lot of meat, cheese and bread during the breakfast hour and I found myself getting lethargic mid morning, and reaching for something in the high glycemic range to snack on before lunch. So, throughout my ski racing career I carried with me a healthy breakfast cereal concoction that was low glycemic, high antioxidant, clean burning energy that was good for both training days and days off. It kept my immune system strong for travel days, my energy sustained for training and race days, and my body healthy for rejuvenating rest days. Not to mention the efficiency of keeping things moving and continually eliminating the toxins that may be built up in my intestines, stomach, and all throughout my body systems.
Farmers Markets, label designs and recipe perfections replaced max deadlifts, South American ski camps and ski tuning.
It was time to move onto my life in the Nutrition world! My other passion.
Now I am becoming a Holistic Nutritionist and am excited to be sharing my breakfast blend with Canada.
Ski with Julia in her Ski with an Olympian Program HERE