Wiley Miller: working class hero

The following is an excerpt from an article posted at ESPN.com:

We checked in with Wiley Miller this summer as he was recovering from a torn ACL he sustained during a bad crash in Alaska last winter. If you missed it, check out part 1 of our two-part series on Wiley. Then read below for Wiley’s thoughts on injuries, getting paid to ski and college graduation. You can see Wiley in the latest release from Level 1 Productions, “Eye Trip.”

Trying to find the motivation to do the same things over and over again is dulling, to say the least. That’s how I felt rehabbing my knee. Until one particular day, when I was sulking, half-assing my workout and a random guy came up to me and asked about my knee surgery. He was a motocrosser who’d blown out both his knees over shooting a jump. He explained how his injuries were so severe, initially the doctors suggested they amputate his legs. It took him over a year to walk again, and another year until he was back snowboarding. He smiled as he said, ‘I had to sell my house for medical bills but it was all worth it to walk again.’ Meeting him made me realize that life sends us all kinds of inspiration — it’s up to us to recognize it. My workouts eventually turned from a burden to motivating. Improvements started coming rapidly and soon I was crushing my bike on a daily basis.

A New Approach
Right now is a tough time to be an action sports athlete. The lake is only so deep and it’s flooded with more fish daily. I’m fortunate to live close to the brands I ski for and to be able to get involved on a personal and professional level. A few times a week I do the accounting for SAGA. I also have been involved in the design process at 4frnt for my upcoming 2011 pro-model, the YLE. To stay in touch with all the kids I coach part time at the Axis Freeride camp at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. They are all learning so fast on the water ramps. Every 12-year-old has ‘spin to win’ on the brain. I wonder if they take me seriously since I’m broke off but then I remember it’s a different thing to land in powder. I even started a blog. I had to get creative because my name was already taken. So I named it www.yleski.com.

Click here to read the entire article.


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