Fabi meets… Tom Leitner
„Fabi meets…“ is a series of interviews with Fabian Lentsch and other skiers, friends and people he meets on the road. Same questions, different answers!
Fabi meets….Tom Leitner – a passionate freeskier since day one! Tom had his first public appearence in the little world of freeriding later than most but rapidly broke into the small group of the world’s best competitors. After many years of alpine racing, he joined the ‘new-school’ freestyle skiing movement in the mid-90s, at the same time as many of his friends switched to snowboarding. Born and raised in southern Bavaria he grew up in the mountains, grew up with skiing and later got the chance to travel the world by moving fast and stylish on two sticks. Tom has been part of the very first Snowmads trip A Journey Towards Eastern Suns – unfortunately he’s had a super bad crash back then and was forced to leave Iran way too early.
Name: Tom Leitner
How is/was it to grow up around here?
It was paradise when I was a kid. I had the privilege to grow up very free and to be outside a lot. I definitely believe that my childhood gave me the basis for everything I do these days. It`s those childhood memories that I strive for, even if more subconsciously than consciously.
Well, I`ve been skiing for thirty five years now and it has been one of the constants in my life.
What do you think about skiing? Have you ever tried it or seen someone ski? What do you associate with it?
Well, I`ve been skiing for thirty five years now and it has been one of the constants in my life. It`s my passion and it can take on so many forms. I think it can potentially fill up a lifetime. There`s always place for progression, even if our physical abilities decline with age.
To me backcountry skiing has a unifying power, too. Wherever you meet skiers with a similar dedication, you will most probably find yourself in a silent agreement with them, about certain values, attitudes and preferences. It’s like a secret bond of people who have made similar experiences, which, in the end, lead you on a certain path in life.
Skiing chose me, I would say
Why did you choose this job/career?
Skiing chose me, I would say. It`s not like it has ever been a career path to me. One thing came after the other and for a couple of years I was able to make a living of it. Looking back, it’s been only a short period in my life and only one aspect of my life as a skier. A very special time of my life with certain privileges that most people don`t have the chance to experience.
What are you most passionate about and why and what makes you happy?
It`s definitely my family. Ten years ago I never would have thought that I`d become a family man. But the course of seeing a kid grow up from the start and experience humanity in its purest and most innocent form has definitely left a mark on me. But every dad knows that it is something which can not be explained until you experience it yourself.
I believe that vague fears are something to be tackled and to be actively overcome.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I mean, you only become the person you are through making all the mistakes and follow a couple of misleading trails here and there. Still, looking back, I wish I’d have had more courage in certain situations. I believe that vague fears are something to be tackled and to be actively overcome. It took me some time to figure that out in my life. But I am a very happy man at the moment, so I believe that everything had to go the way it did.
What is freedom to you?
Personal freedom to me means the ability to realize the countless possibilities around us and to have the discipline to grab them. Freedom has a lot to do with discipline.
Love, What is it?
I am surely not a man to give a definition. But I definitely know that it is the answer and the way.
How do you spend most of your free time?
I love to be active in nature. It gives me peace of mind. Apart from that I am alway busy, somehow. Even if I don`t have a real job, haha!
What does money mean to you?
I don`t care about money, as long as there`s enough, haha!
How to follow Tom and his adventures: