Five continents, four million vertical feet, and one woman in search of herself
Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. Dissatisfied with the passive, limited roles she saw for women as she was growing up, she emulated the men in her life—chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, ticking the boxes, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal. She was accomplished. She was living “The Dream.” But it wasn’t her dream.
Then the universe caught her attention with a sign: raise restraining device. Steph had seen this ski-lift sign countless times, but the familiar words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built and start a search for something different, something more.
Steph soon decided to walk away from the success and security she had worked long and hard to obtain. She quit her job, took a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter up and down the mountains of North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand on a mission to ski four million vertical feet in a year.
What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very center of herself. But she would have to break herself down—first physically, then emotionally—before she could start to rebuild. And it was through this journey of body and soul that she came to understand how to be a woman, how to love, and how to live authentically.
Electrifying, heartfelt, and full of humor, Unbound is a transformative memoir—an odyssey of courage and self-discovery that will inspire readers to raise their own restraining devices and pursue the life they are meant to lead.
“A Wild-esque memoir of adventure and reflection.” —Self
“A daring journey-complete with the unexpected twists, turns, and transformations that happen when you lean into a dream.” —Janice MacLeod, author of New York Times bestseller Paris Letters
“Steph Jagger takes the reader over her skis in a daredevil world-wide run. No laterals, no time-outs, no taking ball four. It’s just you and the mountain. Hold on for an adventurous read.” —Dick Enberg, Emmy Award-winning Sportscaster
“Steph Jagger is as bitingly funny as she is willing to expose her own vulnerabilities—the result is a refreshingly honest read. Through her own journey, she prompts us to live truthfully. deliberately, and to say yes, whether to an extra lap or a deeper look at one’s self.” —Lucy Higgins, Associate Editor of Backcountry Magazine
“Unbound is a case study in navigating discontent. Buy this book for everyone you know who believes there’s more to life than getting a mortgage and climbing the corporate ladder.” —Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of Born for This and The $100 Startup
“Unbound is a page turner. It’s punchy, sexy, and funny, and most of all, it helped me understand my own story better.” —Shelby Stanger, adventure journalist, Outside Magazine
“What is true courage—taking on a dangerous athletic challenge that most wouldn’t dream of, or tearing apart a life that everyone, including yourself, has deemed nearly perfect? Steph Jagger’s story will inspire you to discover and embrace your most authentic self, proving that a life does not have to broken to be recreated into one that’s far more meaningful.” —Cea Sunrise Person, author of North of Normal
“Unbound begins with an epic ski trip, and ends with a completely different journey, one that is richer and deeper than the snow found on the slopes of the world. Along the way, we experience the places Jagger travels to, feel her frustrations, celebrate her triumphs and feel for the woman who allows us to see her for who she is. It is impossible not to admire such honesty.” —Stella Harvey, author of The Brink of Freedom and
“Unbound is a brave, beautiful journey through the winter of a life. A gorgeous memoir!” —Aspen Matis, author of Girl in the Woods
“Unbound is an exhilarating story that totally captivated me. I was enraptured by her incredible strength and will as she skied around the world, sometimes crashing through snow-capped trees, down double black-diamond runs, and even fumbling through falling in love. Steph became my hero.” —Bif Naked, musician and author of I, Bificus
“Unbound is a stunning book that is sure to bring out the inner bad-ass in each of its readers. If you’ve ever dreamt of standing on the dazzling mountain tops of your life, this book is for you.” —Linda Sivertsen, bestselling author and host of the Beautiful Writers Podcast
“With snow as her compass and ski goggles as her lens, Steph Jagger embarks on an inspiring ten-month journey of self-discovery and reinvention. Not just for skiers, Unbound is a captivating read that demonstrates the value in following one’s heart beyond the beaten path.” —Becky Wade, professional runner and author of Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe
“Steph Jagger has written a captivating book about what it means to unlock our truest selves. Brave, honest and sparkling with wit and humor, Unbound will take you on an unforgettable journey.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance