33 years ago today I became the first person to street-ski across France —from Italy to Spain—carrying a 35 lb backpack and ski poles up and down the hills of the French Riviera.

From skating through Monaco’s Casino and Gran Prix to the Film Festival in Cannes, I slept on lighthouses and experienced jobs like mega-yacht chef and lighting engineer for Ted Nugent. 

On this day in 1981, I knew every centimeter of the Riviera, leaving blood, sweat and tears on wine country roads, topless coves and ‘black diamond’ hills of asphalt. I lived on the other side of my so-called limits, and found what my 19-year-old self could endure each day. More importantly, I lived to tell the story.