Upon meeting Erin Shredder, you’ll realize she is the woman dreams are made of. She is a wonder woman who has proven to the world that a human can achieve anything, including impossible feats.
Try this on for size: Fire Entertainer of the Year in 2015, aerialist, firefighter, big wave surfer, hula hoop extraordinaire, cannabis connoisseur, a body with looks to kill and a mind that is based on positive living. To top it all off, she’s focused on giving to the world and helping others.
“My number one rule in life is to try to positively affect as many people as I can before I die,” Shredder told Dope Magazine. “That is what I always turn to my motto, ‘courage to shine.’”
The historical timeline of Shredder began in the forests of Boulder Creek in Northern California. During her teenage years, she was appropriately assigned the nickname, “Shredder,” as she tore up big waves while surfing the cold seas of Santa Cruz.
Along the path of becoming a lifeguard, she branched off to try her hand at college and firefighting. Shredder has degrees in both Marine Biology and Zoology and a minor in Studio Art from Humboldt State University.
“You have to have a creative outlet to be a balanced human being,” Shredder shares. “I get so much healing and I learn so much about myself when I am creating. I think that more people need to do it – to create art and love.”
Shredder’s body remains a temple of wellness and elegance through movement and her use of medicinal cannabis. She uses cannabis to get into the zone, expand her awareness and strengthen and heal her body. Shredder appreciates the convenience of the vape pen.
“I think we should not keep ourselves inside of boxes and labels, because then we can’t access our passions.”
“I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from firefighting—from witnessing death and trauma. The marijuana helps with that a lot. It quiets the voice of fear in me and helps me focus on the magic of the moment. A lot of performers I know who have severe anxiety use CBD strains. It also helps with muscle tension and aches. I mean, it’s painful to be fabulous, come on! (laughter).”
In her younger years, Shredder was satisfied living the outdoors life. She didn’t know that fate would soon intervene and a world of wonder would be unveiled right before her eyes. When she was 24, Shredder had a wake-up call at Burning Man in 2002.
“Burning Man is responsible for changing my life and my perspective on the possibility of what you can do with your time on Earth. It is so powerful. I saw this woman, Anah Reichenbach, performing with the hoop. I said to myself, ‘I want to feel what she is feeling.’ She was in so much bliss.”
One year later, Shredder picked up the hoop at Burning Man and received a lesson. She was locked in. The rush of performing, whether it be with the hoop or fire, resembled that of surfing. However, this time she not only instilled confidence in herself, but in others as well. When she walks on stage, the audience is awakened to the ideas that performing can break down barriers.
Soon thereafter, Shredder decided to quit firefighting and pursued performing head on.
“I just did what felt good and I followed my inner compass,” Shredder said. “I think we should not keep ourselves inside of boxes and labels, because then we can’t access our passions.”
In closing, Shredder shared her love and light with those affected by the recent Oakland fire of the Ghost Ship art community warehouse. “Any one of us could have been in that building and at that party. As a performer and as a person, the pain of that tragedy is unbearable. It wakes us up and makes us think, ‘Holy shit, I’m alive!’ Let’s stop complaining and start moving with love. The love we want to see in the world.”