Thursday, November 29, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Conversations can follow wild trajectories, but fate is as malleable as clay(Joanna Newsome). If you want something to go somewhere, you have to have that intention and get the words out there.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
"We come into this world hardwired for struggle" Brene Brown, Sociological reseacher.
Yet somehow we become the people that we once looked up to. We are Engineers, Writers, Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Coaches, and helpful strangers.
It isn't what we thought. Sometimes it drives us crazy. Being an adult seemed so much simpler when we weren't one, and of course all we will ever be doing is becoming an adult. Who ever really makes it to the destination? Now that we are in pursuit, the destination doesn't seem to be much closer now than it was a few years ago, unless of course you look at our resumes.
Somehow we keep looking forward, our eyes always on the next task. Take a moment...
Today is a day to think of how you have changed, just as the world is around us. We have come far, and maybe it is hard for us to notice but look back far enough and your world will turn on it's head. Remember when you couldn't cook for yourself? Remember when you thought eight dollars an hour was great? Remember when you couldn't fix a flat or keep track of your wallet much less an entire life(but I still can't find my cell phone)? Be impressed with yourself, you should be.
I have a ten year reunion coming up and it reminds me how much we have changed. I sit around a table and all of my friends are married (I am not really surprised I am not), we all have somewhat serious sounding jobs, and everyone is more at peace with themselves and the struggle of life than they ever have been.
We have changed for the better. And we have changed together.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
It means push on.
It means gather yourself and think only of the next movement, the next physical challenge. Forget class, forget the meeting at 3:15 when you will dearly want to go home, forget your endless search for connections, for love, forget trying to understand the meaning of sport, of courage, of heart and truth and pain and suffering. Let it go. You are in this moment and it is suffering. Endurable, progressive, willed even. And come back tomorrow. Don't think about that yet though, there is much to come before that.
- a thank you to Candice and Douglas Brooks for allowing me to come in and work out with the kids and them.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
It's a maze of beige with the winner coming out unscathed. These rocks know things. They sit and watch as small, frenetic beings splash around them. They wonder, "Who are these creatures of such curiosity playing in my waters?". But they let us pass, even though sometimes you just tuck up real tight and think happy thoughts.
Sometimes we dance with the rocks and sometimes we are wallflowers. Either way the river teaches and we learn.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Searing the hillside, the black char gives new beginnings to what lay below. Tall trees stand unfazed by the shallow depth of it's terror. They have seen it before and been there long enough to shrug at such novelty. The flames week attempt at domination. Though some have lived too long and wait for their chance to fall. Chunks of bark explode as sparks leap off of the shoulders of taken trees.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Go back to your home town. Witness the budding lifelong love, weddings, growing families, changing communities, career changes, college stories, parking stress, and enthusiasm draining traffic. This is real life. Come back to the river and experience ephemeral love, dynamic water levels, 16 hours of sun, shuttles, swims, and poison ivy. This is real life. Dive into it.
These worlds are disparate. Separated by decisions, separated by geography, separated by economies and sociology. Everyone has chasms in their life, divisions that may be real, or may not be: Work or vacation, family or friends, challenge or relaxation, mountains or ocean. It is the way we integrate and balance these competing interests that defines who we are. We discover this balance in our life, mostly through trial and error, fumbling to understand and respect ourselves. Sometimes it feels like we are dictating who we are, but ultimately you have to trust your heart to determine what is important in your life, and allow yourself to discover it.
Will you move to Guatemala, extricating yourself from family and friends to live a life of change? Will you be achieving your goals by doing this? Will you hear the crash of waves as you sleep or see the fall of snow as you wake in the morning?
What we do know is that you can only determine 10% of someones happiness based on their environment. That means that 90% of our happiness and satisfaction is dependent upon our perception of our environment. So pay attention, give thanks for the events of your day, for the choices you have made to empower your own life and happiness. Exercise. And randomly perform acts of kindness. These are all activites that have shown to put people in a state of positivity, which lends itself to perceiving your environment with gratitude rather than pessimism. And if these activities don't help, perhaps it is time to listen to yourself and shift one of the many balancing acts we perform. Or perhaps it is time to sit around the fire and relax with some friends.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
There is inherent risk out there, in the world. Some emotional, some physical: we get hurt, we must learn to love again or we must retrain our muscles with our new abilities. Each of these events take its toll. We don't love so hard, we don't play as hard. We get stronger, more intuitive. It takes us longer to trust something, to believe that it won't rip us apart, but we can go deeper than we could when we were younger. We can love maturely, knowing that it will hurt sometimes, knowing that the challenges our love presents will make our bond grow deeper.
We must remember that the challenges along the way are learning opportunities for growth, that make us strong. The more chaos we go through, the more peace you find in your moment to moment life. The more you realize how peaceful our lives really are. Without chaos there is no calm, without challenge there is no growth.
Find peace in reflecting on the challenges that the thing you love gives you.
Friday, June 15, 2012
|Photo by Daniel Brasuell|
Soon I breath in some water and thats when I decide it is time to give up on the in boat portion of this event. Until then I had decided I would use all my energy in my boat and not save any energy for the swim. Sometimes it works...
I am underneath the boat. Grasping. I grab something. The paddle. That doesn't float me. I keep trying for the boat. Soon I am swirled into the back right corner of the pothole. Look at the photo, see the corner of the pothole that is hidden? That is where I am. I feel a boulder under my feet. I can stand! I can breath!
No one can see me now. All they see is my boat upside down floating downstream and nothing else. They all think that I am dead, or at least unconscious in the pothole. But I am standing there. I had just caught my breath when I started thinking about Dave. Dave swam here a few days before me. He got stuck in the hole right below the falls. We was in there for three minutes. He stopped breathing. He was revived and flown out in a helicopter. I don't have $15,000 for a helicopter. I can't get out of the pothole. There is no way. All the walls are undercut and polished granite and the waterfall just slams into it. I just sit there, wondering, up to my chest in bubbling, swirling force, plastering me against the wall of the pothole.
A throwbag plops right in front of me. What the? Holy shit. I am going to get out of here. I can't hold onto this thing. Do I have a Carabiner? No. Damn it. I try to tie it onto the lapelle of my PFD, the Ronin Pro. I hope this thing is strong enough. But they pull it away. They can't see me. They think I am unconscious. They think it is getting caught on rocks. I start looking for a way to signal them. I blow my whistle. Nothing. I look at the corner of the pothole. I stick my hand out there, sun hits it. Sploosh! Another throwbag. They must have seen it. I tie onto my lifejacket. Curt and Chris, on a small ledge, drag me, a 200 pound man, up and over a pothole, through the bottom of the falls, and up a polished granite slab. Damn.
I am a little nauseas and tired, but otherwise unharmed. Understandably, no one else wants to run the drop, so we begin the hike out for a second time in a week. As we hike out, I glance at my boat, it is sitting there in the weir hole, surfing happily by itself. It stays there for an entire day. We get back to camp and decide that I will paddle Clancy's boat out and he will hike out. I portage every class V drop on the remainder of the run, happy to be alive.
The kayaking community comes through; my boat, camera, throwbag, and breakdown paddle have all been recovered. So I hike back in, see the level is very low(360) and begin the hike out. 2 hours in, 7 hours out and my fourth hike in lead to about 40 miles of hiking and 15 miles of kayaking. Good Riddance.
Hiked in May 25, diurnal between 600 and 700 each day. Everything up to cherry bomb was awesome. Swimming hole in the rapid before the crux of the class IV gorge. Crux goes great, run it. Hiked cherry all the way to dead bear. Double pothole probably runnable but consequence is likely death, so hiked it. Great rapids all the way down the red gorge, portaged regular portage as well as the swirly hole down there, stayed low. Finish of the red gorge is AWESOME. Portaged the nozzle gorge. Probably not worth it, but it is if you are already in there.
Thanks to Kokatat for gear that kept me safe and New River Academy for employing me.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Thousands of river miles, swims, accomplishments, learning moments, and smiles later that moment still sticks. It is rare you can trace a passion back to its conception, it's birth, no matter how symbolic or contrived that moment may seem.
How does something start?When you first see it? When you first want to do it? When you sign up for you first class? It is hard to define. For many kayakers, their first experience in a whitewater boat is to roll, is to experience the chaos of being disoriented and upside down under water.
What an appropriate beginning.
It has it all. The difficulty of unnatural movement, the struggle against the water and yourself, the desperation for oxygen and life, the thrill of escaping the situation to return to the surface; triumph! These are the qualities that separate kayaking from other experiences, that lead to its unique feeling. They never stop, and kayaking becomes quite a long journey.
For years, after this moment of completion through struggle, people who fall in love with the sport tangle with its grasp, fighting to get back to the river and learn what it has to teach. Soon the hardy soul on this journey is running the drops once watched on youtube or bombflow; running whitewater that was once unimaginable, impossible. The journey is scary, humbling, and now you too fumble over how to describe what you do, and why. The fear in the movies is real but the actual danger still seems intangible.
Then is the first real injury. A flip in a quick rapid and 20 stitches now decorate your face. Then a subluxed shoulder. An underwater pin that forces a dislocated shoulder leaves you sidelined for three months. You come back from the injury and are strong for awhile. But then you swim, not just a swim. You have a moment where you contemplate death. It enters your mind as a viable result of the situation. You make it out! Close one...
The risk sets in, the honeymoon phase is over. Kayaking is real, and the stories the old kayakers have been telling you for years starts to sink in. They have seen friends pin, swim, and die. But you always thought it wouldn't happen to you, but it is. Kayaking doesn't feel so glamorous anymore.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Past the dam, the river runs through a field of boulders until the falls. It splits and braids into dozens of channels, where hundreds of feet before it was a slow moving reflecting pond. Soon you are above the middle channel.
Friday, May 11, 2012
|A Jackson Rock Star shines blue steel|
|A moment of perfection|
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Hunt "styling stouts with authority".