This Blog

This blog is dedicated to explorations of spirit, life, adventure, and people. I hope that it encompasses much more than the actions of people, but rather creates a more complete picture of what it means to be an athlete and a person in the outdoor community.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Truckee is a nice place to visit, but I live here.

Truckee is an interesting place, people don't just end up in truckee, everyone is here for a reason, and it has to be a good one to deal with the winters. This leads to the development of an interesting community:

You know you are in truckee when...

-someone thinks you are dressed up because you have buttons on your shirt

-you have to decide between world class mountain biking or kayaking.

-you see a legend on the same ride or run you are on. "Did you see that, that was (insert pseudo-famous athlete here)!"

-swimming in the lake is something you do in between other events. "Hey you want to stop for a swim on the way back from the store?"

-Someone is wearing a big truck hat

-A kid shreds way harder than you do

-You meet someone and have paddled/biked/skied with their exboyfriend/exgirlfriend/brother-in-law/sister-inlaw/coworker and have 10 friends in common already.

-You ride by yourself because everyone else is already doing something hardcore

-you think 85 is "hot"

-people don't have meals anymore, just barbeques

-you don't see anyone all winter long

-you meet a cool girl and she has a boyfriend.

Love Truckee!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Passion is magical.

Find it.
Feel it.
Foster it.

It manifests itself in many forms. It is so easy on the river.

I saw it a few different ways this weekend. First, I take my cousin down the river for the first time. My cousin has been a sea kayaking guide in the Monterey Bay for a few years, so he is primed and ready for a great day of class III.

He is beat down in the Chili Bar hole, styles troublemaker, gets rejected from eddies, catches eddies, runs into every rock and hole we can find, and hits first combat roll, celebrates success and suffers failure; all the things you expect in your first day in a kayak.

He smiles his way down the river, through it all. Just eats it up.


That evening, the river rose in to an atypical 2,000 cfs and I rouse my energy for a session at barking dog, a fun play wave. To my surprise there are only 3 people there. Finally a young man floats down bareback at 8:30, as dusk was settling in. It happened to be one of my old students.

"Barebacking it huh Drew?"

"I heard the river was still up so I threw on my stuff as quickly as possible to get down here" he says to me as he smiles and paddles back into the wave for the final surf of the night, well past the sunset.


It is what we are driven by, it is what we seek, it is what we know. It can happen on your first day, or your 1000th day, it doesn't matter, but it is what we live for.

Friday, July 5, 2013


To wait in anticipation is the practice of impatience.

What are we waiting for? What are we looking for?
To search is to fulfill an unmet need. But during that search we can't feel empty, or the journey is sacrificed for the goal. How do we progress while not setting happiness on the other side of our goals, while not grasping at that which we are waiting for?

As humans, we need progress, we need change and challenge to feel satisfaction. But, we also need to be happy with the challenges that we are presented with. We must be satisfied with our current state of affairs.

Two mantras address this

"I am satisfied with the challenges I have in my life"
This kind of thought should be followed by thinking about the ways in which you have the opportunity to change, whether it be strengthening current relationships, becoming more centered, focusing on your health, whatever it is, we always have opportunities to improve.

"I am happy with what I have now, and open to the possibilites that the future holds"
The focus of this mantra is to have gratitude for what is in your life, rather than focus on that which isn't in your life. We can always be open to the possibilities in the future, and we should never give up on that, what is more important than those possibilites is what your are doing in this moment to manifest those possibilities. Are you treating people well? Are you enjoying your life? Are you putting heartfelt effort into that which you love, whether is be an activity, a person, a place, or a community?

Generally mantras are useful in eliminating what is called "poverty mind", which is related to the hungry ghost realm in buddhist cosmology. It is the sense that what we have is not enough, that we are waiting for something more, always wanting more than what is here now. It effectively puts happiness over the next hill and always leaves you wanting what you don't have. We do have enough. We always have enough. These mantras and the thoughts surrounding them remind us of this truth.