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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An attempt at romance

Note #2

Look, it is just a flower
Just a rose
It sits on the ground
Not meaning to impose

Each petal a word
It can mean a thousand things
Which can write a script
That is beyond my wit

It is so simple
Yet so fleeting
But in this moment
You can see it's meaning

It is meant for a smile
That lasts awhile
Maybe it will lead to something greater
That is for you to decide a little later

I meant to write this story awhile ago, I was waiting for an ending, so here it is. 

There is this girl...

She is a runner. She runs up hills, she runs for hours and hours.

A boy sees her, is proud that she runs, to see someone out there, Living. 

Boy has a crush.

Through coincidence, girl lives below friend, he sees her there, meets her a few times in passing. 

Crazy idea. 

Secret admirer.

Notes and roses, left at her porch. Some silly, some sincere, just a few, so few, so few.

The last note, an invitation. Meet me on the dock at the lake at 6.

No responses, no contact, no identities known. Meet at the lake at 6.

The day comes. Heart races. Not in real life. This could never really happen. Not to boy, not to girl.

Legs swinging off the dock, not believing.

The dock, water lapping, time passing.

Water lapping, time passing. 

6 passes.

Of course not. It couldn't happen. Not to me. Not to anyone.

Someone paddling in the distance.


Girl arrives. It couldn't happen. Not to me. Not to anyone.

Nervous talk. Surprise. Excitement. 

Her number. Her number!

She is gone for a few months. Out of the country. But she will be back. 

Boy calls. 

Boy calls.

No response. 

No response. 

Boy finally sees her around town. Girl does not acknowledge him. She won't look. Not at me.  Not at anyone. It couldn't happen. Not to me. Not to anyone. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finding your soul mate

I just read an article about how the idea of a soul mate may have caused more problems than it has solved. Our lives are shaped by our expectation. If we expect to find someone or something that is perfect, we will always be let down, and be searching for more.

It may be a stretch but the search for love is not much unlike the search for the perfect river. If we are looking for a river that has exactly the right difficulty, beautiful drops, runability at many different water levels, play waves, or whatever, we will always be searching, and always finding fault in the way the river is. It may have a big hike in, a shitty shuttle, too many portages, a scary gorge, a few too many sieves. But, if we are open to the experience of loving each river as something that is inherently imperfect, and we expect there to be big hikes, scary sections, beatdowns, portages, and long shuttles, we can be content with those things, we can hold onto the small perfections that each run or person has to offer. Chris enjoying a small perfection. 

Hour Glass.

I have fallen in love with imperfection before. Teaching is imperfect, and marred with many shortcoming that a pure philosopher would spit at. Every run I have ever done is imperfect, every person, every action. Perfection is elusive, which is why we practice, which is why we have meetings and attend conferences, and go out again day after day trying to figure out how to communicate, forgive, be compassionate, boof, scout, assess, pack, teach, and love.

Yuba gap reminded me of this. I am quite a prude when it comes to kayaking, I want low input and high levels of reward. I don’t want my travel time to be greater than the amount of time than I am on the water, or on the bike, or skis. But, on this day yuba gap was perfect. I got stuck in an undercut eddy, portaged a ton of rapids, pitoned my boat 4 times, and it took us 7 hours to complete the run, but I expected all of that. I expect scary portages, long days, intimidating rapids, to not run everything I could run, and in the end, it was perfect, because I expected it not to be. If we can lose our idea of a soul mate, and start to expect, and even enjoy the imperfections of our relationships with others, we can love them fully, and accept them fully, as the beautiful river that they are. 

Entrance Drop.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Life is challenging, and oh so joyful, but there is an optimal level of challenge that we must seek. We can't be complacent, but we also can't be slaves to challenge, to the struggle. We create our reality, through our thought, through our actions, through our expectations and perceptions.

We walk a line, and we can choose more of either: Leisure or challenge. 

It is like it is snowing and sunny at the same time, which do you need at this particular moment?

Monday, April 7, 2014

You're almost dead

I really tried to write a post about maturity. I did. But then I had a conversation with a housemate and she reminded me that we are almost dead. So damn it, be happy now, because there may be no tomorrow!

 Thanks to Andy Giordano for shooting photos. You can check out the rest of his stuff here.

Here is the original post:


It has been a topic that I have thought about throughout my life. What is maturity?

I have always loved it when people say "Act your age!".

No matter what age I am, I am acting my age, silly.

I have been thinking about it because I don't fit my own stereotype for what a man is.

Consider this:
On Friday after school I went and hung out with 12-16 year old boys, the freeride team. We built a kicker and did back flips. It was me, a 29 year old, and a bunch of boys and young men, and we were having a great time. Apparently fun does not change as we get older.

The next day I went out with some friends and found this great cornice pictured above. No, I didn't land it any of the three times I tried, but it was fun. Are these the pursuits of a man, or a boy?

A man has responsibilities, or at least fulfills the ones he has. He has kids, he has a job that makes him unhappy, or at least he complains about. A man has troubles, and drinks to deal with it. A man fights, and gets dirty, and doesn't get to have too much fun.

This does not describe my life at all. I play almost every day. My job is super fun. I pretty much live in a way that is as close to camping as I can get. I don't have any kids. I don't have a partner. It is unclear to me that any of those things will happen.

The identities that we form now are drastically different than what the past has given us as options. How many generations have really had the choice to have kids? How many sports have been invented in the last 50 years to keep people playing their whole lives?(think surfing, biking, climbing, whitewater kayaking). The world is changing faster than we can change our life expectations.

So here we are. Playing like we are kids, because we can. Maybe we are the new adults, not burdened by the things that our parents generations were burdened by. We have economic independence. We can wait for love to marry, we can wait to have children. We are different, and that is a hard thing to be because the rules no longer apply.