Dreams… I’m Thankful, I still have Dreams

Me volunteering at the homeless shelter

Me volunteering at the homeless shelter

I believe in the notion that people are mostly good. That we all want to help our fellow-man and be a part of their success… If only for a moment. You see, when we help people, it makes us feel pretty good about ourselves. We see something about our inner soul that speaks to us. It reaches in ways we could never have expected. So I write this blog with plans for the future. And in my excitement, I feel like sharing.

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If ever there was someone who needed a place to find perspective, I believe I am that person. I feel the 9 to 5 world is breaking me down. Erasing the caring person I know I can be. And I don’t like the person I am becoming. I had turned my back on life. Forgotten all that I had once held dear, The things I had lived so passionately for. Taking for granted all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I really just believe I need to get away and see the struggles that pertain to more than the first world problems.

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And above all, I seek solitude, an opportunity to erase the pain I’ve carried for far too long. The moment when I find peace in a life filled with turmoil and destruction… Am I reaching ? Chasing an empty dream? Maybe… Or maybe I’ll lift the weight I’ve become so accustom to bear.

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I awake to an awkward flash of repetition. I dread the day. In fact, I dread the week. Looking forward only to select moments I spend day dreaming of the future. A time when I awake to a brisk morning hike, or spend the evening climbing routes only to leave the crag late and exit the trail guided by my headlamp. I envision a future where my trailer is parked near the beach, and a morning run through the cool sand is my routine. Living on a shoestring, chasing a dream that doesn’t end in a 9 to 5. And I wonder… Will this ever be my reality?

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I have reached many goals in life and accomplished much. But still my heart lies unfulfilled, and my dreams seem bigger than my grasp. I am lost in the civilized world, unable to share the notion that normalcy is enough. Making my way to work on a daily, contemplating the reality that I should be thankful to just have a job. For many people don’t. But I’m actually thankful I have a dream… A dream bigger than myself. A dream that one day I can live minimal, traveling on a shoelace. With enough time to stop and smell the flowers, capturing moments in my heart and memories filling up my head. I dream of freedom. Freedom from society, freedom from responsibility, freedom to live how I choose and choose each day in a moment.

My mind splits into a notion where I can be the one who finds happiness in my dreams. And chase a future so distant, that at this moment looks infantile. But I believe… And belief created of the heart is stronger than the knowledge that occupies our minds. They call it a leap of faith… I say it’s that moment of clarity. Where everything is so crystal clear, you actually see yourself for the first time. And the vision is beautiful.

In the future, life will consist of never knowing where I am going… Awaking to bright, new visions each day. A change of scenery, zero security and stress levels at an all time low. I will not worry about the future, just the moment. Each day leading into what happens the next. In just about 6 years, I will have fulfilled my obligations. My children will be grown, ready to move into college or work. I plan to be debt free, except my house, and well on my way to living in the moment.

new 936       But first things first, as of now, my initial step will involve some volunteer work. Possibly the peace corps, definitely something overseas. A place where I can hopefully make a difference, give back and maybe even help shape a life. Sounds strange huh? I long for freedom, yet want to sign up for work..? I believe it will humble me, inform me, and in the long run create a better person. This is where I will find perspective and see another side of the world.

zionhooligans 064       If/or when I return, this will be my time to dirtbag it. Travel the country side climbing and hiking. Living the dream… Working to get by, not worrying about the future, focus on the now. I want to see the world, I long to live for what I’m passionate about.  I want to meet new and interesting people. I want to experience life from outside the box. I want freedom…

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Trust in yourself, it’s the only true faith there is…

I didn’t sell out, I bought in… #Omniten

All my Columbia gear from over the years

All my Columbia gear from over the years

It’s February 2012, and I have just opened a twitter account. Unsure why? It seems twitter is just for people who want to follow celebrities and stalked them from afar… Then I discovered #climbchat.

On top of the pinnacle of Angel's Landing in Zion NP

On top of the pinnacle of Angel’s Landing in Zion NP

I didn’t even know what a hashtag was used for. Then one evening I was browsing around the Twittersphere. When I discovered #climbchat. It quickly became apparent to me that this was a whole community of like-minded people who gathered to share dreams, aspirations and memories. And they were talking about climbing. My twitter love had grown 3 sizes that day. I quickly followed all the new faces, and became acquainted with these awesome souls. I had found my people. Even if they were scattered across the country, even the world.

Columbia bandana is my new favorite head wrap

Columbia bandana is my new favorite head wrap

Soon after, I heard about the #omniten program Columbia Sportswear was doing. In fact, 3 of my favorite #climbchaters were on the team. Gina, Steve & little Katie. I was blown away to hear what this company had planned. It seemed like such an ingenious idea. Get real life adventurers to test and review your product, and give real, honest feedback. And in the process, these adventurers would reveal said products to the world. Even indorse them…? It showed immense confidence in their product, and commitment to improve where the adventure community desired it.

Testing the new Columbia Gear given to me by Columbia Sportswear

Testing the new Columbia Gear given to me by Columbia Sportswear

I quickly became obsessed with this grassroots program and wanted to know how I could become a part of it. You see, I’ve always been one to go against the grain. Never following the clicks, or joining the groups of “cool kids”. But the truth is, I never saw a click I could believe in. Until now… “I didn’t sell out, I bought in”.

The morning after hiking BG, accompanied by the sunrise in the Vermillion Cliffs

The morning after hiking BG, accompanied by the sunrise in the Vermillion Cliffs

Soon after all the #omniten hoopla had slowed down, I was browsing the twitter feed when I came across a picture posted by Columbia Sportswear. A good-looking (orange) Omnifreeze Ice shirt.. And the quote went “This is our new color, we call it Bronco. What do you think?” Well immediately the color and the name made me think of Boise state… So I responded “I’d call it safety cone”. Almost immediately I got a DM response saying “Thanks for the laugh, send me your info, I’ll send you a shirt.”- AB. WHAAAAT? I just got a free, kick ass shirt for just poking fun? Awesome. A relationship was born. Columbia followed me. And the truth was, I still didn’t realize that AB was Adam Buchanan aka #omniprime (I feel bad about that Adam).

Omniheat hoodie & Omnifreeze zero neck gaiter. Climbing with fellow Omniten member Steve Weiss

Omniheat hoodie & Omnifreeze zero neck gaiter. Climbing with fellow Omniten member Steve Weiss

After watching the #Omniten tweets, posts, & blogs roll in about the Havasupai trip. I realized I not only needed to become a part of the #omniten, but I also needed to visit Havasupai. And I did one year later…. This last May my friend Miller and I took the 10 mile trek into Havasupai, just the two of us. I remember how accomplished I felt after reached Haulapai Hilltop. Completely exhausted, carrying a 43 lb pack. I just soaked it all in… Knowing 2013 was going to be an awesome year.

Swimming under Havasu Falls... Columbia gear works great in water too

Swimming under Havasu Falls… Columbia gear works great in water too

A new friend in Havasupai

A new friend in Havasupai

Sunset near Canyonlands NP

Sunset near Canyonlands NP

I began #Tryingstuff, first Omni-freeze zero. The shirts are amazing, no better hiking shirt, especially in the desert. And the neck gaiter, doubles as a head scarf. Protecting you from the sun and keeping you cool at the same time. Then I tried Omni-heat. This stuff really works. A single layer is all you need, or I promise you will find yourself stripping layers. As a matter of fact, I slept and stayed warm at the Haulapai Hilltop in the back of Miller’s truck bed the night before the hike into Havasupai. I was sold on the Omni technology.

Hiking out of Blue John... Both arms still intact

Hiking out of Blue John… Both arms still intact

At Nymph Lake in RMNP

At Nymph Lake in RMNP

Not to mention Columbia Sportswear’s amazing customer service. Few companies actually acknowledge your comments, feedback or even compliments on the social media platform. And that was the biggest reason I started believe in Columbia again. Great personal skills. I am proud to say that I am now connected with such an amazing company. That I can give feedback on products, test them and interact with people behind them. As some of you already know, I was asked to join the Columbia #Omniten team for fall/winter 2013-2014. And obviously, I gladly accepted. In January 2014, we will all be flown to what is at this time, an undisclosed location,  and set out to test some awesome products. What more could you ask for..?

#Omniten... GREAT SUCCESS!!

#Omniten… GREAT SUCCESS!!

Columbia Sportswear trekking through The Zion Narrows

 
Columbia Sportswear trekking through The Zion Narrows

Confidence in your product is the first step towards building a quality product and a loyal customer base. Interpersonal relationship, whether it be through social media, sales reps, or over the phone. These are the people the general public reflects on when noticing a company. These are the relationships that build a long-lasting customer base… And Columbia Sportswear has it!

Who knew that poking fun at Boise state would get me this far…