Monday, September 22, 2014

Go Placidly...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your career, however humble;
it is a real possession in teh changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love;
for in teh face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of the spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefor be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever you labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmass

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

We all struggle with the little defeatist voice in our head... You can't do this! You're not ready for this! You will fail! It is safe here! You won't like her! You will be scared! The never-ending barage of, what I call, Ego, pulls you from accomplishing your goals or leaving your past behind. The Ego wants you to stay where you are! It wants you to be afraid! I never really knew understood the power of the Ego and its irrational protective force until I confronted my past-self during a psychoanalysis session... Truly this was one of the most powerful things I've been through! What it taught me was comfort, and here's what happened...

The therapist asked me to think of a situation where I wasn't kind, or when I upset someone. Unfortunately, this was easy to recall! He asked me to envision being in the situation. I closed my eyes and, at this moment, was in the backseat of my truck. He asked that I tell myself that I was back there and would it be OK if we chatted a bit. Myself agreed. I wanted him to know that I cared about him. He said thanks. I then asked him about why he was upset? He didn't really know, but got a little nervous at the question. I asked him several more questions about what would go wrong if this or that would happen. He couldn't answer me. I said that was fine. The therapist asked me to put my hand on myself's shoulder, and to comfort him. Then we pulled out of the exercise. It was as though I was in a trance and the clarity of the situation was so powerful! I was confronting a self that didn't help me, but that thought it was being helpful. I was able to notice him, and to tell him, "hey, calm down... I'm here to help you." It was my real-self talking to my Ego! Frankly, it was my worst enemy between my ears.

For those of you who think this is silly, I agree. It is! However, I can't tell you how amazing the experience was. How ultimately I hope that I can recognize the deep-seated issues we all have with fear! My hope is that through this training, I can experience a deeper and more open form of love. Think about it, have you confronted a part of yourself that isn't helpful?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Remember Where I Was On 9/11, I Had Just Moved To Durango

I was living in Oklahoma City at the time; sitting at my desk on a Monday morning. The humidity was at its peak that day. I was depressed having just returned from a vacation in Durango! Bummer, why am I in Oklahoma City? And then it happened... I got a call from a guy I had met while bouldering at Turtle Lake (and to think, me and my girlfriend almost didn't go there that day). He called to ask me if I would be interested in taking a job with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Durango?!?!?! I interviewed in the stairwells and on my lunch break, and two and a half weeks later I was here! Durango has now been my home for 13 years... And oh, what a trip it has been!

I arrived late in Durango on 9/10, so 9/11 is really my anniversary date. It was a beautiful morning, just like this one is shaping up to be. Where's the humidity? I got up early, and started making coffee. The friends I was living with actually had a TV, so I turned it on and saw the first plane hit one of the Twin Towers in New York. I was in shock! My sister, is she OK? Life got a little weird as this terrorist attack unfolded before the nation. I learned there was an American Airlines plane that had crashed. Was my sister on that plane? My family and I tried to reach my sister who worked for American Airlines. We called her, her boss and the corporate line. Nothing! No answer, no one to help. It was a wait-and-see game. So, I did the only thing that would give me comfort: I went in to the forest.

I think I got lost in Sailing Hawks about three times that day. Partly, because I think I was stoned immaculate (oh, Colorado). Or, it could have been that it really is kind of a confusing place to run around in. I'm not really sure... The rock was beautiful. I climbed (and then called my sister). Climbed some more (and then called my sister). By evening, after I dug my way out of the magical forest of Sailing Hawks, we had finally talked with her. She had been on an overnight flight, so she had been asleep for most of the day - really!?!?

And so, 13 years later... Here I am, still in Durango! I've climbed these mountain, biked the trails and gripped the rock all around the Four Corners. I've been very gainfully employed, and now work from home (the dream life). I've had my share of relationships that have taught me so much (especially my marriage). I've started businesses and sold them. I've volunteered. Bitched to City Council. Partied my ass off! I've even mowed my yard! I feel as though I've done so much here to benefit others (probably could do more) as well as myself. All in all, I'd say I've lived a successful life in Durango. But I have mixed feelings about it all...

We all struggle/get excited with "what's next". Where are we going? Whom are we going to meet? And this is, no doubt, what is on my mind. I'm super excited about the future (more so now than ever before, especially as of yesterday). However, I'm also worried about the future as there is inevitable change that comes with it. I guess we all need to embrace what could be, and then what is. If you know what I'm talking about, post a comment. If not, post a comment. When I see my future, I see another climbing/training gym and retail shop in Durango (one that isn't burdened by a small space). I see continued climbing, skiing and biking accomplishments (more shredding yay). I see volunteer of the year :) I see an awesome partnership. I see another house, plus a rental. I see personal growth. I see me just asked psyched 13 years later as I am now... So here's to another 13 years in Durango, or wherever I may go! Thanks Durango for the great friends and experiences!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Music To Shred By...

Just a small collection of cool... 


Blue Scholars

Chemical Brothers

DJ Quick

Damian Marley

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Climbing Passion Lost, And Regained

When I first moved to Durango, my only goal was to climb. And that's pretty much what I did! Weekend trips to Indian Creek, bouldering sessions at Sailing Hawks and after-work limestone pull-fests at Golf Wall were my routine. On holidays, or when I had time off, I would travel the rest of the Southwest and climb in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Life was good... But then something happened. It was on Cat Wall...

The day started like any other. Wake up early, breakfast, drive to the wall, gear up, hike and start climbing. However, I felt weird. Something was different! My motivation was gone. I really didn't want to be there. I wouldn't say I was depressed, but anxious about the day. Naturally, I buried those feelings and started the process of supporting my climbing partner. We climbed well on the sandstone spires, and topped out everything we attempted. However, I wasn't psyched.

Enter biking! My new passion, and I took to it like a true addict! I rode everything - trail rides, freeride, downhill and road riding. It was my all, my lover (even, unfortunately, sacrificed some wonderful relationships in my life). Climbing took a HUGE step back. I even shaved my head so I could look me like a cyclist (whatever that means).

Now, I'm back to climbing (and still biking like crazy). I feel an urge to climb everyday. I'm training more. The rock is connecting to my hands like it once did many years ago. I'm finding my ascents again. But I ask myself: what happened before, and will it happen again? Will I lose my passion? 

KINETIC from Vast Motion Pictures on Vimeo.

We all lose things in life, but it REALLY sucks when you lose something that sparks you! That passion never dies, it just remains dormant. There is a small pain in your stomach reminding you that you'll need to feed this passion with something else, or return to it (trust me, I know what this is like - especially on the relationship side of the coin). Perhaps that's how it is with adventure sports. Unlike football or basketball, there is the beauty of the mountains, rivers, rocks and oceans that holds us captive like no other. We cannot help ourselves to the splendor in which we perfect our craft. Alas, I don't really know, but I'm hooked again, and love to ramble about it! Climb on! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"My Friends, My Habits, My Family; They Mean So Much To Me"

The title of my blog is from the Modest Mouse song One Chance, and a powerful line at that. These words smacks me in the face with one realization: all of them make up who you are (meaning, they've truly helped form you). I have the greatest friends who have stuck by me, a family that has an undying will to see me succeed and habits that I've enjoyed, suffered from too, but with such passion. And the best part is that as I live my life I gain more friends and cool habits (hopefully not too many bad ones). So, in the end, I'm so grateful for the person I am, because of the people and actions that have formed me so far - and there's even more craziness to come!

I am asking for life to continue this way, and I'm thanking it for all its splendor and amazing wild rides. So in that vein, I am proposing a challenge. Try to thank all of your friends and family today for all they have done to form you as a person. Thank your habits for how they have molded your behaviors and reactions. Write a personal note to three people, say "I love you" to yourself in the mirror and hug your sister! Whatever it is, be so grateful! I am!