Skate.

Tonight we rented Mid90s while we watched I was taken back to to the mid2000s(see what I did there.) to my days spent skating around various parts of Utah. Those days spent under the sun rolling around looking for the perfect spot to spend a few hours trying out old and new tricks, falling, succeeding, and spending time with my friends. We lived our best days learning new tricks and feeling the road beneath our boards, I’m grateful I spent most of my teenage years as a skateboarder.  

When I first started skating I talked my parents into picking me up a board from Walmart that had plastic wheels and trucks. I rolled around the sidewalk at our house and down the manger between the pen one and two at the farm. I rode that board about two weeks before I broke it and needed a new one, my parents told me I needed to ride better so I didn’t break any more skateboards. Little did we know that I would continue to learn new tricks and break more boards. One of my favorite setups was a shorty’s board with roses designed by Chad Muska that my Grandma purchased me. I loved that skateboard and loved my Grandma for gifting me such a cool gift when she thought skateboarding was for hooligans.

One of my favorite things about skating was the movement. The ability that my body had to flow with the board once I was able to “master” a trick or movement. I spent much of my time skating at a friends house where we built a box with rails and spent hours trying out new tricks and mastering the process. The feeling of the wind on your face as you rode, the connection you had each time you put your foot to the ground and pushed and the motion as you curved your board side to side while you rolled down the road. Skating was a movement that felt similar to near perfect balance to me.

Skating was a great teacher to me, it reinforced the idea of never giving up on your goals. As a skater, the only thing that came naturally to me was falling and I did that often. However, I kept trying to be better and slowly became better through trial and error. I ripped a few holes in my jeans, cracked my head open a few times, and bled from various scraped that happened as a result of my falls but I kept getting back on to skate some more. Skating solidified my understanding of never giving up.

These days I skate much less than I used to, but I still pull my skateboard out from time to time and see what tricks I can still land. I look back at those days with gratitude for those hours spent with friends skating around looking for the next big trick we would test out. For the cuts and bruises that were a result of going big or going home, and the triumph we felt when someone landed a big one. Skating was and still is one of the best ways to learn balance, test the limits, and create the best memories with friends.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Risk.

Whenever I’m out exploring the great outdoors I understand that there is a general amount of risk that needs to be understood as I seek out places that few see in person. Knowing that risk is an ever-present weight to be balanced and measured is a good reminder to be sure your next steps are in the right direction. Risk can be taken in adventure, day to day transit, business, school, and relationships. By understanding what risky behaviors can be taken appropriately we can do our best to know that the risks we may take can payoff positively for us.

As a natural born risk taker, I’ve always walked the fine line between smart risk and reckless risk. There was a goal I had to learn how to balance atop a fence about five feet off the ground and about 150 yards from my parents home. I understood what could happen if I learned the skill I needed to walk the line, I would be able to brag about my superior balance and have a skill that few have. If I was unsuccessful I could fall and break any number of bones and hurt myself in other ways. I knew I would fall, I expected it and that understanding made the challenge a little easier to start and helped me balance the risk to reward from my little venture.

I practiced this balancing act for years at times only making it a foot or two before bailing off one side of the fence or the other or take a sudden slip and ending up bouncing to the ground without a moments notice. As the years added up so did the number of feet I was able to balance and the number of times I became closer to succeeding at my little conquest to balance the entire fence. I only made the entire fence one time, one time that has taught me countless lessons in life balance and perseverance since.

Along with those two great assets under my belt I also learned how to manage the risk I was deciding to take every time I climbed the fence and began my balancing act. I learned to avoid walking the line if it had just snowed or rained a wet metal bar isn’t so grippy and you will either end up in mud or snow. Watching the weather was key to a good session on the bar, the wind was not your friend either. Wearing the right footwear is key to being able to walk the greatest distance, wearing boots or shoes with bad traction is a bad choice, wearing shoes that are muddy, shitty, or wet are also a guarantee that you’ll fall faster than you’d intended.

This childhood experience is a simple lesson in goal setting, perseverance, trial and error, and risk management. Can the lessons I learned from my years walking the fence from the farm to the house be used today? Absolutely, I can weigh the risk in the actions I take and examine the payout that could take place if my risk pays off.

Connect.

We are all connected in one form or another through the small things that we don’t often think about. I had a conversation with a friend once about how all roads are connected, that the road we were driving along in Salt Lake City could be driven all the way to his home in Michigan, the roads were connected state by state, and mile after mile. That was a very interesting way to look at how we are all connected by the little things we utilize every day whether it is the shops we purchase from, the food we eat, or movements we follow. We are connected in more ways than we realize.

These connections influence our day to day behavior as we interact together in our common interests we tend to treat each other with a little more kindness, a little more understanding, and a bit more willingness to cooperate when the situations are less than desirable. I say this because I’ve watched a wide variety of people with various different backgrounds come together united to aide in change.

Think about the Live Aid concert in 1985 that showcased talent filmed in the UK and televised throughout the world for a single cause to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. People from different countries contributed around 127 million to the cause while hearing some of the greatest music acts of the century. Wherever people watched the concert they saw on the backdrop the “Live Aid” logo and were informed and inspired to unite and donate to the cause of lifting others from poverty through their donations.

In more modern times we have similar opportunities to unite together for the betterment of the world we live in. Uniting in causes that we believe in by taking action verbally or digitally we are able to share our feelings on the causes that inspire us. As we decide on what causes we stand behind remember to stand with causes that build a better world and avoid those that divide and destroy the communities we live in.

Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.

Direction.

What is your passion?
What direction does your passion pull you towards?
How have your passions guided you to where you are today?

These questions are perfect to answer when you are looking at where you want to go next. We live our lives in different phases that spn from a few years to a few decades. Perhaps you stick with one hobby or job for five years then decide that it no longer drives you like it used to. You begin to look for change and find yourself doing something new and life pivots.

As you pivot into that something new your daily routine changes, your workplace or surroundings change, the people you interact with are different, and you change. This change can be seen little by little, or dramatically depending on how quickly you immerse yourself in the new direction you are moving in. As we adapt to our new lifestyles we might not only shift our day to day routines but also our behavior and outlook towards different opinions, ways of life, and activities might change too. This is a strange natural part of the process.

A few summers ago I became friends with a guy named Kevin, he was a person who lived a life filled with adventure, hard work, and was one of those people who could lift you when you were down. He was an adventurer and lived life a day at a time and explored the far reached of the earth any way he could. He lived by a motto that I think on almost daily, “I follow my own trail, not worrying about its odd twists and turns because I have faith in my own sense of direction.”.

He always knew that no matter what everything would turn out for the best, that he could make the best out of any situation. I believe he did and it’s something that we all can take a lesson from. To have faith in our own sense of direction, and move forward knowing that you can make the best of the next steps, being a kind person along the way.