Summiting Timp: First thought to first steps.

My friend messaged me asking what my plan was for Monday because it had been far too long since we had been on an adventure. I looked at the day ahead and having nothing on the calendar besides time with my dog and dinner with my wife after she was finished at work I gladly accepted the invitation to get out on an adventure and start the week out right. 

We talked through a couple of ideas such as hiking with our dofs to the granddaddy lakes region in the High Uintas, heading to the summit of Ben Lomond Peak, or hiking around the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness and possibly summiting the peak. We settled on hiking Timpanogos as it was the closest option and the least amount of driving, agreeing to meet at 6:30 am the following morning and set out for a day of hiking, beautiful views and conversation. 

Although I was looking forward to the day ahead I was uncertain about my ability to gracefully climb the 4,390 feet to the summit as I have not been as active this year as I have been in past years. I have summited this mountain twice before and both times I was in better shape physically and probably a little more mentally strong as far as hiking in high elevations goes. I committed myself to a day of fun on the mountain and accepted that there would be a struggle as I went but one that I needed and looked forward to. 

As I prepared myself the next morning for the climb I casually stashed 4 liters of water for my dog and I along with two energy bars for me and variety of snacks and food for my four legged friend. My thought was to pack for a climb that could be classified as light and fast but still carry the needed gear in case of unexpected weather I added a waterproof windbreaker and a merino wool sweater for just in case. 

My friend arrived shortly before 6:30 am and our adventure of the day began as two climbers and their adventure pups were bound for the wilderness and possibly summit of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch range. 

Part 1 of 4

Digital Vomit.

When I thought up the idea of writing at least Three Hundred Words a Day every day I thought that thinking of an inspirational message connected to my day to day activities would be easy. Little did I know that this task would be harder than I could have imagined. I have been stumped many nights over what to write that might help others to see life in a better light and be easier on others and be easier on themselves. It is a challenge for me writing something every day that makes sense and doesn’t come out as what I call “digital vomit”.

Digital Vomit is simply defined as posting something just for the sake of posting it. A post that has no real meaning or purpose and posted just for the potential views along with the hope that you’ll keep the algorithm from the internet in your favor. That’s what I do some nights just to get my post up and my checklist checked for another day. This isn’t what I envisioned when I started out this project and it’s been hard to recognize this is what I do just to get by.

What I had hoped was a simple day to day activity for my own personal growth that I could share with others to inspire them. I feel that I fall short of this goal a few nights a week, I hope to change that. This week I will be putting more effort into my posts to see how I feel about my work, as we all know to put more effort into something usually yields increased satisfaction with your output. I’m hoping for a week with less digital vomit and a week of sharing posts that can inspire others in their personal journeys.  

This is a personal evaluation of my progress as a writer, storyteller, and person who shares inspiration. Am I the best at my craft? No, but I am better today than I was January 1st and that is what matters to me. Here’s to a week of improves posts and better storytelling.

Know.

I’ve been told many times that life is all about who you know more than what you know. Being able to use your connections to accomplish different tasks is key to finding success in much of life’s challenges. Think about all the people you know, they like you have different skills and interests that they utilize on a daily basis without much thought. Now think about yourself and inventory your assets or skills, you personally are probably skilled in 5 – 10 things well and those things might not always be the skills needed to accomplish the task.

Tonight truly reminded me why it’s so valuable to know and be friends with people with different skills than you. I have been building an e-commerce side hustle and I finally felt comfortable ordering some bulk product and seeing what I could do to move a larger volume of products. I needed some pictures taken that would encourage people to purchase these items and my iPhone photography skills wouldn’t do the job. I messaged one of my good friends and we set up a time to take quality photos to best move the product.

When I arrived I figured that we’d use my friend’s camera and just take some quality high-resolution pictures. He had lights’, a white backdrop, and the digital editing equipment and skills to make the pictures better than I had expected. I am truly grateful to know people who have skills that they can share to make my ambitions a reality without much work to them.

We can all think of times when our friend’s skill sets have helped us out when we needed a hand. We can also probably think of the times when we have done the same for others, showed up and helped out when needed with ease. We need to remember to integrate that into our natural motion every day, offering to lend a hand where we can and lift the world to a better place.

It’s all about who you know right?

Avoid.

Ever avoided something? Ever veered clear of taking an action or saying something that needed to be said? If you said yes, you’re not alone, people everywhere experience similar feelings as humans tend to avoid uncomfortable situations. It’s a natural thing to avoid the difficult tasks we need to accomplish due to our fears of upsetting others and disrupting a safe balance.

I have plenty of situations and conversations that I tend to avoid out of fear of making a mess of life’s good balance at that moment. I do this at home and at work and I hate myself at times for this behavior. I know that I would be better off if I just made the decision to say what needed to be said but I have an overabundance of concern for the feelings of others. I often allow this concern for others to walk over my feelings and grind them into the ground.

It’s a fault that I’m not alone in ownership of. We are more concerned than we want to admit about the feelings of others. It’s the real humanity in us, our ability to fear upsetting others that makes these hard times difficult to speak to and easy to try to avoid. We need to learn how to speak up without fear and skip avoidance altogether.

Think about what would make you happy, think about what you could say to someone else that would help make your life better. Now, look at the action that needs to be taken to get to where you need to be happier, prepare yourself to speak up for yourself. As you speak up for yourself say what needs to be said with empathy towards the person you are speaking with, remember to be honest and straightforward though as that will help all parties involved understand the changes that you hope to happen.

Don’t avoid speaking up when things need to be said, take some time and think through what you want to say then find a moment to share it. I cannot say the outcome will be ideal but you will feel better in the long run after speaking up for yourself.

Lines.

Dinner tonight was decided based on the length of lines at different restaurants. We were all but hangry when we decided on a new local chicken with an African twist based solely off the line at their establishment. We were not disappointed with the food we had decided on, Zulu Chicken for the win. I have been wanting to check it out since it opened, we finally went! Honestly, if you live around Lehi, Utah check it out.

Lines are everywhere we go, we wait for and anticipate many different moments in our lives. Think about the last time you went to an amusement park or some other public gathering remember all the lines? Remember the boredom you felt, the aches in your feet then the excitement when you actually made it to the front of the line and were up next. Obviously, boredom stinks, achy feet hurt, and waiting is something many of us dislike to do but waiting teaches us many things, one in particular lesson is patience.

Patience is a challenge in so many ways because it is not the instant satisfaction that so often we feel we need. It’s a trial and a half to apply patience with others while doing many daily tasks such as driving, listening, being present, working towards goals, and another day to day tasks. Needless to say, we all could use a little more patience to make life better for ourselves and the others we interact with.

Life isn’t a line, it’s a journey that takes time and has its own twists and turns. These twists and turns can snow us down and cause our patience to be tested and our days to feel like a line waiting to get nowhere, but we will be better for enduring these times then moving forward. Dare to look for shorter lines or lines that better suit you and your desired life vision or end goal.

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.

Stumped.

It’s been a solid week of work and fun where life has moved forward and improved for the better. I have started waking up earlier just before five am to make it to work by six am. That has been a change which I’ve wanted for some time and has had a change on life in general. This change has allowed me to be homer an extra day during the week, and more time adventuring with my wife and dog. Pretty good work life balance I’d say.

Today while my dog and I were out on a hike near my parents house and we saw eight eagles, two hawks, and one rabbit. One of the eagles we saw was having a battle with the two hawks, not sure what their disagreement was over but I was amazed at how their disagreement played out. At first the two hawks dived at the eagle a few times until the eagle took flight and began to fight back. Once the eagle was airborne one hawk would dive in front and the second would hit the eagles back. It was a strange experience that ended in watching a defeated eagle land on a near hill and the two hawks perching where they chased the eagle from.

Something that I’ve always enjoyed about my time in the outdoors is watching animals interact with one another. I was raised interacting with animals almost daily, we had cows living less than one hundred yards from our house and that influenced my enjoyment of watching animals interact. Animals interacting together have a surprising amount of personality that surprise most people. If you have a pet or spend enough time watching animals you’ll see how they are similar to us with their different quirks and preferences. It’s a cool thing to see.

Jumbled thoughts from a stumped mind.