Let it Ride
Talking about this post for weeks (after thinking about it for months) didn’t make it any easier to start. The ski community is qute possibly the raddest clique. #squadgoals. The Greatest Friends on Earth.
The ski culture is unlike any community I’ve ever experienced. It was easy to embrace, but hard to infiltrate. I had a different blog written – all about me, about my four years, about my goodbye. But you are The Greatest Fans on Earth of The Greatest Snow on Earth. So this is all about you, not me. Thank you for following my journey. Thank you for letting me becoming part of the clique.
What I realized, mainly, is I’m not saying goodbye. It will never end. I love skiing. My passion won’t be shared like it used to be, here, but I still will find a way. And we’ve had some slow seasons. So this one isn’t ending for me. I consciously decided to not attend a single closing day. So it doesn’t count. I’m gonna let it ride. 🙂
Looking back – the first year I worked with Ski Utah (2010) every day was a powder day. It never stopped. And to be honest I was a newbie powderhound. I’d JUST fallen in love. I went over 100 days. I learned how to ski that year.
Your Takeaway: What makes you better? Laps down the hill. Time on the snow. One more run.
Little did I know when writing the script for my Ski Utah video that I (and Matt) would land the most coveted gigs in Utah. We were similar, hailing from the East Coast, choosing Park City as home because of the skiing. We were different because he had that life going already. I got accepted into it. By him and his friends. By skiers I’d meet on chairlifts. By everyone that saw the Ski Utah coat.
Your Takeaway: Everyone is accepted in the Ski Utah clique.
Our approach differed, but we had the same end goal. We both got after it in different ways. Matt crafts better and better videos each season. I chose to experience every single event, opportunity, spa day, dinner on the hills. Both of us simply trying to show you what Utah really is like, how incredible it is. Most of Utah doesn’t ski and most of the US doesn’t know it is the absolute best.
Your Takeaway: Tell the secret to your dearest friends.
You can go from bunny hill to big lines in 4 years. Green to black. I’m proof. In even less if you push it. No matter where you start. Find someone better, make them take you. Thank you Matt, Jeff, Christina, Mike, Missy, Steve, Tricia, Annie, Jared, Emily, oh there’s too many to name. I love you all. You helped me find myself. To John. Not a day goes by I don’t miss you. RIP.
Your Takeaway: This ski family is your family and will become your whole life. It’s more than a sport. The culture becomes the lifestyle becomes the family.
Utah has hidden gems across its regions of skiing and none can afford to be missed. I wrote passionately from day one about how Park City was grand but down south was unique and Ogden was blissful. I tried to convey through words and photos that just because you’ve seen one doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all.
Your Takeaway: Even if you think you know Utah, try something new. Never stop exploring.
Well, I learned more than that. This is the cliff notes version on my incredible and exciting experience. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but like I started out – it isn’t goodbye. Continue to send me your questions and comments. My entire life will revolve around ways to get back to Utah in the winter. I’m not saying goodbye. I’m looking forward to the next season. And the next. Thanks to YOU – I anxiously await our shared memories.
No matter how you found Ski Utah, or what point in your journey you’re on, I hope you can relate to my content over the years. I hope we drew you in and painted a decent picture. I hope you could envision yourself in the powder, flying down the run, high fiving and celebrating a sport/hobby/life you love. I know I will be showing future fans Ski Utah as a resource and raving about the state no matter where I end up. That’s MY Takeaway.
*Let it snow*
The first post I sent out to the audience at my recent new job was a doozy. My marketing plan was simple: to get awareness without sounding braggy. Never easy for a brand. Even harder for a website and marketing agency in the throes of a new website and new marketing strategy. I came on board because I knew two of the team members. And to hear them talk about work, their passion for it, that got me inspired. It took a little convincing for them to get me here. And I wanted to impress them. So I got scared. But I did what I wanted to do. I positioned myself as the new guy. The person just looking in, casually observing and pointing out that there’s an expert team ready to be contacted.
So many times you’re told to not blog in the first person. That bugs me. My use of generic pronouns shouldn’t be what compels you. I think there’s something very real about ME in a story. As I do when I read your stories passionately told about what you think and feel. Discuss. Agree or no?
That post is shared below, and if you want to see it on the Akavit site that link is here. So how did it do? Guess.
Akavit isn’t new—but their approach to digital marketing is. Since 2008 this group has been hard at work making the trends you see and respond to across the landscape of the internet. So, I begged them to hire me. It was actually a pretty big, freaking scary risk. I moved with one suitcase and a car. I jumped at this chance to join the team for a few reasons I want to share with you.
SKILL: Certain truths remain as content marketing and digital design have evolved: Everything you publish must innovate, inspire, educate, and/or excite. If it doesn’t, don’t publish it—the internet doesn’t need more fluff. The work being done at Akavit practices that tenet flawlessly.
STYLE: To get to know us, imagine us. We’ve created a workspace for creators. It’s almost a cliche to work in comfy chairs with collaborative areas, speaker systems dropping sweet beats, the requisite foosball table, the beer fridge for team Town Halls. All of this contributes to a creative environment that produces some of the best work in the Rocky Mountains. But that isn’t what makes us cool. That’s just window dressing. While some agencies push the fun and forget the work that pays for it, here work comes first. The cool factor is the creativity.
SUCCESS: Awards line the walls and come in the mail frequently, but we don’t do this job for the recognition. Mindful creativity goes into every pitch and every design. The advertising IQ in this office is over my head in the most exciting way possible. Even our motto, “If it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t launch” sets the uncompromising standard that Akavit clients get the best possible results, every time.
SWAG: Since I joined it’s been a whirlwind of concepting, creating, optimizing and winning. I’ve been given the support and the green light I’d been begging for previously. Mind = blown. Turnaround times are the fastest I’ve ever seen. Account and Project Managers are in constant communication with clients—in person and over the phone. There’s true authenticity here and a deep commitment to being both helpful and professional—doing what’s the best for the client no matter what.
I admire this agency—and you should too. The collective brilliance of this group of people is astounding – and none of them even asked me to write that. It’s just what I see. I’m still a little bit “outside observer” status around here. Me sharing this story isn’t so much a new beginning, it’s me hoping you get to see another paradigm shift in digital advertising. I want to transparently display to you our inner monologue as we deliver killer work, and explain the practices we employ for you to learn from. You’ll wanna take notes. Connect with us on your favorite social point, and ask any questions you want answered. We’re here to help.
I’ve spent 10+ years teaching myself the art of writing simply. I do that effortfully. My mantra is:
I continually research and adapt. I feel confident that handed any client I can make a difference.
Getting heads down in the work for the last year, it feels like time to come up for some air. And share what I’ve learned. I’m all kinds of jaded by what I see passing for expert knowledge. Only make sense to add to the noise and see if I come out on the right side of things.
Looking forward to where this plan takes us.
which has me utterly confused that anyone would:
Original Article here. Reposting as affirmation. I just did this and have done it many times. The sentiment in this read captures it completely for me. I’ve never felt so alive as when I’ve begun again, started over, challenged myself to try something that scared me.
Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere, sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore. – Stefan Zweig
Turn around, look at your life and decide right now if this moment, this place makes your pulse race and your heart bend. If there’s not a fluttering feeling in the deepest part of your soul, questioning and absorbing everything around you, get out right now.
If you feel comfortable, content and unchallenged… stand up and walk away. Make plans or don’t make plans, but whatever you do, leave this place and find somewhere new.
There’s a reason the word “leaving” sounds so nice. Like saying “see you later” instead of “goodbye,” it puts you at ease. It signifies a fresh start, a departure from the old and overrun. Because leaving is just the precursor to arriving, and there’s nothing better than a fresh start.
Whether it’s a new apartment or a new city, starting over isn’t about changing your scene, but the way you’re living in it. It’s about opening your eyes again, walking to the ledge and looking up, down and across, once again comprehending the vastness of life that sits openly waiting for you.
Life has a tendency to get stale. Like your favorite food, it loses its edge after a while, that special quality that made you love it so much in the first place. We, like the places we confine ourselves to, become as dull and boring as our surroundings.
New experiences are the reason we live. They are the reason we get up every day, the reason we carry on. While we enjoy comfort, we crave experience. The point of living is not to resign yourself to one part of life, but to continually redefine yourself. It’s to baptize yourself, over and over again, in new waters and new experiences.
You have your entire life to be comfortable, to sit in your house and bask in the familiarity of it. But right now, while you’re young and uncomfortable, keep going, keep challenging yourself. Keep making yourself uncomfortable. Because it’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we are growing and learning.
To truly understand yourself, your purpose and those around you, you must keep moving. You must move at least five times; five times to open your heart and dip your toes into something new, fresh and life changing.
1. To get away from what you know
Your first move is like taking flight for the first time. Like learning to fly, you realize the only thing stopping you from the world is yourself. You don’t have wings, you have legs, airplanes and trains. You have buses, cars and ocean liners. You have the world in front of you, with nothing but open sky and limitless possibilities.
But first you must leave the nest. You must say goodbye to everything you grew up with, the small world you once considered enough. You must unlatch yourself from the comforts of the familiar and place yourself in the middle of chaos.
This first move is the hardest. It’s the moment you willingly decide to be uncomfortable, scared and alone. It’s making the decision to become a foreigner, an outsider, a refugee. It’s abandoning everything you once cherished for the idea that there’s something better out there.
2. To find new experiences
The second move you make should be one of restlessness. You should be tired of the same flavors of your now comfortable surroundings. This move is about feeling again. It’s about accepting that you can’t possibly know everything, but you are going to try.
You are going to have experiences, adventures and an unforeseen future. You don’t know who you’ll meet, what you’ll find or how you’ll get there, but you will do it. You will jump into it blindly and openly.
You will make new friends, find new flavors and reignite that passion for life that came with your first move. You will not rest until your hungry soul is placated. You will leave your old friends for new ones, your first language for another and that idea that you’re home for that invigorating feeling of homesick.
3. To chase love
To chase love is to chase happinesses. It’s to decide that you will throw yourself into the swirling, maddening and restless chase we’re all trying to enter. Because love is the ultimate destination, is it not? It’s the reason we move, every day.
It’s the reason we get up and fight through the bad. It’s the reason we keep going, trudging on, meeting person after person. It’s the last goal, the final frontier and the only thing worth moving for.
If you think you’ve found it… in a person, a city, a job, you must move for it. If your dream job awaits in Spain, you must move there. If your heart yearns for the pink beaches of Bermuda, you must go there.
If you fall in love on the dunes of the Cape with a man you barely know, you must follow him. Chasing love is not irresponsible, it’s honest. It’s admitting that there is no greater chase, nothing more important. Because if you’re not chasing love, what are you running after?
4. To escape that love
Love isn’t infinite. It can be found in a moment, a single dose or a fleeting romance. It can be a year of perfect love with someone who isn’t supposed to stay in your life. It can be in beaches that bring you peace until your heart years for something new. It can be in the first bite of pasta and over with its last.
Love isn’t defined by its length but its capacity to touch you and change you. Just because it doesn’t last doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. You must leave for love but you also must realize when that love no longer remains.
You must be strong enough to walk away from finished love to find new love. You must flee the suffocation that comes from stifled love and keep your heart open for more.
You must never settle, never give in to the idea that you can’t have another one. Because the world is full of things to throw your heart into, things to make you weep and realize (yet again) why you’re alive.
5. To begin all over again
You must resist the confines of comfort. You must defy the idea of settled. You must never resign yourself to the ordinary or the easy. You must challenge tranquility for the promise of something greater.
To live is to be born and to continually live is to be reborn, again and again. As a new person, new lover, new friend, you must willingly evolve and transform into new versions of yourself.
You must never allow the new place you’ve created to become the final place. You must consistently defy the idea of comfort for the idea that you’ll never be fully satisfied unless you’re exploring, changing and moving.
Your injury stories are boring.
Your rehabilitation stories are boring.
So are mine. It’s not interesting to people that do what we do because we all test our limits. Everyone goes hard. Everyone breaks something. We all push and then we all suffer setbacks. Then we push again.
All I know is today I ran for the first time in years.
It hurt my pride maybe more than my body. I was self conscious. I was slow. I was in the middle of a city I don’t know.
But I did a few things. I woke up and I put clothes in a bag. I reached out for support and was supported. I turned loud music up, laced up my damn shoes, and suffered. I ran out of breath. I over thought the whole ordeal. And then, I did it. The doing was done. The high set in. The weak knees hurt, but they survived. I survived.
And maybe even that is boring. Most of us survive. Most of us break through the mental barrier. Most of us get back on the horse that kicked us off.
I’m happiest that no matter how long it took I attempted what I feared would be impossible, and I overcame odds and overcame myself. The physical pain I feared was nothing compared to what happened on the inside. That isn’t boring. That’s transformative.