Tag Archives: attitude

#Asawesomeasitcanbe

Do you ever think you have it figured it out? You have your routines. You have your standard trips you go on every year. You know what to expect and what you are getting into. That maybe it is not as special because you have done it before. Well sometimes you need a reminder to show you how special every moment can be. Don’t take for granted the moments that seem routine just because you are in your comfort zone.

Each year my kayaking buddies and I make the pilgrimage to what we consider the promised land. You see living in Utah and being a kayaker has it’s challenges. It is kind of like being a skier and living in Wisconsin. Not ideal.  We have sparse water, not many large rivers and the creeks that do run during run off teach you to not flip over or you will lose your face!  Luckily Utah is situated just south of what is known as the whitewater state, the land of water and wilderness, the great state of Idaho.  If you live in Utah and you paddle, you either spend a lot of time in Idaho or you spend a lot of time staring at dry creek beds thinking about Idaho.  For this reason we have the annual trip to the Payette drainage. 4 days of endless whitewater, hot springs, great camping, and very minimal phone reception.  Paradise for paddlers if you ask me.
We always go in June when water levels are great and temperatures are high. This year I offered to give my sweet wife a break from taking on the kids alone while I run off on another adventure. I set it up so I would drop off my 4 year old at my sisters house in Boise on the way up. He would stay and play with his cousins for a few days and I would pick him up on the way home.  Amazingly enough, it all worked out.  So on Wednesday night we loaded the truck with all our gear to keep us entertained in paradise for 4 days and we left Salt Lake City. 4 kayaks, 2 surfboards, 4 grown men and one 4 year old named Emmett.
A couple of hours into the journey we made a pit stop. We loaded up on some snacks and drinks, made sure Emmett used the facilities and jumped right back on the road. Up to this point I had been pumping Emmett up and trying to get him stoked for the long late night drive.  Telling him how he is on a “dudes road trip”.  Or how we are so cool because he is on his first kayak trip. Every song that came on the radio with a good beat, Emmett would bounce his head or play a little air guitar. I could tell he felt pride in being on a legit road trip. It was at this moment that 4 grown men were blown away by the simplicity and stoke of a little dude having a brand new experience.  One of the passengers looked over at Emmett and asked “How awesome is this Emmett?” Emmett keeps jamming to the tunes and replies from his car seat “As awesome as it can be.”
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All four of us sat there slightly dumb founded by the simplicity of the statement. Emmett was completely right.  What seemed routine to me because I had made that drive a billion times was as awesome as it could be.  It didn’t matter where we were really going. We were getting after it and not letting the days go to waste. We were chasing passions and finding time in our busy lives to do something that we hold precious. It was as awesome as it can be at that moment.
The trip went off without a hitch. Emmett had a great time in Boise. We paddled as much as we could in 4 days and we all returned home to families, jobs and our busy lives. But one thing was different this time. We all appreciated the moments a little more.  Thanks Emmett for sharing your 4 years of wisdom. Every high five after a rapid or smile after a soak in a hot spring or greeting each other in the morning after sleeping through a rainstorm, the question was posed “how is it going?” The reply is now always the same.  “As awesome as it can be”.
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What’s the Magic Word?

Many of you that I have spent time with in 2013 have heard me give the same response over and over again when asked if I want to join in on a certain activity or adventure. The reason the same answer keeps coming to my lips is because it is proving to be the right answer. Three little words have led me to witness the formation of earth right in front of me, start my work days off with powder skiing, fish for crabs in the middle of the night, and paddle 3 great creeks in one day in the most beautiful mountains in the western United States. What is the magic answer you ask that seems to be my golden ticket to amazing experiences? Simple, say it with me, “I’m 100% in!” Say it again “I’m 100% in!”

A willing heart is hard to come by these days. Especially if the outcome is unknown. I have no problem finding an adventure partner to go skiing at a local resort on a powder day. That is standard stuff. Almost everyone is willing to go for it when the payout is guaranteed. Even when you are sure to win, we do not always commit due to laziness or lack of motivation. Being 100% in is valuable when you are stepping into something new or where an outcome in uncertain. Snow could be bad, weather could turn, and there maybe nothing to see once you get there. But to risk sounding cliché’, the adventure is in the journey.

Often times the highlight of using this answer is not the opportunity you commit to. It actually is seeing the response of the one asking the question. A lot of people throw out ideas knowing that no one is going to agree to go along with it, but when you do, a smile grows big on your friends face and you can instantly see the stoke machine start revving its motor and getting everyone’s energy level up. That is a great affect to have on people.

One of the biggest hurdles for people to get over is that in their own mind they think that they are the type to try anything or be willing to jump right in but when it comes down to the moment, they find a reason to hold back. While Becky and I were living in Hawaii my mother in law and father in law visited us for a week. We had a great time showing them around and doing all the standard Hawaii stuff. One evening my mother in law mentioned that she feels like she backs down from activities too often when she is on vacation and leaves my father in law to do them on his own or with other members of the group. She committed to herself not to back down on the next activity. With that in mind my father in law quickly booked us all to go skydiving the next day. True to her word, my mother in law followed through. This may sound terrible but the sight of seeing my mother in law get pushed out of a plane at 14,000 feet is a highlight in my life. She committed to be 100% in.

Here is a quick test I developed (very scientific) so you can see for yourself if you are 100% in.

– When you see the ocean, do you touch it with your toes or jump right in?

– When you see a beautiful mountain do you enjoy the view from your car or start running towards it slopes?

– When someone asks you if you have plans for the weekend, what is your response? (hint: it should never be “nothing”) Even if you have to work, you should be 100% in.

– When was the last time you had an opportunity to go someplace new, did you go?

The benefit of going 100% in is learning how to truly experience and process opportunities that come our way. You get a better understanding of the world around you and increase your knowledge more rapidly. Not every opportunity is a fun one but I can tell you that only going 50% in on an activity that you are not 100% stoked on decreases your overall pleasure by 63%, 100% of the time. (All the above stats are proven fact and data is stored in the archive know as my brain).

The last 10 years I have met lots of new adventure partners and formed some great friendships with some. One of the greatest attributes of those that I am drawn to is their willingness to get after it and try new things. I find my wife very sexy because she lives 100% in. She is always willing to go along with whatever opportunities we can create. This has helped us to see the world together and experience things that have strengthened us as a couple. I hope to pass this attitude on like the plague. Ever since I took this on as my go to response, I have been energized, focused and pleased with the outcome. Although my expectations have not always been met, I have not yet been disappointed with my decision to lose a little sleep, skip a meal, work late into the night just because I chose to be 100% in. Here are some pictures of what going 100% in has given me in the past 6 months. Thanks to all you reading this that are also 100% in. You are making a difference in my life and making me a better person.

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