Ruffling Feathers

Photographer: Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

My most recent post ‘Grab 2016 by the Balls’ has ruffled some feathers and received some negative comments. As a writer I take it as a compliment. If my writing stirs up emotions be it anger, inspiration, embarrassment, etc… it doesn’t matter — what matters is it touched you enough to feel something and that’s all I want.  

Writing is open to interpretation but I had a specific intention with that post and that was to encourage everyone to live their best life; to not leave this life full of regret.

If you’re happy with your office job, your mortgage, and your 401-K this post wasn’t intended for you. It was for those who aren’t, it was a wish for them to value their happiness and the little time they have on this Earth — to fight for the life they’ve always dreamed of. 

The comments posted felt defensive for a life that doesn’t need defending. If you’re in line with what you want and happy with the path you’ve chosen then keep doing that — everyone has their own recipe for happiness. When people get defensive it’s usually because they’re being called out on their shit (nobody likes being called out) and there’s some truth in the words being projected on them. I’m doing my best to make sure this post doesn’t come off as defensive and as more of a clarification of my intentions. 

I don’t want you to live my life. I don’t think my life is the key to happiness, no fucking way. My life is an example of risking it all to be the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. An example of sinking into discomfort and coming out on top. An example of not taking no for an answer and to push myself past it’s boundaries mentally and physically.

I want you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. I don’t care if that dream is owning a home, starting a family, or traveling around the world. Just grab life by the balls and do it. 

This is my path, my version of happiness. And when I receive comments like this one,

“I read it and have made some drastic changes in my life already. Loved every word.”

I know I’m doing something right. 

Flipped Switch

Yesterday a switch was flipped. I took a young married couple out on a SUP tour - my first solo tour (I've been training all week). They were ripe with that I'm on vacation and everything is amazing smell. We talked about where they're from, what they do, and we became friends for those two hours.

As we were floating along the coast we all jumped off our boards into the 75 degree Pacific Ocean letting our boards float freely. I lost myself in that moment and felt completely content for the first time since I arrived. 

"Alright, this is pretty fucking cool."

After that moment, I saw everything differently. It's like I was waiting in line to get into the club,  listening and watching everyone have fun, outside long enough to begin wondering if I really wanted in anyways. Turns out, it was worth the wait. 

This whole time I've been missing wool socks, beanies, fireplaces, and falling snow. It's easy to wish you were somewhere other than where you are. This is why I travel and move so much, I don't like to give myself time to feel that way. 

Once I know I'm going to be somewhere longer than a month I start to sabotage my own happiness. But I'm finding my brave and leaning into the places I visit a little more every time. 

I'm living in my bikini, eating fresh fruit, meeting new people, jumping off waterfalls, swimming in the sea, and stumbling over my Spanish every day. Yeah, it's pretty good and I feel like an idiot for wishing I was anywhere else. 

And now my partner in crime, Natali Zollinger, is moving here to join me for the Winter. She's a fitness queen and a motivated mama. I'm ecstatic! We're in the process of getting our SUP instructional business Rvr2Rvr up and running -- having her here is going to fuel the creative fire and help keep me my head out of the palm trees :)

Something To Fight For

These women are the definition of strength. Like Sarah, my western view on Afghan women always made me feel sorry for these women. Rather than seeing them as warriors I saw them as helpless victims to unfair societal laws of oppression. To look fear in the face as these women do and to risk their lives for rights like riding a bicycle, rights that we take for granted, that is true strength. I look up to these women and I look up to Sarah for overcoming her fears to tell the story of these beautiful women.