Take chances

Life can be so awesome.  All you have to do is take some chances.  Push some boundaries.  Go exploring.

When I was 22, I moved to Barrow, Alaska with a few of my friends.  We had just graduated from college and weren’t quite ready to enter the real world yet.  In case you don’t know where Barrow is, it is the northern most point in the US.

index

I must say, it was quite a shock.  By September, the ocean had begun to freeze over.  By October, it was totally dark for most of the day.  In January, we didn’t see any light for weeks.  Come March, the sun was out most of the time.  By June, we didn’t see any darkness for weeks.  Crazy.

But that wasn’t the coolest part.

We befriended many people who have never left Barrow (it’s land locked meaning there are no roads so the only way in and out is by plane and the closest village is Prudhoe Bay which is 90 miles away.  For reference, Fairbanks is 502 miles south!).  The Inupiat Eskimo hunt Bowhead whales and they bring them onto the land and then make food out of them.  They eat the blubber which they call Muktuk.  It was strange but really cool.

muktu

We saw polar bears.

We rode snow machines on the tundra and chased antelope.

We experienced 60 degree BELOW zero weather (you literally could not have any skin exposed just to walk 20 feet outside to the car).

While I was there, I really missed my family.  And sometimes it was really hard to be away from them.  But I learned a lot about myself.  Things like perseverance, acceptance and open-mindedness.

I have often been asked if I would ever go back.  I don’t think I would but I also wouldn’t trade the experience for $1,000,000.

Take some chances.  Experience some life.  You never know what you’ll find.

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Thinking back

This past weekend, my wife and I surprised our 2 kids with a weekend trip to Disneyland.  After a little roller coaster ride of emotions from my 6 year old, we settled into the flight and headed south.

The weekend was crammed full of rides, walking, treats, laughs, tears (from my 2.5 year old) and a little bit of sleep.

After getting the kids home and to bed last night, I started to reflect on the weekend.

We had so much fun.  The joy in the kids faces when they saw all the Disney characters.  And the memories we made.  And when can we do it again.  And probably most importantly, that I don’t ever want to forget any of the details from the trip.

And that got me thinking back to all the different  things I have done in my 38 years.  Some would say I’ve done a lot.

I’ve ran track for Team Washington in Tokyo and Matsumoto, Japan in high school.  I lived in Barrow, AK for a year (Google it, the place is way up there).  I traveled to London, Barcelona and Ibiza with a couple of my best friends.  I married the love of my life.  I honeymooned in Belize.  I have been to Hawaii 7 times.  I have 2 wonderful kids (my 6 year old son has been on more plane rides than I had by the time I was 25).  I’ve skied at 13 different resorts.  I’ve summited Mt. Adams and Mt. Baker and almost been on top of Mt. Rainier twice but been turned around due to weather.  I was a student assistant basketball coach in college for the WWU women’s basketball team and we made it to the Final Four.  I’ve been in the Smoky Mountains, Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Olympic Mountains.  I’ve seen a NASCAR race in North Carolina.  I saw Ground Zero 4 weeks after 9/11.  And I know there are a lot more that I can’t think of.

And as I reflect on all these things, I realize I have a really hard time remembering the details.  But I sure wish I could because I know they were awesome, crazy, fun, and exciting and I met some really incredible people along the way.

Now, as I type, I am inspired to plan my next adventure.  Maybe it’s a trip with my family to some unknown place.  Or maybe it’s going to be this weekend.  Who knows?  But I can’t wait.

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Do Life

wrazz_logo_icon4 years ago, a good friend of mine and I started a company. We had no idea what we were doing. It was incredibly awesome. And incredibly scary.

About a year after we had the original idea, we launched. We were so excited. And then something just didn’t feel right. No one knew what we were. We quickly realized that we had gotten so excited at every new idea that we just kept adding them in. It’s called feature creep.

I also found some stuff out about the team that I didn’t like. Should have done some better due diligence. But we were new. And clueless.

So I shut it down.

But late at night, after the wife and kids had gone to bed, I would get this feeling deep in my soul. Night after night. Week after week.

So I started white-boarding again.

And about 18 months ago, I reached out to my developer and asked for some time. Luckily he said yes.

So John and I got together at a coffee shop and I shared with him this idea that I had been toiling with. And he got it. And he loved it.

So we started building another company. Me, John and Ian (Ian is my partner from the 1st go around, and one of my best friends).

In a nut shell, we love to experience all that life has to offer. And we love to do it with the people we love the most. And we realized that even though we live in a “social” world, our relationships are struggling. “Social” is not “Relational”. And life is all about relationships.

We are about 2 weeks from launching our new company. We know we are going to make mistakes again, but hopefully we learned to avoid some of the big ones. We hope people like it.

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