Archive for February, 2010

There Could Be Gold In It

// February 12th, 2010 // No Comments » // Climbing, Hiking, Leadership

The other day I saw someone running down my street and immediately thought “why”, and “what could that person be running from”? After all why else would someone run? Now with the Olympics starting in Vancouver BC, my thought has taken a 180 degree turn of inspiration causing me to ask “what are these people running towards?” If we are writing an article, a book or a blog; if we walk 5 minutes, an hour, a day; if we climb the stairs, a hill or Mt Everest; what is our goal ultimately? Why it may seem at first to be vain, futile or silly, we just need to look at the reason for which we started and see, even if from a distance, that finish line or summit where we wish to stand to see the purpose in each stride. To me it then is not “what are you running for or from, but “wow, what are you running towards?!” Run faster, there could be gold, climb higher – just be ready for cold.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Shelter From the Storm

// February 10th, 2010 // No Comments » // Climbing, Other

Last week and again tomorrow I will be teaching the students at The Vail Academy and the Charter Academy how to build snow shelters for winter survival. For most outdoor programs it is beneficial to have good weather, but for this I am actually hoping for a storm. Lots of heavy, wet snow. The kind that soaks your clothes but makes perfect snowballs – this also makes perfect shelter. In thinking about this and lessons from it, and by personal experience, I have seen that the very thing which the storm is driving at us could kill us, but it is that exact thing which can save us from it as well. The saying goes that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When the storm gives you snow, make shelter, if you are lonely – make a snowman or woman. If you are thirsty melt it and drink. What storm is life hammering at us today? Is there something to be snatched from the storm and used to make us stronger or potect us? Don’t get beat down by it instead be delivered. Let the wind and snow give us a place to go to get away from wind and snow. Ecclesiastes 7:12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. We will gain wisdom if we can weather the storm, it may not be the Ritz but the storm has given you what you need to make it through another night.

The Drain

// February 2nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Other

While bathing my twin girls after a nice meal of pasta and red sauce and a freshly blown out diaper, I noticed the water getting murky. What started as a cool bath also seemed to somehow miraculously be getting warmer. They were dirty, and I was getting dirty by trying to get them clean. In this water no matter how hard I would try nor how much soap I might add, no one was going to get clean. We had to open the drain and start with fresh water. This is a concious decision similar to one we all face in life when we feel dirty inside and need a new start. No amount of washing is going to remove that stain we have from poor choices, bad habits, and misdeeds, but how do we open the drain on that and start over? In a word – confession – to the one we have hurt, yes; to a priest, you could; most importantly to God. Jesus is on the receiving end of that drain and wants to take whatever may come down the pipes away from us. No, I am not saying he is the equivalent of a sewage treatment facility, but it works kind of the same way. The dirt, stink, and filth of life comes down and what comes out is life giving water. When climbing the high peaks and stinking after weeks it is the same thing. No one will use the old water in the wash basin especially after a stinky teammate has washed his old undies in it. We want a fresh start. Don’t just add soap, open the drain and start over for that fresh tingly new feeling.


// February 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Climbing, Hiking

If you have traveled on a plane recently you have most likely flipped through the seatback to find the Skymall catalogue and seen inside, among many things a person will never truly need, framed pictures for sale called “Successories”. These include sayings about words we should all want to apply in our lives such as; honor, integrity, leadership, skill, teamwork, perseverance, fortitude, motivation, success, or ambition. It struck me as I read this, what if while trying to apply these one is pointed in the wrong direction? It does not matter how much of the above one posesses, the end result could be disastrous.

The mental picture I formed was of a basejumper motivated, working with others, strong and detrmined running to jump off a cliff without a parachute. I could just hear him say running with arms stretched out forward in the superman position “I am determined, I will fly!” However, in this moment, though the skill is there the edge of the cliff is the wrong direction. On those days where we feel as though we are in a freefall, perhaps we need to take a moment and make sure we are adequately prepared for that which we are undertaking, and see that we are oriented in the right direction. I know I need to take into account my skill, desire, abilities, along with preparation and then double check the direction to ensure a good flight and a great landing.