Archive for September, 2010

I Shouldn’t Be Alive!

// September 28th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Advice

Heli Rescue

If you are to look back over your life surely you have a time when you can say – I shouldn’t Be Alive!  Maybe it was a near miss in a car, maybe choking on a gob-stopper, or even breathing in fumes from a dirty diaper.  We all have stories but few compare to those of the new series on the Animal Planet Network I shouldn’t Be Alive.

I love the stories, but as I watch I have noticed something and have become a bit concerned about myself.  That is because as I watch I have found that I know more than one of these people/victims.  If I don’t know them well, I know someone else that does.  Though I don’t participate in many of the activites that these people do, I still feel a little too close to some of these stories.  As it airs on Animal Planet, sometimes animals are the cause for a person’s demise and sometimes the reason for a person’s survival, but not all shows have to do with animals.

While I may have a survival story or three, of my own I am constantly impressed by two things in this show.  One is that the survivors show incredible strength and resolve, and two that almost every situation can be traced back to one pivotal moment and a decision gone bad.

The show is indeed educational and inspirational and if you find you are in need of a little of both I suggest you tune in to gain a little of each.  Just by doing this, I feel that the next time I go and make a bad decision, at least I may have learned a little about the survival attitude to get myself out of a predicament and not be too much of a wimp.

Stop the Eruption! A Climb for Epilepsy

// September 27th, 2010 // 5 Comments » // Climbing, Leadership

This past week I was able to get outside with my buddy John Olson.  I have known John for over seven years now and we have spent a considerable amount of time together in the mountains.  He is now twenty-two years old and still suffers from a siezure disorder that has had him in the hospital a number of times and for a number of surgeries including his brain.  Recently John received a piece of new technology which was implanted near his left clavical and is hoped to diminish the number of siezures John is subjected to by up to 80%.  We took this implanted device for a test ride in the peaks to see if it would still be possible for John to be a part of a team of epileptics that would climb a m ountain to raise money for research and hopefully a cure.  We would call the climb: Stop the Eruption as siezure disorder is known as “the volcano.”  Watch the video and get to know John, then join us and help us plan to Stop the Eruption.

A Zoo at the Zoo

// September 24th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Just the other day I had the opportunity to share a wonderful life experience and first with my wife and twin daughters – a trip to the Denver Zoo.  My girls are both two years old and this would the first time for them to visit and see such amazing creatures.  The day started off with much enthusiasm as we had been building up this event for them and they knew this day was special.  There was dancing and singing, arms being waved about, laughter, smiles and animal impressions being made.  There was nothing but joy in the car as we sluggishly made our way through traffic.  Finally we had arrived and with expectations the size of Santa’s Christmas bag of toys and couldn’t wait to get in – and the girls were a little excited too but their exuberance was becoming less than that of their parents.  There was interest at the monkey cage, a giggle at the mountain goats, a dance at the carousel, but by the time we had made it to the giraffes and pachyderms they became more interested in the monkey sharing the stroller.  At lunch there were spills, bees, giant African cutter ants and fleas (I think my wife got a cutter ant in her eye because I don’t know what else could have caused her to scream like she did).  As soon as it had begun it was now over.  Nap-time loomed and like the lazy lions my little cubs too needed some rest and some shade from the 94 degree heat.  With the help of aunt Jill, cousins Julia, Caleb and Joanna the meltdown at the zoo was narrowly escaped.  It was a joy, perhaps premature, but until next year we will leave the zoo at the zoo because we have one of our own here at home for now.

Blog Talk Radio

// September 23rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Climbing, Hiking, Leadership

I had the opportunity to do a radio interview over the internet for blog radio.  My first of this sort after having done many other television and radio interviews.  The host Angelia Miller was thoughtful, kind, and well prepared as she asked some interesting questions about some of my world travels and high climbs.  Follow this link and listen in, I’ll take you to Everest.

Michael W. Smith Bought Me Dinner

// September 21st, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Other

My father -in-law Rob takes care of the chapel at Beaver Creek.  This picturesque chapel is in the mountains of


Colorado where I got married six years ago.  Sitting at the base of the Beaver Creek ski area it is frequented by various celebrities, some of whom have even spontaneously dropped in to tickle the ivories of the Grand piano.  The piano is big, black, shiny and beautiful and among other things expensive to tune.  When people drop in and start hammering away on this thing of beauty my father in-law is quick to let them know they need permission to play and sends them on their way – unless of course they are making wonderful music.

One fall night last year a joyous group had entered the chapel and began to play and sing without notice or permission.  Rob quickly ran down to see what was going on and told the group that they really shouldn’t be playing.
Rob, however, recognized the music and said “that sounds like Michael W. Smith.  You know hes used to come and play at the church here and even led worship down in town one time.”  He went on with stories about Michael, Kannakuk camps, his kids, when someone from the group interrupted and said “this is Michael right here.”  Rob got embarrassed and said they could keep playing.  Before they did they asked him to take their picture, which he did, and the funniest thing of all was that they gave him some money and said “go have dinner on us.”  I laugh to think that he accepted it, but also that in the picture he took were probably a few other well known artists.

Just yesterday Micheal returned and played to the students at a local school where my church meets and then went up and played another spontaneaous concert at the chapel.  I told Rob to go back down, take a picture, and try to get us all dinner – he declined laughing at himself from last year.  Thanks Mr. Smith for entertaining our town and for buying dinner – enjoy the piano and have a nice time here in Beaver Creek.  learn more about Michael W Smith

Updated or Outdated

// September 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Trying to keep up with technology today is like trying to catch a cheetah with fly-swatter. I understand the technology


and could well use it, the question is: do I want to? At what point is it just a ploy to get me to spend more money on things that will be obsolete the moment my card gets swiped.  My desktop is weak, my laptop is bugged, my router is slow, digi cam res too low, cell phone can’t chat, youtube won’t load, and such is life on technology row. There’s new stuff out that looks oh so slick, but I know that soon it too will sit on my desk like a brick.  For a month, maybe three, I am filled with glee as the devices hold true to the promise of serving me.  But soon I know degrading they will go as bugs and dust and viruses are a must.  I will do my very best to not live in envy of what’s new, my current machines still allow me to do the job I need to do.  When that day comes and it all must be replaced, the best thing I can think of is to meet people again face to face.

1 million small steps to the Top

// September 18th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Uncategorized

Trusty Steeds

This morning I gave a presentation to a young ,and small, consulting group in Denver Colorado (RAS & Associates) that is well on their way to being a great success.  As I was getting dressed I thought about the journey they are on and how easy it is to look far ahead at distant goals and financial desires and miss some of the small steps that get us there.  I began to slip on my nice leather dress shoes thinking of the saying that goes “you can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears.”  I realized that these shoes said nothing about me at all.  I quickly opted for my trusty old Gore-Tex trail runners that had been around the world with me, stepped on dung piles for me, forded icy creeks under me, ran from storms to safety and even managed to share a few summits propped up on my feet above me.  These are the shoes that say the most about me and know me best.  They have holes in the toes, the rubber flaps loosely below, the laces are a thread away from breaking and the lining is coming out, yet they have never given me a blister.  I can’t just toss them in the trash, they have been a trusted companion trail or no trail.  I told them why I had worn these shoes and then said this is the like the journey of a consultant: built on trust and relationship that should endure the long road.  Hopefully you will provide the kind of service that keeps clients coming back until you fit like that favorite old shoe.  Walk beside them step by slow, small, step focused on one thing at a time knowing that the main objective is always out there and may, often only be reached after partnering for a million little strides.

The Short Bus

// September 17th, 2010 // No Comments » // Leadership

Put yourself back in the latter years of elementary school.  When you arrive at that place back in time, think of the end of the day and getting on the bus.  The line of busses with numbers corresponding to the routes they drove and a driver who did his best to get you home safely in spite of balls, food, books, and the small kids being thrown about.  Now think about the bus that was shorter than all the others and the people who got on that bus.  If you don’t remember this bus, that is partly my point.  Typically this bus was filled with the kids that had special needs, were in special ed, and only got attention when they were being made fun of.  It was like this at my school, and most kids didn’t want to associate with the “short bus” group lest the ailments be contagious and the stigma be too much to ever wash off.

If it were the first day and you were attending a new school, what group would you most want to make friends with right away?  The smart, the pretty, the funny, the athletic standouts they all come to mind well before the riders of the short bus.

My nephew Parker was just in this exact situation.  He made it to the lunch room, had no friends, and needed a place to sit.  Parker could have forced himself in with many groups because he is handsome, smart, fun to be with and the list goes on, but he chose to sit with the kid who had one arm, the girl who was partially blind and gazed at the ceiling, and those with developmental issues.  It probably was not his first choice, but he bravely did it anyway.  My sister was sad and thought it to be perhaps a bit pitiful for her boy.  I told her that an act like that from a kid like him is much more nobel than pitiful and is indeed something that makes God smile.  My little nephew reminded me that it is good sometimes to take a ride on the “short bus” and show others that you care.  He has just challenged me to re-evaluate my own pursuits and intentions.  I am proud of that boy.

Game Changing Moments

// September 15th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Recently I uploaded a video to an online leadership conference. The one question that was asked to those who wished to submit a video was: “Can you describe a game changing moment in your life?” My submission is the three minute video below and describes how an unlikely team changed the game of climbing Mt. Everest.

Friday’s Stress Free Moment

// September 10th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Maybe your computer has crashed, your documents got deleted, the phone disconnected, fire has threatened your home, the kids won’t stop crying, the car is dying, traffic is snarled and your feeling gnarled. Take one second, breathe deep, watch Beaver Creek roll by and imagine you are there sipping your favorite beverage in the shade of these trees. Ciao stress, until next week when we meet again.