I made the decision to close the not entirely real company I had. Dirtbag Packworks was a nice idea, and represented the first time I tried to follow through with an idea I had. After spending my summer interning at Cilogear, I’ve found that I don’t really have the patience or the skill to run a company in a way that is responsible and sustainable. That, and the fact that I can’t draw a straight line to save my life.
A few weeks after I got fired from Regence, I was asked by my friend Graham what my plan was. I responded that “If I wanted to start my own company, I’ll have to get a real job. But if I want to be a bad ass (on my terms) alpine climber then I couldn’t get a real job because I need the time to train. I want to be bad ass.” That decision was half joking. Graham then gave me the opportunity to go to the Outdoor Retailer Show in SLC. This cemented it, I do not have the patience to do the handshaking and schmoozing that needs to be done. I also don’t have temperament to do it. I know that at some point I would light up some ass hole on the internet, and there would go my customer base. Lastly, I decided that someone was already making the most beautiful climbing packs in the world.
After a lot of time and some serious thinking, I’ve decided to spend the next year doing all the climbing I would have been doing had I been fortunate enough to be encouraged to climb when I was eleven years old. That being said, I don’t think it was until the last year or so that I have developed the self knowledge and discipline to follow through with this course of action. I may seem that I’m deciding to be lazy, by not working a regular job to do something as inconsequential and useless as climbing. However, I would say (and I am biased) that following one’s dream, or whatever new agey term you want to use, is a hard road to travel no matter what it is. Doing this is going to entail a huge lifestyle change for me, entailing changing the way I spend money, eat and arrange my life so that I can achieve my goals. As Will Gadd pointed out, this can be slightly scary.
If you want to climb 5.15, win mountain running races or whatever then you’ve got to have the physical training, the mental strength, and the lifestyle to get it done… Kinda cool and daunting at the same time when I first realized that I was going to have to re-structure my entire life if I wanted to perform at a higher level than I currentlyw as.
I don’t have any real intention of obtaining the false glory of being a sponsored athlete, though I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t take it. This is about me, cutting to the core of who I am. Pulling out the things the potential that has lied buried deep and cut out the parts of myself that hold me back. As my friend Chris put it I’ve “got the biggest self defeating streak I’ve ever seen”. He’s spot on and I know this, I’ve known it for a long time, but I know that I can cut it out of my head like the cancer it is.
I’m inspired and I’ve got the support of those I care about most, now its time to put in the work.