There’s No Such Thing As Luck

Ever since Adam and I made our Bro’d Trip plans known to the world a few weeks ago we’ve had a lot of people tell us how lucky we are that we get to take a year off to visit all 50 states by van. To be honest with you, it’s kind of irritating to me when I hear that I’m lucky to be taking a year off. We both busted our butts to be able to live this dream of ours and we’re doing anything, but “taking a year off,” but that’s another story for another day.There's No Such Thing As Luck

Luck is when success, or failure, just happens out of thin air. With luck there’s no work involved. The best way I can illustrate luck is when you stumble upon a lamp and a big blue magic genie that sounds like Robin Williams appears out of the lamp to grant you three wishes. That’s some luck and if it’s happened to you, I hope you used one wish to wish for an endless supply of wishes.

Rather than realizing it took a lot of hard work to see that someone got to where they are now, we just see where they are and associate it with luck.

Waiting on luck to happen isn’t going to get you anywhere; however, preparation will get you somwhere. Sitting around watching daytime TV in your free time, waiting for opportunity to come knocking at your front door’s not going to get you anywhere. Trust me. I’ve done that before and it got me nowhere. I wouldn’t recommend trying it either. It gets kind of depressing and lonely.

What I’ve found is that preparation tends to be met with opportunity. Almost every person that’s now living the life we wish we were living spent years preparing for where they are now. Preparation is practice for future success. It’s a lot easier to fall flat on your face when only a couple of people are watching. Falling flat on your face in front of a bunch of people sucks and really kills the self-esteem.

Adam and I could have left two years ago on The Bro’d Trip, and to be honest, I’m glad we didn’t. We’ve learned a lot over the past couple years. Working my day job has taught me some invaluable business skills: like being diligent about following up and making a phone call over sending an email when something needs to get done. Our photography and video skills have drastically improved and while you’re preparing, people eventually notice.

I think you know you’re doing something right, or you’re on to something, when preparation meets opportunity. Long hours and late nights tend to feel worthless until you catch a break and get noticed. And that’s what happened with us. We wanted to make The Bro’d Trip great, but we knew it could be even better with some help and low and behold, a couple companies noticed us and offered to lend us a helping hand to make this great.

To say someone’s lucky to be doing what they’re doing belittles all their hard work and preparation that it took for them to get where they are now. Maybe you know the feeling. You bust your butt to get the opportunity you want or to do something you’ve been wanting to do for what seems like an eternity and someone just diminishes all your hard work be equating it to chance, luck. Saying someone’s doing something special, outrageous, or something you want to do one day, now those are words that could be used instead of luck. Let’s be real, we can do anything with some hard work, dedication, preparation, and a little help from others in the form of an opportunity.

Luck has got nothing to do with it.

Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Not many people know that elk roam in the east. There were hundreds of thousands of elk roaming Great Smoky Mountains National Park (before it was actually Great Smoky Mountains National Park) until the 1700’s in North Carolina and 1800’s in Tennessee, that is until humans came through and overhunted them and took over their habitat. For centuries we were relegated to going out west to see these beautiful mammals in their natural habitat. Recently, in 2001, the National Park Service began to reintegrate elk back into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Now elk roam all over the National Park and they’re so cool to see in person.Bull Elk standing in the fields of Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

First you need to get to Cataloochee Valley off I-40 in North Carolina. Take exit 20 and then hang a right on Cove Creek Road. Get comfy because it’s a long 11 mile drive up the winding mountainside, some of which is on unpaved road.

As you drive into Cataloochee Valley you need to keep your eyes peeled. The elk are known to graze at the back of the park in the fields, but sometimes you seem them elsewhere. When my family and I went there we got real lucky and saw them very quickly, grazing in a field just off the side of the road. Adam and I were going bonkers because of how close they were. We each brought our 70-200 lenses and a 2x tele-extender, but it turned out that they were so close that we were just fine using our 70-200.

When you do roll up on a herd of elk, be sure to keep your distance. The National Park Service enforces a 50 yard rule. There are times though that the elk come right up to you and by your car and it makes for an unforgettable experience. Just be aware and be careful. These are large wild animals that will charge if they feel threatened.

In order to see elk, the elk actually have to be there. The best time to go see elk is early in the morning or later in the evening during the fall and spring months. It’ll be chilly during those months and you’ll want to dress appropriately and stay warm. A lot of people bring lawn chairs to sit outside and just look at the elk grazing in the field. A set of binoculars or a cool periscope might help bring them a little closer you as well.

Photographers are a different breed and they’ll want to bring their camera with a telephoto lens, minimum of 200mm.

Soon the elk will be out of Cataloochee Valley for the winter and you’ll have to wait until spring to see them. Make an afternoon trip out there and have a blast putsing around, seeing some of the other wildlife and history that’s in Cataloochee Valley.

Is the World Shrinking or are We Giants?

Taking a trip down memory lane’s fun. You go to the places you went to as a kid and relive your childhood. The thing is that when you go back and take a trip down memory lane, what you saw as a kid’s different than what you see now. Well technically it’s the same. Same waterfall, same river, same beach, same ocean, same scenery, same thing. Everything we saw as a kid was like looking up to giants. Older humans were giants, nature was full of giants, even the grocery store was a giant to us. As we got older, something changed. Our perception changed.Is the World Shrinking or are We Giants?

Yesterday I took a drive through Pisgah National Forest with my parents. It’s a beautiful forest in North Carolina, about 30 minutes south of Asheville. We went to Looking Glass Falls and saw thousands of buckets of water gushing over the falls from all the rain the area’s been getting lately. Then we went to Sliding Rock. It’s exactly how it sounds; in the summer you go to this rock face in the middle of the river and slide down in the chilly water that’s running off the top of the mountain. It’s so much fun to slide down the rock face that everyone goes there. Cars back up waiting for a parking space, picnicking’s prohibited so you get your slides in and then leave as fast as you came, and they shut down the area on some weekends because of the overcrowding.

The first time I went there I couldn’t have been more than seven years old, maybe even younger. I was terrified to go sliding down, out of control, plummeting into the water basin at the bottom. All the water gushing down the rock face looked gigantic to me. After a lot of sweet talking from my mom and my aunt, I finally got in line, waited my turn, and then sat on my butt to go careening down the slippery rock and splashed into the chilly water. I swam to the exit platform and that was it, I beat my giant, I was done.

High school came around and I went back and slid my brains out. I had a blast with my family that day. Older I was and enjoyed sliding down a slick rock for no apparent reason with a sliver of water between the rock and my butt. We slid down that rock and built up a huge appetite and a need for a nap.

The water was pouring down Sliding Rock yesterday. It was raining and had been raining fairly consistently and the rivers were raging up there. My parents and I were the only ones at the parking lot. I hopped out, grabbed my camera and tripod, draped a towel over it and headed down to the base of Sliding Rock. Everything was setup and as I looked through the viewfinder, something looked different. The water was raging down the rock face, so much in fact that it’d be a direct route to pain if you slid down, and yet it all looked smaller.

My perception changed and it what looked gigantic to me, and terrified me, when I was a little kid had me thinking how much smaller the rock face is now and whether or not I’d get seriously hurt should I decide to take a slide. Maybe I gained some wisdom and figured a slide down wouldn’t be the best idea, but I was also seeing this are different.

Maybe something like this has happened to you. Going back to the place where you had a favorite memory as a kid and it’s different. Giants aren’t surrounding you anymore; now you’re the giant.

Our perception changes and it’s just a fact of life. The more we explore, the more giants we’ll see, and then we get to live like a kid again. And being a kid again is awesome.

The Least Favorable Time Traveling Experience

Spring comes around and we’re all stoked to get more light during the day. The sun stays up later, lighting the northern hemisphere until 9pm in a lot of places. A lot of us look forward to the spring and that phenomena happening; about 95% of us are stoked to see the sun hang around until 9pm. Fall comes around and 95% of us get pissed when the sun starts setting at 4:30pm and the other 5% are stoked the sun starts to come up at 6am. The 5% minority look forward to the day that we get an extra hour of sleep and that time traveling experience that takes us one hour into the past. The 95% majority start counting down the days until we get to spring forward and are time traveling into the future.The Least Favorable Time Traveling Experience

When fall rolls around we commute home from work in the dark. Any after work activities are done in the dark. Going for an evening run’s a lot different at night. You’re more aware of who’s around you and you’re running from streetlight to streetlight hoping you don’t trip or roll an ankle in the dark.

Mountain biking after work’s out of the question. Taking calculated risks are fun at times and mountain biking in the dark’s an uncalculated risk. The thought of riding along single track trails by headlamp is awesome. Doing it and potentially running into a tree or nailing a massive rock that sends you hurtling over your handlebars is another story.

The dark night comes much earlier in the day. When we think we’ve got another five solid hours of alertness in us we start to doubt oursleves. We’ve grown accustomed to going to bed a few hours after dark. Now we got to bed five, six, or seven hours after the darkness sets in. 7:00pm feels like 10:00pm and 9:00pm feels like 12:00am.

Time traveling has been on our minds for decades and maybe our ancestors dreamt of time traveling and if that’s case we has a society have been dreaming of time traveling for a century; maybe more. To our dismay we’ve been time traveling every fall. 95% of us think it’s stupid and hate it and try not to think about it.

Once a year when it gets warmer we get to time travel an hour into the future, but that’s not such a big deal. We only skip an hour. We don’t get to see who won the World Series in 2015 or figure out when traveling by hover board, hover car, and anything else that hovers becomes the norm. No we just lose an hour of life.

What’s amazing is that when it gets colder we get a redo. I think we all dream of going back in time to redo something. Redo a failed relationship, redo a test in school, redo that drunken night so that night’s not so drunken. We romantisize the idea of getting to go back in time and redo something and when we’re given the opportunity we moan and groan about when the sun comes up and sets and usually sleep through that chance to actually time travel back in time.

Do we know how to travel through time? Yes we do. To some extent. Twice a year we get to practice time traveling in one hour increments; one hour forward and one hour backward. It’s not much, but it’s good practice so if and someone does perfect the science of time traveling we’re ready and we don’t waste those moments we wish we could redo.

How to be a Hot Mess While Traveling

I’ve been pretty fortunate when it comes to my travels the last 25 years. Within the United States I’ve gone to some pretty rad cities like New York City, Minneapolis, Dallas, Seattle, Asheville, Philadelphia, and some others. International travel’s been the same, flying to Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador on multiple occasions for surf trips and then to other countries like the Bahamas for family vacations. Since I was a baby I’ve been flying on airplanes. Supposedly I’ve flown to Europe too, but I was just a little baby/toddler when my parents took me. I don’t remember it so I just believe my parents when they told me I’ve been there.How to be a Hot Mess While Traveling

Traveling’s one of my favorite things to do and you think I’d be pretty good at it since I’ve been doing it for 25 years. I even thought I was good at traveling until it finally hit me this weekend when I was flying up to Rhode Island with my brother. I suck at traveling. Getting from Point A to Point B is no problem; I can do that. Actually looking like I have my shit together is a different story.

When I travel, I look like a hot mess who just can’t get it together. Sometimes it’s fun and if you’re one of the people I envy; who has it all together when they travel, but you want to look like a nutcase while you’re traveling, then keep reading.

How to be a Hot Mess While Traveling

Step 1: Overpack

You never know what you might need and when. I think that’s a hoarders motto, but the same applies here. Bring every last thing you might need and shove it into your carry-on bags. Use the “If it fits it ships” method. As long as you can cram everything into your bags then you can bring it onto the plane. When you do this you’ll be sure to hold up the line of people behind you waiting to get to their seats because you can’t shove your too big bag into the too small overhead compartment.

Step 2: Forget the rules

When you sit in an emergency exit row you typically can’t have anything sitting on your lap because your hands need to be free in case you need to assist in getting people out the door if the plane were to crash. Pretend the rules don’t apply to you and put something on your lap like your laptop. When the flight attendant comes around he/she will ask you to put it away; giving you the perfect opportunity to hold up the herd of people waiting to get to their seats as you grab your too big bag out of the too small overhead compartment.

Step 3: Walk around wide eyed

The wider you open your eyes, the sooner you’ll be able to spot your gate. That’s a fact.


Step 4: Walk fast

You’re in the airport; good. Now even though you arrived two hours early you need to book it to your gate. Walk fast and get to the gate way ahead of time just in case the plane decides to take off earlier than planned.

Step 5: Breathe heavy

Shouldn’t be a problem if you did Step 5 properly

Step 6: Adopt restless foot tapping syndrome

Even though you’re already sitting at the gate waiting for your group to be called to board stay nervous. Be nervous you won’t be able to hear your group called. Miss your calling and there’s no chance you’ll find enough space for your too big bag in the too small overhead compartment.

Step 7: Be hot

How can you be a hot mess if you’re not hot? I mean come on, it’s in the slang term.


The Definitive Guide To Doing Fall Right

It’s not that fall’s always terrible, it’s just that it makes summer end and summer’s my favorite season of the four. Then winter comes after fall and winter’s my least favorite season. I’ve never really felt the need or desire to embrace fall. To be honest, I try and ward off the cold for as long as possible. That’s pretty easy to do since I live in Florida and if I had my way I’d wear shorts every single day of the year. In high school I almost did that all four years; I’d be one of the few walking through the doors to the outdoor courtyard on 30 degree morning wearing shorts and it was awesome.The Definitive Guide To Doing Fall Right

I’m probably one of the few that feels this way; everyone starts freaking out when fall rolls around and that’s a fact. Whether it’s pumpkin spice everything, campfires, jeans, or flannel, people are freaking out this time of year. Maybe you’re like me and love summer, but also don’t want to look like a weirdo wearing shorts all year. After spending years in college, visiting a few others campuses, taking a stroll in the park from time to time, and commuting to and from downtowns, I’ve been able to compile my carefully researched data and come up with this definitive guide that’ll help you do fall right.

The Definitive Guide To Doing Fall Right

Step 1: Look the part

Get rid of everything that is not denim or flannel The only exception to this is an undershirt. An undershirt is acceptable to wear underneath a flannel, but realistically you know you want to unbutton the top two buttons with an undershirt.

As far as footwear goes you can only wear boots. Shoes will not cut it, you have to wear boots.

Your jeans need to be in between Jnco Jeans that we all loved in the 90’s and those skinny sister jeans that all the scene kids wore in high school. A leather belt is a must. the studded belt you also wore in high school won’t cut it either.

Guys – grow out your beard and embrace your lumbersexual side.

Ladies – leggings with your flannel and boots are completely acceptable with your flannel if that’s your thing. Jeans work too. You have some options.

Everyone – get the slouch beanie on your head. You know the kind where it covers your entire head including ears and forehead yet it still looks like there’s enough room slouching in the back to smuggle candy into the movies. The slouch beanies tops off your look.

Step 2: Pumpkin EVERYTHING

Now that you look like you belong in fall you need to accessorize. For this you have to remember Pumpkin EVERYTHING all the time. Start your morning off a pumpkin in your coffee, breakfast bread, eggs, and cereal. Use pumpkin bread to hold your sandwich together and sip on some pumpkin tea. For snacks eat pumpkin seeds and at dinner make sure there’s pumpkin in your beer, wine, or cocktail. What’s for dinner you might ask? Grilled pumpkin…guts and all. Then for dessert–pumpkin pie.

Step 3: Hang around farmer’s markets

After spending a bunch of time making it look like you belong in fall a farmer’s market is a great place to show off your new wardrobe. Other flannel wearing basics are certainly going to take note of your flannel and it’s the perfect place for you to pickup a pumpkin flavored coffee for the morning and other pumpkin necessities for the upcoming week.

Step 4: Build campfires

I know you don’t like the cold and that’s why we have campfires. Our ancestors used campfires for survival like cooking and warding off predators through the night. Luckily you and I live in a first world country and can build a campfire for the heck of it. Make sure you get that starter log though. Not sure which kind of campfire to build? I’ve got you covered with that. Just be forewarned that there’s a 25% chance you might have Obsessive Campfire Adjustment Syndrome and if you suspect you have that you should get that checked out be a real doctor. Not the one over the internet.

Step 5: Jump into a relationship

Everybody’s doing it and you should too. You don’t want to be the 5th wheel at the farmer’s market or the 9th wheel sitting around the campfire. Let’s be honest though, now that you look like you belong in fall (see Step 1) you’re going to have suitors just knocking down your door coming after you. Right before the holidays is the perfect time to jump into a relationship too.

Step 6: Take pictures at a pumpkin patch

Have you seen the price of pumpkins? Those things are expensive and cleaning out their brains just sucks. All that sticky orange snot stuff is disgusting. You’re better off just going to a pumpkin patch with a friend and your smartphone. Pick up a pumpkin and have your friend snap a picture or better yet, sit on a hay bale with a pumpkin on your lap and get your picture taken.

Follow these 6 steps and you’ll be cure to do fall right this year.

Bug Bites in the Morning

We all hate bugs and bug bites, blood sucking mosquitoes, to be exact. We buy bug spray and take a shower in deet, light candles, lure bugs into a light to then get shocked with electricity, and buy electrified tennis rackets all in the hopes of warding off bugs. It’s like we’re saying I’m warning you, stay back you little bastard  with the bug spray and then Die you son of a gun! when it gets too close and we give it a good zap with that electrified tennis racket. Or we let that attractive light do our dirty work. We hate bugs, they’re annoying, carry disease, leave itchy welts when they’re done ingesting our blood, and they go splat and leave a nasty mess on the windshield of the car.Bug Bites and a sunrise over Lake Jesup

Bug bites suck for obvious reasons, but they’re also a reminder of all the fun you’ve had. My brother and I woke up extra early on Friday morning to take some pictures of a killer sunrise and some yellow flowers. These flowers bloom right along the bank of Lake Jesup around this time of year and they only stick around for a week or two. You can drive right past them one day and then they’re literally gone the next day.

It’s only a 10 minute drive from where we live and it’s an incredible view. This view’s also right off a major highway. Looking out at the flowers, sunrise, and alligator infested lake, you wouldn’t think that right behind you would be a busy highway with cars rushing by one after another. But that’s the case and it’s pretty rad to know that a pristine eco system is right off the highway.

We get out of my Toyota hatchback that’s parked off the highway in the grass of the shoulder and walk down the grassy embankment keeping our eyes peeled for snakes and find our spots to catch the images we want. As we were walking through the wet grass we disturbed those dang mosquitoes. Before we knew it we we’re seeing mosquitoes buzzing all around us and within seconds we started to see bug bites all over our exposed skin. It’s still humid and all I could think about was how badly I didn’t want to go to work with itchy bug bites (total first world problem).

Doing what’s comfortable is engrained into our DNA. Pain and discomfort’s highly frowned upon and we’ll do anything to be comfortable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that sometimes pain and discomfort’s a rewarding necessity. When we’re comfortable we get by, when we get uncomfortable we start to live and thrive.

Sitting at my desk later that morning with some itchy bug bites brought me back to that gorgeous sunrise. It was one of those sunrises where the clouds hit the sun and the sun turned the canvas sky into a beautiful painting. Bug bites are sometimes ok, as long as those blood sucking bastards fly slower and let me smack them.

8 Surfers You’ll Meet in any Lineup

The beach can be a fun place to visit. Some think the sun, sand, breeze, and saltwater are relaxing. Others hate all of that and just like the idea of the beach. For some it’s an extension of a house party and others go to the beach to relive their football glory days. Lifeguards have said that the beach is one big circus and I’m pretty sure we’d feel the same if we were having to enforce simple rules like no fighting, keep the glass off the beach, and keep your booze off the beach. Alcohol + sun = a bad idea.8 Surfers You'll Meet in any Lineup

Paddle out to any surf lineup and you’ll see it’s still a circus with a different set of characters. These are some of the characters you’re guaranteed to see, and maybe meet, when you paddle out to any surf lineup.


Anytime something changes this dude announces it. Doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative, this dude’s going to let everyone know.

Someone new paddling out? We got someone else joining us out here fellas! Someone get a sick ride? Oh man that was a sick floater out the back! And everyone’s favorite, when a set’s coming in. This dude doesn’t yell anything when a set’s barrelling towards everyone. He announces that with the shrill sound of his natural whistle. When you hear three sharp whistle blows, start getting into position, a set’s coming.

Kid Star Prodigy

What are you, like 9? How on earth did you lay into three turns on that closeout and manage to throw and air reverse at the end? These are some of the questions you’ll be asking yourself when you see that kid out surfing. You know, the one that’s way too good for his/her own good. The only excuse you can think of is “It’s cuz he/she weighs like nothing.”

Guard Dog

You weren’t born here, you don’t surf here. That’s the motto the guard dog lives by. This character ensures a true localism vibe in the water. Don’t expect to catch any waves with this character around since he/she is going to be back paddling and cutting you off all day to make sure his/her local buddies catch all the waves they deserve.

Transplant Local

Much like the Guard Dog, the Transplant Local ensures no outsiders catch any waves. The only difference is that they weren’t born there either. Kind of ironic huh.

Stoner who JDGAF

This is probably the best person to come across in the lineup. This dude (or chick) is high as a kite and loving life. Chances are that if you make eye contact with this dude, he’s going to throw you a peace sign or a shakka with a big grin and he majestically glides into his wave.

Sir (0r Ms.) Grumps A Lot

Nothing’s ever right with this character. The wind is always too strong or not strong enough. Even though the waves are pumping, they’re too big and when the swell dies, they’re too small. There’s always a scowl on this character’s face because if they’re not having fun, nobody’s having fun.

Back in the Day

Remember how you’d poke fun at your relative for starting almost every sentence with back in my day…? That’s how this character starts most of their sentences. They just want to remind everyone of what surfing used to be like, and that’s good, to an extent. Just watch how their stories change over time.

Local Pro

The funniest of all these characters has to be the Local Pro. He’s always the one “ripping” the hardest, showing off to the cute babes on the beach, and catching air on the wave you let go by because it wasn’t good enough. Then later in the evening he can be found sitting at the bar 6 beers deep before the sun even sets. We get it dude, you’re good. But if you’re so good, why couldn’t you win an event in the World Qualifying Series?

Just remember that among these characters, you are one of them. Have fun in the water!

Is It Worth It?

It happened again yesterday. I’m cruising through my Twitter feed and BAM there it is RIP Erik Roner. Another immortal face within the action sports community is gone. Another friend, parent, child, etc. dead, taken from this earth for what we think to be, too soon. This coming just one day before the one year anniversary of the passing of JP Auclair, Andreas Fransson, and Liz Dailey and four months after Dean Potter and Graham Hunt fatally crashed mid wingsuit flight in Yosemite Valley. All this begs the question of most everyone–

Is it worth it?Is it worth it?

It’s easy for us to cast condemnations, say these types of people are selfish, but I think there’s something more for us to ask ourselves. Are we doing what we love on a daily basis and making the world a better place?

I first saw Erik on an episode of Nitro Circus on MTV when I was maybe a freshman in college. This nerdy looking freeskiing BASE jumper that was completely out of his element amongst a bunch of athletes used to riding on gasoline powered, two wheel, horses. On every episode I watched, Erik looked happy. Not the happy to be out of work for the rest of the day or happy for the weekend happy, no, the stoked on life kind of happy.

Every winter season I’d look forward to the next freeskiing BASE stunt he’d pull off. Carving through the powder so effortlessly that anyone who watching thought they could do it. The snow would give way to a massive cliff where he’d launch himself into a backflip and as he comes around, throw the chute. Pure poetry in motion as he’d glide back down to the mountain landing smooth and skiing off.

My all-time favorite stunt he pulled was when he attached a butt load of balloons filled with helium to a lawn chair. He jumped on the lawn chair and his crew released the anchor straps and he took off into the sky with a pack packed with a parachute on his back and a shotgun in his hand. As he traveled higher and higher in the sky he started shooting balloons out of the sky and before long he was sitting in that same lawn chair, but this time falling towards earth. Eventually he’d let go of the lawn chair and throw his rip cord, releasing his parachute, and glide safely back to earth, shotgun in hand.

Now he’s gone. Most everyone would say he left us too soon, I know I’m sitting here saying that. There was so much more he could’ve done, but looking in from the outside, I think he lived a full life and “made it.” In theory though, we’ve never made it while we’re still here. We’re, hopefully, always learning, growing, and achieving more and more success.

I think about all of us pushing the boundaries of what we can do. I look up to a lot of people and get inspiration from them all, maybe you do too. Erik was one of the people I looked up to, or through a computer screen. I never met him, but every time I’d see him pulling off a stunt, that’d just get me motivated to do something rad. Not something so rad where I’d ski off a cliff and tuck into a backflip and then throw a parachute shortly thereafter. That takes years of experience and big balls. My balls are not that big. Erik would get me motivated to get out of my comfort zone and dream up something big, for me. I think that’s what a lot of stars (professional sports, movies, music, etc.) do for us common folk. They give us motivation to get outside of our comfort zone and dream–BIG.

Is it worth it?

I think that’s up to the person and their family to decide that. I just know that in my eyes, Erik left this earth in a better place than when he got here and for that, I think he “made it.”

We miss you Erik

That Awkward Mistaken Fist Bump Handshake Moment

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been talking to someone for a bit and then either you or the other person finally introduces themself and then one person goes for the casual fist bump and the other goes for a handshake? Of course you have, we all have! There’s no reason to be ashamed of that happening. I bet this happened next: whoever threw out a fist bump changed it to a handshake and then whoever first threw the handshake went for a fist bump and you were back to square one with the awkward mistaken fist bump handshake moment.

Good job, you both proceeded to make that moment awkward, yet memorable.That Awkward Fist Bumb Handshake Moment

Going forward you could choose to always go with a handshake. It’s a timeless classic that’s also sophisticated, like Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities or Times New Roman, the font. The hand shake is always a safe bet when you meet someone new, and sometimes you probably should throw a handshake. Your boss probably doesn’t want you to fist bump the CEO of the company, unless it’s Nick Woodman, and if that’s the case that means you work for GoPro–nice job! Aside from that, be a little dangerous and go for a fist bump.

Howie Mandel, and other germophobes, might argue that the handshake is actually more dangerous between the two. But I’m talking about a different kind of danger. The kind of danger when you put yourself out there and become a little vulnerable and stand apart from the rest. You see, when two people get caught off guard, something cool happens. They form some sort of an awkward bond, I guess. Laughter ensues when no one can figure out the proper hand contact greeting and the walls start to come down. Heck a secret handshake might even be born.

We’ve become accustomed to getting into a routine. Think about the last time you drove to work, school, the climbing gym, beach, anywhere the commute’s practically engrained into your memory. You may not know the road names, but you can get to where you’re going no problem because you’ve taken that route so many times. I bet you’ve gotten to where you were going on more than one occasion and wondered how the heck you got there and where the time went.

The same concept holds true for when we meet someone new. It’s kind of scripted at times: talk and shoot the breeze, introduce yourself, shake hands, hear their name go in one ear and out the other, say it’s nice meeting them, and then forget their name the next time you see them. I think we need to break the routine to keep things fresh and always be learning, like a child. The next time you meet someone new, think about throwing a fist bump instead of a handshake and be ready for things to be awkward. Who knows, maybe you two will even form a bromance, or some other form of a (insert noun here)mance when you decide to throw it back to middle school and make a secret handshake out of that awkward fist bump handshake moment.