It’s been awhile since I really sat down and wrote. The past month and a half has been jammed packed with life, and I haven’t done a great job being consistent with the blog. In the past month and a half, I biked 180 miles to St. Ignace, ran a week long wrestling camp, went to Faster Horses with friends, wrote my first short story, got an adventure kitty named ‘Orca the Beast,’ built a tiny home on wheels, turned 26, went on a family canoe trip where I was devoured by a hammock, and spent a few days in Ann Arbor as my older brother had a lifesaving surgery. Oh and I nearly forgot, I also got my second tattoo. It’s a small one on my wrist with a whole lot of meaning. I wanted it somewhere I could notice it and be reminded of some of life’s greatest truths. Truths we all know and live by, but are easily forgotten in moments of stress and discomfort.
I’m aiming to leave Michigan August 2nd to head back out west to the Golden state of California. I’m headed back to work in the coffee shop I was at the past 6 months or so. In addition to working at the shop and living in the van I’m hoping to gain knowledge and experience in the filming industry; as I’d like to create a documentary as I go about this journey. As soon as my brother Mukwa heals from surgery we are joining forces and hitting the road in hopes of meeting other like-minded individuals. We have a dream of one day being able to travel the world helping other people reach their goals and knock items off from their own bucket lists. As I’m on the road traveling from place to place I’d like to coach and get into motivational speaking. I understand this is a long shot approach to a different lifestyle but I’ll be honest with you, it doesn’t really matter to me. In the face of all adversity I see no other life for myself.
In my short 26 years I have known commitment, sacrifice, and hard work. I’ve reached the top 1% of elite level mastery in the sport of wrestling. What I did in wrestling is similar to someone who might work hard to become presidents and CEO’s of large corporate companies, or commit their entire lives to becoming successful in the entertainment industry. It’s different in many aspects, but ultimately relative in the fact that we have all worked hard for a dream and found success along the way. The point here isn’t to boast about my previous accomplishments. No, the point I’d like to make is that I have learned that anything great in life comes through sacrifice, dedication, and the ultimate belief in self. Yes, I could go grab a corporate job and put this same drive toward achieving materialistic gains in life, but that’s simply not the life for me. You see I’ve found that I’m a natural born explorer with a heart for everyone. I want to take the same drive, passion, and dedication I used to have toward wrestling and direct it toward living and creating the life I envision. We only get one shot at this thing and my interests and desires are found more in the experiences providing invisible rewards, rather than in the material possessions found in the world of consumerism.
I’m looking forward to embracing my own form of minimalist living. I’m planning to bring no more than can fit in my 40 liter hiking bag. I will do an exact breakdown of everything that I own once I hit the road but for general reference I plan to have a total of 6 shirts, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of sweatpants, spandex to workout, a bathing suit, 1 fleece pull over, 2 bike shorts, 2 nicer pair of shorts, and 1 pair of leisure shorts. I will have a pair of flip flops, running shoes, vans, and cycling shoes. More shoes than I’d like, but in time maybe I will shed a pair or two. Lastly in terms of clothing I’ll have a bathing suit and a towel in addition to a few pairs of socks and underwear. I’m doing my best to limit myself to 3 books in the van at a time, but is proving to be somewhat of a struggle.
Yesterday my buddy and I made a few commitments, or better yet challenges, that we are going to be working on over the course of the next year as. These challenges are to avoid consuming any alcohol, sugar, or man-made preservative type of foods for the next 365 days. I know it’s a bit extreme, but that’s all I know. I’m all in on life and want to see how I feel after a year of consciously eating and giving my body the nutrients it craves. Alcohol is an easy one for me to want to give up because I’m not a big drinker. In fact, if it weren’t for friends and the social expectation society tags to you regarding alcohol I would have given it up long ago. I’m especially eager to give it up after my recent debacle with a hammock while on our family vacation this past weekend. I’ve always told everyone that the fire water our society likes to drink doesn’t agree with me, and this past weekend further enhanced that statement. I went to the local beer tent with a family friend while on our canoe trip last Saturday and wound up having a few too many drinks. Later that night I came back to camp and was swallowed by my hammock rather than peacefully sleeping in nature, like originally intended. It was an ugly situation and that’s about all I have to say it. Funny, but not really. Then lastly we’ve committed to writing freely for 10 minutes’ minimum every day for the next 31 days.
I know these are pretty extreme challenges to have, especially while living in a van and facing an uphill battle, but the truth is I miss the self-discipline I used to have to endure during my wrestling career. I want to see what I am capable of in this lifetime. I want to allow my free mind to shape the life I know is attainable. I simply cannot live a life determined by other peoples perceived limitations for myself. In my opinion this life is a gift and I’d like to maximize the gift I was given.
To wrap it up I’d like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers for my brother Mukwa. He had an extremely invasive surgery the other day that had life threatening implications attached to it. The surgery was 7 hours long and extremely tedious as my brother’s situation is highly fragile and rare. It was a successful procedure where they scrapped the old scar tissue out of his intestines and did a bypass to his mesenteric artery, allowing for blood flow to return back to his bowels. He is a few days into recovery and is doing well. He is expected to have a yearlong recovery process with the first few weeks in the hospital making sure everything returns back to normal. Once he gets back on his feet and is able to adapt to a normal lifestyle, he is going to jump in his RV and join me on the road of nomadic living.
Thanks for sticking with me! Talk to you soon!