“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Throughout college you're asked what you plan to do for a career and I never had the answer - I grew up a wrestler and my passions were found in grinding it out on the mat.
I used to look at words from Robert Frost’s poem and wonder what it really meant to walk the path less traveled. At the time I was deeply centered in the matrix of society, imagining a path outside our current debt structure wasn’t a topic easily grasped.
I was headed toward a short life while trotting down the common path; getting fired from my corporate sales position was the best thing to happen to me, it woke me up and started me on the path I’m on today. While coaching at Stanford University I remember a day when my friend and I were hiking in Santa Cruz at Castle Rock State Park and I told him how I wanted to walk away from wrestling to see what else was out there.
The hike led to a decision to walk away from a 20+ year relationship with the sport. I believe I was 23 at the time and chose to make the decision before mentioning it to my mom - I had to do it alone, I feared talking to her would keep me in the coaching game and ultimately in a place I didn’t want to be. It might not seem like a big deal on your end of the words, but it was like moving a Mountain on mine - for the first time in awhile I began to see around the mental obstruction formed throughout my life while valuing others opinions of myself higher than my own.
I always wanted to inspire but thought of it as a far off venture. After getting fired and making the decision to walk away from wrestling it allowed me the mental space to take an objective look at my life. I began to wake from the helpless state of mind I burrowed into, and found a growing resourceful state on the other side. As a kid I enjoyed playing sports, building forts, and getting lost in the woods. Throughout grade school and into high school I focused more of my attention on wrestling, and lost touch with the adventurous side of myself. I went from Tarzan as a boy to the Michelin man as a young adult - shielded head to toe in clothes as a way to escape the vicious poison ivy monster that lurked in the woods.
Taking the blinders off allowed me to objectively spot a path in the distance; faint at first, but a path nonetheless. In Tony Robbins recent book “Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom,” we learn the average price of a US home is $270,000, and most Americans are found to be living neck deep in debt. While lost in the race I too had a “debtful,” excuse me - doubtful future.
Buying the Van and redefining my means snapped me back into a free flowing vessel. One that doesn’t have all the answers but is eager to step up and learn. In the ever-changing world of today I’d like to suggest that “job security” no longer resides as an external pursuit, but rather a daily endeavor to expand our values.
I’ve always dreamt of being an all-around fully sustainable man. I’d like to build a tree house with my own hands; satisfy my hunger with food from nature; be able to fix things as they come; learn through fatherhood, and love passionately with a life-long teammate and best friend. Living in the Van has helped me grow in so many ways It’s hard to know where to begin - I’m learning to explore my ideas, I’m winning the game of finance, and making lasting memories.
The dating aspect of residing in a Van poses to be an interesting one - let’s just say it’s best not to start with “I live in a Van.” It tends to carry a shock factor that implies a sour case of homelessness, resulting in a less than desired response from the opposite sex - oh well, we’ll figure it out!
I walk my path with nimble thoughts and adventure on my mind - seeking permanent residence in the present.