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Changing Lives – One Adventure At A Time

I’ve decided I truly do have the best job in the world – I get to change people’s lives. In a wholly positive, healthy, active, and creative manner, I get to alter the way other people look at the world. Whether it’s the sandy, sun-tanned smile from a 14 year old kid just after they’ve caught their first wave (or a 44 year old kid!), or the look of awe and satisfaction on the face of a Wilderness Survival Skills student after they’ve created Fire-by-Friction for the first time in the tradition of our ancestors. I get to go to work on a daily basis and watch dreams come true, fears being overcome, and passions being discovered.

Believe it or not, against all odds, I can still forget that sometimes. I can still get caught up in the daily grind of running a business (especially in the beginning of summer here when the high-season slams us full force). Last night however, I was honored to receive an email from a good friend and former surf student of mine that reminded me just why I do it all. With his permission, I am sharing some of his words:

…Remember what it was like the very first time you ever felt the ocean underneath truly centered feet, knowing all you had to do was wait one more 1/2-second and let that motion, that energy, lift you up? For me, there was a moment…when I stopped trying to “pop-up,” and began waiting for the ocean to lift me. There was a huge difference in my mind. A feeling of patience and awareness that I may have never felt in my entire life (though I think I can relate it to what others refer to as ‘the zone’ in other sports I’ve participated). A sense of calm determination. Excitement. Youthful exuberance and anticipation. I felt like a kid again. I’m certain that we’re all different in our experiences and the way we express them/how they affect us, but I’m also sure that a surfer can communicate with another surfer with far fewer words…And maybe I’m not a “surfer” in the sense of short-boards and bottom-turns, but the experiences I had I’m certain are relatable. At the very least I know the surfers I admire, and I know how they speak and emote, and I’m convinced we’re on the same page. It’s that lifted consciousness, the moment all barriers are released and you just are. Sitting in a constant moving bath of salt water, wondering if the next set is going to be the one that takes you to shore or the one that scares the living piss out of you and forces you (me) to dump your board. I like that feeling of knowing I’m nothing – that the ocean will ALWAYS win – I think for some odd reason it allows me to be something.

Thanks friend. I owe you for this one…And as I am reading this, I realize that I was completely wrong before. I don’t change people’s lives, not one bit. I simply open their eyes to something they may not have known before. It’s the ocean, ther air, the plants, and animals – this beautiful earth – that does ALL the work.

Cliff Hodges
Owner – Adventure Out LLC