One of my goals is to create a business that has a 2-way, long-term relationship with its customers. After all, those are the kinds of relationships I value in my personal life. What are we if not a bunch of grownup kids forced to work for a living :) So, I'm attempting to make this brand a way to create friendships and have fun experiences. To get to know you better, I asked you what made you feel alive or connected. I got a flood of responses back. It's about Moments, Movement, and Triumphs.
Many responses recounted the experiences they've had while going on adventures with their friends and family. Others talked about the singular moments they have that reconnect and ground them.
"My adventure connection is with my 23 year old son. Conquering fear, the exhilaration of a challenge, teamwork and relying on each other are “life lessons” that I am compelled to pass along to my son as he grows into what I will call “meaningful manhood”. I want to continue to prepare him to make a difference - to his future family and to our society. "
"All of God's creation has a similar impact on me, there's something inside my soul that calls me to be outdoors. Whenever I'm on a trail or on the ocean or anywhere far away from the hyper-civilized world (in which most of my time is spent, unfortunately). I have this inexplicable feeling of security, this feeling that I'm home." - Gregory
It's about pushing your body and staying healthy.
"Sore muscles after a good hike make me feel alive. It's always been a good day when I can feel every muscle in my body and can tell tomorrow I will still be able to feel those after effects. It makes everything feel more Real!" - Mandy
"I feel most connected when something "clicks" for me in my yoga practice. I remember the first time I was able to lift up the smallest bit of my torso when attempting headstand. I had fallen out of this pose time after time, and this seemingly minor step made me feel absolutely invincible. Although my headstand has significantly improved since then, nothing will diminish that initial feeling of accomplishment. I love my yoga practice because I am simultaneously the athlete, the coach, and the cheerleader. It is most certainly the mind-body connection that fuels my fire." - Lisa
Doing something that pushes you to your limit and proving yourself, and others, wrong.
"I just returned home from a trip up to Wyoming to Summit the Grand Teton. What makes me alive is looking at the daunting task of a one-day hike from parking lot, to summit, to parking lot again. We started off alpine style at 1:30am. Hiked and climbed high to reach the summit at 1:54pm. What an AMAZING feeling!..The feeling of being on the top of the world is what makes my heart tick. Incredible adventure for sure!" - Lafe
"Recently I experienced my first major climbing accident. I fell roughly 20 feet before my belayer caught me and injured my right leg. The bruising and swelling kept me from climbing for two and a half weeks. Earlier this week I got outside to try myself at outdoor climbing again. All was well on my first route until I struggled with one handhold and had a slight panic attack as the memory and feeling of the fall came flooding back to me. I took a few minutes to calm myself and let the feeling subside before continuing the climb. I reached the top and felt relief and joy in the accomplishment! I didn't allow the feelings of fear keep me from doing what I love. It reminded me how amazing it is to be alive, to use my body and abilities to climb great heights and witness the beauty of nature. Never let yourself quit before you've pushed yourself to your limits and beyond. There is an incredible world out there to be a part of!" -Kayla
Other notable responses:
"I'd say the sense of awe and astonishment each time, I get to walk in nature. The realization of the ebb and flow of nature's harmonies and balance and how I too am part of the intricate web of life. Attached find a pic of a black bear that decided to join me on a day hike in the redwoods a few weeks back. Neither of us seemingly concerned about the other but completely content in traveling together. As I like to say on my website, "May every day be a day lived well...". Well, this experience certainly fit that description for me and is the main reason for my appreciation of nature's gifts." - Rodney
"As a landscape photographer, being outside feels as I am sharing secret moments with nature…solitude, the sounds of the woods, the smell of the ocean and the light falling and fading, all make me feel alive." - Matte
"Things that I do to feel more connected and confident in myself include traveling to new islands on cruises to explore new cultures the way my dads mom did. While there my wife and I enjoy animal interactions like snorkeling with wild nurse sharks and stingrays and turtles in places like Belize and Grand Cayman." - Jonathan
"I grew up in the Detroit Metro area, where my parents both worked long hours, seven days a week (with the exception of our traditional, two week break in Florida). Michigan has beautiful land to explore, but with my inability to drive and my parents hectic schedules, the only terrain I saw was the General Motors cross-over vehicle my neighbor parked in his drive-way every night. Fast-forward several years and we now live in Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. After weeks of begging my father to take me canoeing, we drove deep into the Allegheny Forest and set out on the river. I realized, as we rowed along, that this was the first time in my life I had ever seen mountains. It inspired this awe-struck feeling and deep inquisition I continually shrugged off in the fast life I led in Detroit. After weeks of begging my father to take me canoeing, we drove deep into the Allegheny Forest and set out on the river. I realized, as we rowed along, that this was the first time in my life I had ever seen mountains. It inspired this awe-struck feeling and deep inquisition I continually shrugged off in the fast life I led in Detroit....I was miles away in the wilderness, yet I felt connected in an enigmatic sentiment. There were not lawyers, teachers, engineers and mechanics out there. We were all explorers - survivors even, indulging in the unknown allure of the world. I looked at my father in front of me and realized how important my family was to me - how deeply and genuinely I cared about them. In the midst of this empowering and authentic moment I felt alive. I was fighting the river to go where I wanted, observing my surroundings to protect what I cared about; I was there in my purest self, invigorated with grit."
"Myself, I love the outdoors. It is a space where I can collect my thoughts, balance my core and get a great work out in. When people ask me what church I go to, I point at the mountains. When they ask which gym that I belong to, I point at the mountains. There were times in my life when the only place that I had solace was outside hiking in a remote area alone. I also have a reputation with my friends for being that crazy long hike guy. After hiking Whitney in a day, the next idea was a rim to rim to rim. A friend and I finally checked off the box after two failures. I have also been trying to plan a 50 mile day hike in the Spring Mountains outside of Vegas. After 3 failures, because of weather or fire in the past,I will check that off next year. I learn as much or more from my failed attempts as my successes and no matter how hard or how long the hike is, I seem to always have a smile on my face. My kids are now able to do 8 mile hikes and stopping to smell the flowers is a joy that I sometimes did not take the time to enjoy."- Dave
"For me, the answer is immediate: The overwhelming sensation that I am of use to a cause larger than myself makes me feel alive. This feeling is the reason I’ve been a teacher for 21 years, the catalyst for why I write both professionally and creatively, and the impetus for nearly everything I pursue in terms of hobbies. I think all of this is because I believe very fiercely that the only thing everlasting about a person is the love that person gives to others. Love and the generous courage it imbues are the only true immortal contributions a person can make." - Dana