I’m thrilled to share this new episode with my Colorado brother, Mr. Chris Emick. Chris is a fellow Front Row Dad and native Coloradan who I’ve created a special bond with. We’ve been fortunate to hike and climb Colorado mountains together, which has sparked some amazing discussion and alignment.
This episode is packed with insights including Chris’s view of “work,” our spiritual connection to nature, awareness around ego, the powerful lessons nature can teach us and so much more. Chris also shares some of his personal stories and realizations from various adventures.
I appreciate Chris for the energy and friendship he’s created in my life. Stay tuned for some upcoming adventures that Chris and I are currently planning! 🙂
When I allow it to be a teacher, nature teaches me all sorts of amazing things.
- Go Bucket Yourself
- Quilotoa Loop
- Cotopaxi (mountain)
- Cayambe (volcano)
- The Comfort Crisis (book)
- The Lion Tracker's Guide To Life (book)
[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back to the Pursuit of Something folks. I have a very special friend, Mr. Chris Emick here today. Chris is an awesome guy in my life. The entry point is meeting each other through Front Row Dads. So he is a fellow front row dad. He shows up huge for his family. He's also one of my nature buddies.
So Chris and I have had the privilege of doing different adventures. Most recently he and I did summitted, a couple fourteeners. And he brings out some of the best in me. I love chatting with Chris. I love learning about his story, uh, as it unfolds, and I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about that today.
And I'm just honored for you to create space for this man. So how would you like to introduce yourself.
[00:00:42] Chris: Yeah, great to be here Ali. Super excited about this. And I can ditto a lot of what you said about bringing the best of me out and you, and just inspiration in your story. So yeah, honored to be here. I like to introduce myself nowadays as I'm a father and a husband first.
It doesn't always come super easy to me. So that's why I joined front row dads and that's why I like hanging out with other guys that are vulnerable and, and admit that like being a husband and father, you know, doesn't just come naturally. So I am one and I have some pretty big milestones coming up.
My oldest daughter, Claire, this is her senior year, so she'll be graduating in 2023. Deb and I will separate Deb's, my wife, her and I will celebrate our 20 year anniversary in 2023. And then my youngest daughter, Lila, she'll be turning a teenager in 2023. So . So lots of different milestones around there. But uh, yeah, that's kind of a little bit about my family's situation.
And then, Deb and I have, have the luxury privilege or whatever to, to where we live off of passive income from our real estate. So I have a lot of time not doing traditional work looking things and have a lot more time to meet cool people and connect and get clear on my values and explore. So I'm really enjoying this chapter of life, even though there's a lot of changes that have happened in these last two, three years.
It's brought out a whole bunch of exciting, interesting things that I'm excited to, to learn about myself and the, the world at large.
[00:02:10] Ali: Hell yeah, man. I have to point out a quick story as it relates to some of what you shared. So Chris and I were just, like I said, summited a couple fourteeners last month.
And Chris has a huge heart, so he gives these three other hikers a lift down cuz you know, this place was very busy and they had to hike their way up just to get to the start of the hike. And so he's saving them some time. He sees they're exhausted. He's like, sure, jump in.
And you were doing this small talk thing. Their interest is peaking because Chris and I are out here just hiking all the day like, explain how we have families. And as Chris shares a bit more of his story mm-hmm. Especially related to your like epic adventures where like you go to different trails and stay out there for weeks. The guy has the beautiful full candor question of, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do?
Yeah. And Chris just laughs and he explained to me later, like, yeah, it's a common question. And his response was, you know, a bit about passive income via real estate. Why I teed that up is that in talking about that, Chris, I have a question for you. You have this lifestyle freedom that you've achieved with real estate and now you exercise that in different ways.
What does work mean to you now?
[00:03:32] Chris: Yeah, work to me now, I'd say there's probably two buckets. There's still the work that does come along with owning real estate that I don't really jam with all that much. And that feels probably like, you know, just everybody's lives where there's these tasks either about their traditional W2 job or owning a business that you just don't like doing. They either haven't outsourced it yet or they're not a place to outsource it yet.
So I do have some work, and I'm doing a little bit about that right now. Like we're, we're putting new tenants in some of our houses. And there's some parts of that there I'm just like, I've been there, done that, and it doesn't really bring me all that much joy or passion.
So I, I do a little bit of that. But then I have other work that I also would probably throw in that work category where I'm trying to explore, like how to create new things that are in alignment with my values and my passions. And so Deb and I have this thing called Go Bucket Yourself.
And that looks like a podcast. And it looks like we're probably gonna have retreats and adventures and all that kind of stuff. But that kinda work lights me up because it causes me to come outside of my comfort zone, learn something I don't already know, and potentially connect and collaborate with other cool people to make these things happen.
And so that kind of work lights me up and I wanna keep doing more of that latter type of work, not more of the, the former. I want to keep, you know, either outsourcing those or giving those opportunities to other people. The stuff that doesn't really light me up. So that's kind of how I, I put the work, uh, stuff.
[00:05:02] Ali: Hell yeah, man. So work that lights me up and work that doesn't.
Or maybe that's too binary, but I think I appreciate you saying that because it feels very authentic to who you are. And it there's a lot of truth in that for me. Yeah. I even have gone further to self analyze, like, par there parts of this work that could light me up?
Yeah. Because I think you made some really nice points that once you've done something enough times, the new curiosity is gone. The uncertainty is gone for the most part. And then it can actually transform where some of the uncertainty becomes like, unhealthy examples of fear.
An example, when you're getting into something new. And you and I have the pleasure of being able to plan these awesome retreats, which give us both massive energy.
Like I feel like, like a teenager. Like it's, it's very different than some more mature work that I've been doing for years where there's very little that could excite me here. It's more of the same.
It's more of the, oh, this could happen. Whereas I think back to your point, when you step into something new, especially that gives you energy, in a way you actually look for that uncertainty.
[00:06:17] Chris: For sure. Would you agree? Oh hell yeah. And part of that uncertainty, like there's, I wanna maybe clarify this point.
Like, I'm excited to try other types of work too that just might to some people be that type a work of just like, this is bullshit. I have to do this to, to pay the bills. But like, I was at the coffee shop the other day and, it's a small town that I live in, and so I know the guy really well that runs the place, and he is like, yeah, I'm actually gonna have to hire, you know, real people, not just, you know, like friends and family and all that.
And I was like, oh. So I, I let that just sit in my brain like, oh, I'd love to, you know, serve coffee up. I'd love to, yeah. Not that the rest of my life, but I'd love to learn that kind of stuff. So it's not like it has to be something that's too, too low for me. Or, or, or, you know, it wouldn't be probably fairly easy to pick up.
It's just, yeah, removing that certainty and making me expand my skillset. And usually I think if I drill it down, expanding my skillset usually means I'm meeting some new people. Mm-hmm. and meeting new people has just been so eyeopening for me. And it's been just a joy when I've said yes and surrendered to some of those things, so.
Yeah. Totally, man.
[00:07:25] Ali: Totally. Okay. Enough about that work for now. I want to dig a little bit into your story around how you got into being with nature. Being more with nature. And feel free to create any context you want around kind of your starting point into natural adventures and then kind of where you are today.
[00:07:50] Chris: Yeah, so thinking of this story arc might be a little. Little, uh, blurry at first. But I think what happened is I've lived in Colorado all my life. So there's been parts and elements of nature that have always been important to me. Like my grandparents used to take me snow mobilling and jeeping in the mountains when I was young. So we didn't do anything I would call hard compared to some of the stuff I do nowadays.
But we rode around in vehicles, we shared time together, we had picnics. And so a lot of that cemented into my brain early on that I like being outdoors with these special people. And that's been an important component. But I never really got into the outdoorsy, like climbing, mountaineering, hiking, backpacking, all that kind of stuff until later on.
It started off oddly enough with like, we took this cruise up to Alaska. We took this inside passage cruise and it was just beautiful. Nature was all around us. A lot of the excursions we did, instead of like your Caribbean cruises where you usually just sit on a beach and get drunk, , uh, a lot this Alaskan cruise, you know, like we're kayaking and we're doing all this kinda stuff.
So I'm already vibing in the nature vibe. And then we get up to Anchorage and I go to this old bookstore, use bookstore and pick up some books on Denali, the Mountain up in Alaska. And it was like kind of the first time I'd have this, I wanna climb this mountain. I think that would be something I wanna put on my bucket list.
So that was new to me to put something on my bucket list. It was new to me to say, I'm gonna climb a mountain. Cuz at this point I had jeeped on the sides of mountains, but I'd never actually climbed a single mountain in Colorado or anywhere. So there was this part of this dream that got planted of like climbing mountains.
That really sung to me when I picked up that book and said, I wanna do that someday. Not like some other goals that, but like, I wanna be a millionaire. I wanna do these other things, which also were important to me, but they didn't like sing at that harmonic level to your soul of like, this is important to me.
Right? But then I'm like, well, cool. I live in Colorado, I think we have mountains. Uh, I'm gonna start hiking these mountains. And then, yeah, I fell in love with it. There was a little bit of ego in there because I would get a lot of attention of like, oh, you're doing that, or, oh, like when I'd take some pics on some pretty gnarly stuff, people would be like, oh, you're so cool.
No, they wouldn't say that. But anyways, it was just kinda, yeah, get it. My ego of like, oh, Chris does hard things, and all of that. So there was probably some level of ego drive in there that maybe wasn't perfect. But there was also this element of, I felt more spiritually connected to God, to the universe, to what have you, whatever name you wanna to give it, in the mountains than I ever had, like in a church.
In a church, I was always like approaching it like this logical problem of like, okay, I can't sin this way and that way. Or if I do sin this way, then I need to do a, a good thing that washes away that sin. Or I need to be, you know, forgiven and all of that. So it was the first time where, Spirituality stopped taking like this mathematical approach of like how many sins and how many good things have I done, and yada, yada, yada.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and it actually turned into holy shit. There's this big thing out there that I'm part of and I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. But it's amazing and I wanna keep doing more of it. So that's kinda like my entry into, into nature.
[00:11:09] Ali: That is so nice. I love that. So this is just part of why I was so excited to jam with you on air. For everyone listening, this is where Chris and I, this is where our conversations go frequently.
Mm-hmm. . And I could take this right into spirituality. I just had a epic trip with my mom where we talked about spirituality and she's comes from a very devoted Christian faith, whereas I'm a bit more into the universe of things. Yeah. I'm not gonna go there because that's gonna hijack the conversation. But I do appreciate you sharing that and I have very similar thoughts.
If there's anything I wanna point out about what you just shared is a couple things.
One, the ego piece. I've found, even though I just love being in nature and it recharges me, it's one of the few times I'm very aware of my soul emerging and being like, woo, this is where I belong.
Like that feeling I just can't really get in other places. Yeah, there is still this little piece of ego, so I feel you on that. Where it's for whatever reason, like maybe the, the serotonin start, you know, being proud of hiking these fourteeners does come into play and it's arguably probably why I like to post pics.
Yeah. Um, there's a little bit of ego fluttering around there, and also there's a bit of wanting to inspire others. Because, you know, even though I, I refrain from trying to give people advice and prescriptions, I think anyone can benefit from more time in nature. And there's something majestic about getting to the top of a mountain and having this perspective, which perhaps we'll talk about.
The other thing is exactly what you nailed towards the end of that, around the spiritual side. You're not the first person that's said it that way. In fact, I just recorded a group podcast with some of the guys that went out to Montana. Oh yeah. And Phillip said the exact same thing. He said, I don't know what it is, but when I'm in these mountains or in nature for several days, I just feel more spiritually connected to God.
And we could just leave it there just to God and everyone can have their own interpretation, right? Yeah. That piece of it just really lands with me. And one of the things I wanted to kind of ask you about, cuz this just came into my world in a book I'm currently reading, is the called The Three Day Effect.
So, oh yeah. Have you heard about this? My basic understanding, and I'll let you kind of share anything you know, is that when you've been in nature for three days, and this is just statistically speaking, You allow yourself to like, be free of the normal, let's say, comforts of life. Like the distractions, the relationships, the dependencies, the attachments, all that stuff.
It's like after the seventy two hour period, you start to feel like, oh, I'm in nature. I'm one with it. And you have just that, uh, maybe this is what we're talking about. Maybe this is when the soul comes out, when the spirituality really sinks in and it's like, ah, I'm home.
Have you heard about this or do you have any spin on that?
[00:14:15] Chris: Yeah. Are you reading Comfort Crisis? Yes. Yes. Yes. I was gonna say, I just read this chapter like.
[00:14:20] Ali: Oh, awesome. Yeah, it's hard for me to put it down. I just finished this running book now I'm reading this, and I'm like, oh my gosh.
[00:14:26] Chris: Yeah. So, yeah, highly recommend the book too. I'm only probably halfway through, but I, I just crossed that barrier.
Yeah, it aligns highly, with my experience. So I've gone out and done some long ass backpacking trips, you know, weeks or months even at a time. And that first three days is that kind of period, like the, the day one.
So like, Arizona Trail, I did this last year. Debbie and I, and my wife, we go down to Tucson, Arizona. She jumps me at the Mexico border. We say our goodbyes, you know, have our tears hug, cuz we know it's gonna be a bit before I'm back home in person type of thing.
So that first day is, Like, holy shit, I miss my kids, I miss my wife. Any discomfort is amplified because it's like, I could be at home right now. Why am I out here doing this?
Day two's a little bit less of that, but there's still some ego stuff going on. There's still some other, I guess, normal shit going on. And then day three and beyond is usually, I'm not worried about what emails or what tasks or what jobs need to be done or this. It's just my mind starts to, to play and wander and, and all of that.
And sometimes in unhealthy directions. But a lot of times in just kind of like this childlike innocence of, look at this big playground that I'm part of, and isn't this fun? And Oh, I wonder why this is doing that. And it's just like this place of curiosity. And like I said before, innocence and wonder. That is just like, wow. It can be amazing.
So yeah, the 72 hour thing, when I was reading that in that, in that book, I was like, yeah, that's probably legit. I'd never necessarily put it to that specific time. But once I had that frame of reference, I was easy to say like, yeah, I've experienced this similarly. Like going to Ecuador to climb some big mountains.
That first piece where the mind has to, I think the mind and the ego need to realize, okay, it's time to downshift. We don't need to play as big of a role right now. And the soul and the spirit, I think, gets to fill that space more easily. And, that's probably why I believe that effect happens.
[00:16:27] Ali: Totally, totally man. Yep. I had a very similar experience in Montana where like day one I was still thinking about my family. I was still really focused on some of the fear of uncertainty around like grizzlies and new territory. Day two, some of that stuff started to fade because I'd just been in nature and we'd been hiking and we had a night, a cold night.
Even though it's shitty sleep, it was a great night, you know. And I didn't wake up like, ugh, like this morning I literally woke up cuz I had rough sleep and I'm, I'm a little off balance. But in nature with shitty sleep, just something about understanding like, oh yeah, that's the rain cuz I'm in nature.
Mm-hmm and it's cold and the ground is hard again cuz I'm in nature, right? So I woke up and I was just ready to embrace the day and have some coffee by a fire and like just sit with these views. And then back to your point today, three. The childlike wonder. I love that you used that term. The curiosity was in full effect. Like, what are we gonna do? You know, let's make the most of this day, cuz the subsequent day we were heading home.
And I think that's such an awesome way to label or suggest that we look at nature. It's the ultimate playground. Because if you go out there with limited resources, not only do you get the effect clearing your mind, but for me at least, I start to look at things like, Ooh, where can I play?
There's that thing, there's that little hill or peak I could climb. There's that lake. I'm definitely gonna jump in that lake. And I, how cold it is, you know. There's all these little things, like even the simplest aspect of like drinking through a life straw or filtering water.
I'm like, look forward to doing that . I'm like, cool. This is part of the day. Yeah. And, and I know where I'm, I'm gonna end up with this, but just to finish this thought is that at that three day mark I get so comfortable in nature now or so acclimated it's probably better, that the transition home is challenging.
Mm-hmm. . And that's what I wanna ask you about is that, as you've come back from adventures, whether they're mini adventures or some of your larger adventure, What is that like for you? And you can use anything as an example to kick off from, but I'm very curious, like when you get back, and you've had a nice time in nature, so not just a day hike, cuz that is different, but you get back from some type of adventure.
What is life like for the next week? Is, is it different?
[00:18:59] Chris: Yes. It's probably very different from my wife and my daughters because I come from environment A and now I'm back in environment B. And even though I'm super grateful to be home and start to incorporate luxuries again, like, oh, this faucet turns on water. Anytime I need water, I can get water. Anytime I need to take a shit, like I don't have to go find a tree and all this and dig a hole and everything.
So it's like you would think there would be this extreme level of gratitude to having all these comforts come rushing back in all at once. But it's such a, going from one extreme or some kind of extreme to the other version of extreme of that, that I'm kind of an asshole to be around those first couple days. Because I'm going back through this reintegration piece and it's not because I didn't miss my family or I didn't love my family, or they didn't do the right things while I'm gone.
But when I'm kind of in that funky place of trying to get reintegrated into my other piece of life that I love so much. Sometimes I'm very, yeah, clunky with the way I behave or act or I will sometimes project some, some shit. So I'm feeling bad inside. So I do start to like nitpick little things and I'm like, it's only day one or day two of being back and I'm gonna, you know, badger my wife and kids about like, oh, you guys didn't do this while I was gone. Oh, you ate that kind of food while I was gone?
Yeah, right, right. Just this petty shit, right? Like that I sometimes do. So so you may have thought like it was, it's gonna be this glorious thing. It's a little bit of a tricky thing. And probably a 72 hour rule coming back into, into getting used to dings and notifications. Getting used to the fact that I can go to my fridge and pick from 20 different things rather than when I have a backpack, it's like, do I eat a granola bar or do I eat this other thing?
It's like, I go from so limited options to so many options that I think sometimes it frazzles me. And then that's where kind of the asshole part of me comes out. Yep.
[00:20:59] Ali: I can relate, man. Asshole, being grumpy. The exact same things land for me, and it's very different for nature versus other trips away.
Cause like if I go for a trip away that's like work related or something that doesn't involve nature, I'm very excited to see my family. Uh, you know, I'm just like, wow, what have you been doing? And the little petty shit doesn't matter to me. But the way that you articulated that, there's so much truth in it for me, where I get home.
Even from like stepping into the airport and observing other humans just glued to their phones, you know, going up and, and getting food and stuffing their faces. And like, I'm not judging, I'm just making observations that these things start to trigger me because I'm still in that nature world. I'm still thinking about like a natural way of life and living off the land. And then I see all this new stuff again.
And then I get home. And what's happened the last few times, Chris, and I've been trying to communicate to this, to Gabrielle, is I actually need a little bit of space. I am excited to see my family and I am curious like, great, what happened when you were gone? But I'm not ready to jump right back in. Yeah.
I'm also definitely not ready to jump right back into work. I have this weird haze, like when I open up email for the first time where I. Whoa, what is this? And then my mind starts saying like, why do all these people need things from me? You know, it's this really interesting experience that I'm trying to learn from.
Cause I do go below the line and get kind of triggered and reactive, and then I just have to hold space and be like, well this is their life. I've been on my own little journey , so my perspective is very different from their perspective. And I, I didn't even connect it until now that perhaps it is the same.
It's a 72 hour, it's a three day reintegration back into things.
[00:22:46] Chris: Yeah, I think so. Now that I've done a few of these, each time I come back, I start to build the awareness muscle, you know, before I hop back on the plane coming home or whatnot, because I know I'm gonna need space. And so I just open up that conversation of like, look, It's weird saying that I was just gone for 53 days and I need space when I get back home.
Uh, but I do need a couple days to get my bearings straight and, and process some of this stuff. And so that's been helpful. Plus being able to exercise that muscle a few times now I've gotten better at just be being observant of some of that stuff and then letting some of those things that maybe would trigger me in the past just let those slide off because.
Again, if I'm being true, I know that I should have nothing but appreciation for the fact that they took care of our animals, they took of our house, they took care of all of our rental responsibilities. All these things that they took care of while I was off wandering, getting closer to God and myself or whatever I'm doing out there. And I should just be grateful.
So, so that helps sometimes. But, yeah, it's, it's a work in progress still.
[00:23:53] Ali: I love that dude.
That's so sage of you to have that awareness and hold space for your family. Cuz that's spot on. It's like they're doing their thing, holding it down while we're away. And I have similar thoughts. So what a gracious way to think about that reentry, that reintegration.
All right, next big question. I'm curious if you'd like to share some details around your greatest adventure to date. It could be a recent adventure, it could be something that happened in the past, but I've been privy to hear some of these stories and now I wanna share them with other people.
And I'm gonna leave it there. What comes to mind when I ask? What's your greatest adventure?
[00:24:29] Chris: Yeah. One of our first as a family big adventures that also I was able to do some of my own stuff on was we went to Ecuador, I think it was 2018, and I was still working at my previous job.
But both girls were homeschooled. My wife had left her job as a classroom teacher. So I was the only one with kind of like a, a traditional calendar adherent type schedule. Mm-hmm. , but I was able to, To negotiate three weeks away to where I like took a week off. I worked remote for a week and then I took another week off.
And so we explored Ecuador. We spent the first week in the mountains. The second week was kinda in the city cuz I needed to be close to internet and you know, some of the normal things like that. And then the third week was on the beach. And for Ecuador being such a small little country, you know, it's smaller in Colorado, I'm pretty sure. Mm-hmm. , it's cool to be able to have all those environments.
And so the very first week, so we land in Quito Ecuador, the elevation there is like 11,000 elevations. So it's like higher than Leadville, which is the highest in the town in the US. And so we're getting acclimated, we do a little exploring of Quito. Then we go and do this thing called the Quilotoa loop, which is more of like what I call a European style backpack.
Where you you just have basically some snacks and stuff in your bag, but you're sleeping in a bed every night. You have access to a shower every night. They feed you and that kind of stuff. So you're not really backpacking, you know, the hardcore style where you got everything you need on, on your back.
So that was so cool because we do this four day, three night adventure where we're moving about six to 10 miles a day. So it's me, my wife. I think my daughters at that time were probably like 14 and, and nine. And so we're doing six or seven miles a day up in the high Andes. You know, it's just green, green, green, everywhere around you, these huge peaks. I mean, it's just like getting lost in, in just this amazing stuff.
And some of these, um, Some of these mountains in Hillside, they're being farmed by like a 75 year old lady. You know, who's probably like four foot two. And here she is on the side of the mountain in her wool skirt with her big hat. Yeah. And she's hoeing potatoes on the side of this 13,000 foot mountain, you know. And we're struggling to get up the side of this peak. And she's just up there hauling around potatoes and corn and all that kind of stuff.
And so it was just like, it was humbling. It was beautiful. To be able to share the experience with my family. They're not as naturey as me, but for the most part they were enjoying this trip. And so we go to these three hostels over these three nights and meet cool people. That's the first time I'd ever done that.
Usually when the Emick family goes somewhere, we're staying in a hotel. It's just our family locked in our room. We don't go down and, you know, hang out in the lobby and have conversations. So we go down each night at this hostel to interact with these other people, a lot of European backpackers, some South American backpackers that are also doing this cool thing.
And so we do that over the course of like four days, three nights. And the culmination of this, depending on how you hike it, cuz it's either clockwise or counterclockwise. But the culmination of this is you come up to the crater of this extinct volcano. and you're about 13, 14,000 feet. But again, it's, it's not like Colorado's 13, 14,000 feet.
Like there's lush greenery and shrubs all over it, those elevations. But you come to the crater of this volcano and it's just this massive beautiful lake that's now filled in with glacial water. I think, think if you've seen pictures of like, uh, crater Lake in Oregon, it looks a lot like that. But it's just so beautiful cuz you're, climbing, you know, you're getting to the top of this thing and then this view just opens up. That's just like breathtaking.
And so to be able to share that with my family was pretty special. And then, after that, that was kinda like my acclimation doing that the few days with them doing that. And then I spent another two to three days hiking some higher peaks.
I attempted Cotopaxi, which is around 19,000 feet elevation. I didn't get to the summit of that one on that trip. And then I did Cayambe, which is another, uh, 18,800 foot peak glaciated, you know, crampons, rope teams, all that kind of stuff. And that was magical cuz I got my ass kicked on Cotopaxi. The wind sucked. The weather sucked. Like I was just bitter cold with a hell of a lot of gear and I didn't eat or drink anytime during that, that day. So I'm getting wiped as, as we're, you know, making this slow progress to the summit.
So I bailed on that one and then I get back to our airbnb in Quito, and I'm telling my wife like, I'm done. I'm never climbing another mountain again. Like, this sucks. Why am I doing this? And all that kind of stuff.
And then she's like, eh, let's give this a day. Let's see where you tomorrow maybe after some rest and some food. So sure as shit the next day I feel a lot better. I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna try Chiam Bay tomorrow. And we'll see how that goes.
And it was magical. The weather was pretty good. The snow climbing was perfect. Like my crampons, all that kind of stuff. Everything was just biting like I wanted to in the snow where I feel safe and comfortable going up this stuff that looks pretty gnarly. And then you get to the top of this mountain and Ecuador is extremely cool because it's like these big mountains, these big volcanoes, and then there's nothing.
So like, it's extreme. Like you get to a top of a Colorado fourteener and sometimes, you know, there's 13 ERs and 12 ERs and 11 ERs all around you, but you get to the top of this peak and there ain't shit but a valley floor.
So you can just see for miles in every direction, you know? So cool. Because the sun was just starting to come up when I got to the summit, and you can just see this miles long shadow being cast of this cone mountain that I'm on. And you can even see the curvature of the earth a little bit because you're so high and everything.
So anyways, that was a long ramp, but that was one of my favorite trips because it incorporated both me accomplishing something fun and adventurous as well as being able to share that with my family.
[00:30:22] Ali: Absolutely. My mind is getting extremely excited and starting to even think like about planning such an adventure, because you got to share part of your passion and what brings you alive with your family.
Wow. Hmm. I have a lot of questions now.
So there were two peaks and what's interesting to me is that in some ways the story I'm telling myself after filtering your experience is that Cotopaxi humbled you. Yes. So that was an example of nature being like, yeah, you thought you were gonna get up here, but not today, homey.
Right. And then the next day, like you said, after you recharged and sat with those emotions, those feelings, and then reset the next day, nature was like, oh, here you go. Uh, yeah, you wanna give another shot. And it was this beautiful experience from what you shared. And dude, I think that this is just a perfect example of like both how nature decides.
Like we cannot control nature. And I don't think we ever will. If we start playing that game, I think we're really fucking with things that humans don't need to fuck with, right? I mean, even global warming. Look at what's happening as some of our actions are influencing nature. And then the other thing is having, like, I wanna say the sort of the, the healing.
There's this aspect of healing and al almost like knowing that. Oh, this is exactly what was supposed to happen. Like first I had this experience, it was very challenging and I was humbled and I turned around and then I had this beautiful experience, which could have been healing and revealing in different ways.
And the last thing that kind of ties all this together is my guess is that that probably taught you something about yourself. I, I wanna share a really quick example as it relates to our recent venture climbing these two fourteeners.
We got up there and as you know, I started to get a little bit nauseous after the second peak, so I was slowing down and you were very supportive, which I appreciate.
And then we got up to the second one and I still kind of feeling it and I start going through all the calculations. Like, dude, I need more water. Like this. Is this familiar? Cuz it kind of happened a year or so ago when I was at Elevation. At that elevation, right? 14,000. But in hindsight, dude, after I reset the next day, I was thinking about it.
I was like, Amidst all the, the things my mind wants to calculate. This could simply just be nature saying, yo, something's off. Mm. Figure it out. You know what I'm saying? So that was a micro example for me where I was like, nature was telling me something. I could only have gotten that insight up top and it might be something big with my health. It might not, I don't know yet, cuz I'm still kind of holding space and, you know, investigating the, the symptoms, et cetera. Yeah.
But for you, you had sort of that a, a different version of that on that first climb. Like you got up there and it's just like, no, sorry man. I imagine you were super cold, super uncomfortable, super tired, et cetera.
So I wanna digress and I'm just curious if any of that kind of lands with you in a way where nature kind of gives you some insight.
[00:33:44] Chris: Yeah. When I allow it to be a teacher, nature teaches me all sorts of amazing things. Mm-hmm. , um, and there was part of the lesson learned on, in that experience, that first trip to Ecuador about humility.
There was part of the lesson learned about like, determination and grit and all of that. So when I told my guide, I wanna turn around and I told him that two or three times and he, he was softly encouraging me because I'm sure as a guide he deals with this all the time.
Like, it's tough, you know, you gotta apply some level of pressure to your clients to say like, do you really mean this? Or do you really Right. Just need encouragement and or a kick in the ass. And so I, I could recognize in the moment that's what he was doing. He was giving me that soft kick in the ass. So I was like, okay, cool.
I can deal with this a little bit more. Let me try to drink some hot water outta my thermo and all that kind of stuff. But it just didn't work and eventually I threw in the towel and I was like, okay, I, I wanna turn around. And so we turn around and go down and as soon as we turn around, like that voice just starts coming up like, you fucking pussy.
Like there's people that probably, you know, have never touched a mountain before that are gonna climb this mountain either today or tomorrow or something like that. And you who thinks you're a mountaineer and have done these other outdoor things, you couldn't even make it up one of these relatively easy peaks.
So it's like, there's that voice of, I think, uh, Don Miguel Reis calls it the parasite or whatever that, that parasitic voice that just is there. And so at that time I did not have the awareness of here's that voice. I can choose not to listen to that voice. At that time it was like I gave that voice the front stage where it's like, here you need a microphone.
You need to get really loud cuz I'm, I'm apparently gonna listen to everything you say. Mm-hmm. . And so, I now have that awareness where there are times where, I've turned around, given up, whatever you wanna call it, on other outdoor adventures. And that voice immediately wants to come back in and start telling me how shitty I am.
But now I can recognize it as that voice. And so that was probably one of the big introductions to recognizing that voice is not me and I can choose whether I, I listen to that voice or not. And so that was huge. So that's like one of those types of lessons that I learn in nature that's very, I guess, vivid in my mind for that specific trip.
But I learn a lot of lessons in nature. A lot of them have to do with, yeah, humility, willpower, enoughness. That's something I struggle with a fair amount is am I enough? Do I have enough? Is there enough? You know, or there's this scarcity. And then nature has taught me a lot of lessons. That's probably the most recent lessons is the last year or two. I've been jamming with that, like trying to take those lessons from nature with scarcity and enoughness and that kind of thing. So, did I answer your question?
[00:36:33] Ali: You did. And now you just sparked a new one. So tell me a little bit about how you've been navigating the question, what is enough? And in any realm of life.
[00:36:42] Chris: Yeah. So the most easiest metaphor I've, I've been able to bring to light lately. Uh, again, I spent a lot of my childhood, my parents got divorced when I was super young, so I spent a lot of my childhood with my maternal grandparents and they were hugely impactful and influential. I love them all that.
They were children of the Great Depression era. So they instilled in me from an early age that there is a thing called scarcity. There is a thing where it could all disappear. There is this lack that sometimes people have to go through. And so I think because they had experienced that when they were younger, they adopted a lot of values that were like, I don't wanna experience that ever again.
And I wanna bestow that, consciously or unconsciously to the future generations. So I think I picked up a lot of scarcity, limited beliefs type of things from my grandparents. Especially as it related to money. Mm-hmm. . And then somehow I just let that money piece be an anchor to where I looked at other parts of my life as they're limited, their scarcity.
For me to win, someone else has to lose. Or I might get a little bit of a, a giggle or a joy if I see someone losing because then I can take that icky part of me that, that doesn't feel like enough and I can say, haha, I'm better than them. Look, they're losing right now, so I'm better and all of that.
And so a lot of this shit is, is just being unpacked. You know, , I'm met my 14 now. A lot of this shit is just being unpacked at 41, 42, 43, so I'm still exploring that. But yeah, so I think somewhere there's this self worth piece of me, that's probably the root that I haven't fully tapped into yet.
Like how to, how to fully, um, convince or fully understand that self-worth component that thinks either I'm not enough or there isn't enough. And be able to explore that and recover or heal that trauma. I don't know. I'm, I'm using words that I know. Yeah, I think it's bigger than these words that I, I currently know today.
I think that's probably where the solution, if there is a solution comes from. But, uh, that's kind of where I'm at right now. You know, I'm somewhere in, in search of that answer. But I'm finding more and more clues, each day, each month, each new connection, each new vulnerable conversation I had with guys like you, Mike Wagner, that kind of stuff.
You know, when I'm processing that, I feel like I'm, I'm making progress in that realm.
[00:39:10] Ali: For sure. Well, I appreciate that vulnerability, cuz that felt like a very authentic response. Yeah, I think it's a huge question. What is enough? I have a half written blog post that's been sitting in my Evernote for months because I started writing around this and I was like, holy shit, this question's big.
I don't even know if I can fully answer it yet. Yeah. And I think the question itself can be so wildly interpreted in different ways. So here's a sub version of the question. Do these thoughts of being enough, having enough or the alternative not being enough, not having enough happen when you're in nature?
[00:39:52] Chris: Ooh, good one. Um, I'm just doing a little thinking here. I'm sure the answer is not an absolute one way or the other, but I would say they happen less. Mm-hmm. yeah, I'd say they happen less out in nature when I feel like I'm more in tune.
Because I can recognize there's times where like maybe two months ago, I was struggling with, I wanna do this, this cool, fun thing. It feels like it's important. It feels like it's part of who I am and, and a gift I can bring to the world. But at that time I was letting that, that parasitic voice basically be like, who are you to do this? Like, you're a, you know, you're a fraud, you're a phony. Why would anyone want to give you money or give you time, give you their energy?
Any of that kind of thing. But more recently, I've been jamming with you and we've been talking about some stuff. And it's basically very similar to what I was doing two months ago, but I feel full of it right now. Like I feel full of life. I feel in tune with myself. That voice, if he's around, is like quiet as shit.
Like he must have, he's out the lunch, you sitting in the corner being quiet. Yeah, yeah, exactly. He's behaving like a good little boy, . So yeah, it's a good question cuz I recognize there's times where, if I'm in place A, that voice has the microphone on volume 10 and all that kind of stuff.
And if I'm in place B or C, either his, that microphone is off or it's broken or he is just sitting in the corner taking a nap. I don't know. But yeah, nature definitely helps him get closer to the corner, rather than up there with the microphone. So.
[00:41:24] Ali: Dude, a hundred percent. I love that analogy of this little nasty guy with the microphone.
Because what I think, and I'm aware that part of me projected in that question, because you just sparked this and I wanna talk about it, is that the environment is key for feeling enough. It's one of the factors for me at least, and you just articulated well.
There's also, it's very true for me. I'm like, man, when I'm hiking, I'm not thinking about this other shit. I'm thinking about like, where am I? Oh, wow, that's an amazing view. The only enough thought that really comes in is in situation I'm like, damn, am I gonna have enough water? Because this is longer than I thought . Oh, right. And then you see like a stream and you're like, boom, that's gone.
You know? But when you start to change these environments, when you put yourself in a situation like a more...
societal status environment, that's when that guy comes back and the mic's out and it's loud and he starts talking and you're like, like you said, who are you to do this? Who do you think you are? Why don't you have a... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he keeps, like singing, you know, he's singing songs.
And so I think that's such an awesome insight that when we start to sit with the question, what is enough? Your environment is crucial. Because it will totally create this little guy or influence your mind to start thinking about it in different context. And when you are in nature or when you're just in an environment where there is enough. So I love that.
[00:42:54] Chris: I think I want to Yeah, go interject on that. I think you hit the nail on the when you said like this, the societal piece. So I can definitely say this. In nature alone, that voice hardly ever comes up. In nature with other people, the voice does start to to, you know, have something.
I will say there's been growth in this area because, as you were saying, when we were doing grays and Tories a couple weeks ago, like peak one. You could have dusted me, like you were, you were ready to like, scream up that mountain and I could just tell like, I'm tethered to you.
You're like, you didn't, you never made me feel this way. But I was just like, I can tell this guy has more conditioning and energy right now than I do. I have to go my pace. I can't try to speed up because if I try to speed up, I'm gonna hit my wall. Mm-hmm. , I know what hitting my wall does. So I now have that recollection and humility to, to know, like, Ali, if you need to run, you go run up that thing, but I'm gonna be right here and I'll be there, you know, 20 minutes type of thing.
So when there's other humans involved, that's probably when, uh, that voice in nature can, can play. Like on the Arizona trail. These these two younger ladies, they were 19 and, and day one and two, I was hiking around them and I was the one dusting them. Like I had all the skills, I had all the experience and all that kinda stuff. But by day 15, as they started to experience some stuff, they were getting good and their conditioning was solid and all that.
And then they were starting to dust me. So yeah, I've learned that that piece of like, I'm trying to become aware of the fact that there's probably some ego element in there. And if it's just me, it, it hardly plays a role. If it's me and other people, it plays less of a role than it ever has in my life.
But that's because I've had to grow and, and become aware of that and not just let it be like, well, screw Ali, or not scroll Lee, but like, I'm gonna show him, like, I'm not gonna let him think that I'm, in less shape than him. Or, that this is more of a struggle. But now I can do that and not feel too bad about it.
[00:44:48] Ali: Great insight, man. Yeah, it's like when you're alone, it's you with yourself or you with nature. But when other humans are introduced, that's exactly it. You start telling yourself stories. That little guy comes back.
And for the record, you are a phenomenal hiker. I have a generally fast pace and everyone has given me this feedback and I'm learning to slow down.
And as I shared, the mountain humbled me that day and was like, yo, you might have screamed up number one, but number two, you're gonna take your fucking time. Which is exactly what happened to me.
So I think that you're sharing a very wise sense of understanding and awareness, hence maturity, around knowing your pace, your limits, which are so important when we start talking about hiking fourteeners and testing physical limits. Cuz these are different than hikes. Like I hike a lot in Colorado, I bring my family. But I don't take them on these fourteeners quite yet. Yeah.
Because they do test you. Like there's an art to them. A lot of people get hurt doing them if they don't at least research. And, and then to your main point, like when you start to defy your body and your limits, your ceilings, that's when people get hurt, quite frankly. And it can be drastic. So I love your awareness there, man.
Okay. The big question to show, "what's in focus? What's going on with you right now?"
[00:46:15] Chris: Yeah. What's in focus right now is just this exploration of like, Two, three years of not having a traditional job and just the highs and lows that have come from that. And the consistent theme is when I lean into Curiosity, connection, they serve me well.
There's this other book I just read, the Lion Trackers Guide to Life.
And in that, one of the quotes from one of the Lion Trackers is, "I don't know where I'm going, but I know exactly how to get there." And the the metaphor is basically like, I don't know where the lion is right now, but I know exactly how to get there. I follow the sights, the smells, the signs, whether they're visual or otherwise of where this lion is going.
And so that's where I feel like I'm at. I don't know where I'm going, but I know exactly how to get there. Or how I get there is when I meet someone like you in Front Row Dads on a call. I remember it like it was fucking yesterday. It was basically the same background that I'm staring at right now.
This microphone, this guy with a wooden sign that says, member(dev). I didn't know what that meant at the time. He's got a big smile. But it was like your energy, voice, words, whatever it was. I was just like, this dude needs to be part of my life, or at least part of my story to where I need to understand why I feel like there's this connection here.
And so I'm trying to surrender and lean into those types of experiences and curiosities and, and nudges and guidances that the, either the universe, God, again, whatever word you want to use is giving me. Because I do feel like there's a path and there's a purpose and there's a way forward.
And when I fight that or when I stay ignorant to those signs, it usually takes me to a place where I'm not my whole self and I'm not my best self. And when I lean into that, when I synergize my energy with those things, it brings me a lot of joy. So that's a very, uh, expanded , whatever way of looking at it.
But specifically, yeah, I want to use my love of nature, my knowledge of nature, my connection with nature, and then start to bring that to other people. I love to share it with other people that know nature, you know, as much or almost as much as I do. But I also love to see those big eye pops to people that have never experienced this before.
And just to be able to be immersed in these experiences. And just the changes they tell me they're having, or the energy I'm picking up of them, you know, maybe having their first real experience where they're not worried about what's going on back home or what their cell phone messages they're missing right now and all of that.
So that's amazing. So that's definitely, uh, in focus for me.
[00:48:52] Ali: Hell yes, man. I love it. I appreciate those kind words because I had very similar feelings meeting you and why we get along so fluidly. I think we're both also in a phase where not only are we tapping into where our energy wants to go, but you used a very strong word surrender, which I've talked about.
We've had deep discussions around this. There's a way of life that emerges when you start to surrender. And it doesn't mean that you just do everything everyone asks of you, but it is, for me at least, it's paying attention to what's presenting itself. And then leaning into the energy, like you said, leaning into the things that light you up.
As I talked about on your podcast with Deb, establishing some framework, like a "whole body Yes" for things where you're like, ah, that's just not where I'm putting my energy right now. And really feeling confident about that. So I honor you for doing that, dude.
And yeah, to just give context since I'm part of what's in focus for you, Chris and I had an amazing experience last year. Actually, beginning of this year. Yeah. This year. Yeah. Yeah. See that's how, how time is shifting. In January with some other Front Row Dads where Chris led this adventure where we got to do some awesome snowshoeing and time at a, a hut, a cabin, and then even some skiing in Breckenridge. Like it was phenomenal.
And we got this warm feedback. Just from everyone. It was kind of unanimous, just like, wow, this was, this was it. This like lit me up in different ways. We're now planning a second one for next summer, which just gives us this energy like I was talking about earlier, where I get like giddy and I'm like, oh shit. Chris sent me a text message. I gotta pop into Trello. See what he, he's doing.
And I share that passion, man, of just wanting to share how nature has helped me with others. And I'm gonna just stumble around in these words, but use some really great words. Like using your experience, your love, your connection with nature and then wanting to give that to other people.
And it's funny, dude, like as I say that, and as I was taking notes and even as I was listening to you say that, I was just thinking in my head, " There's this amazing opportunity we have, but how funny is it that we have to quote on quote, teach people how to be with nature again?" Yeah.
You know, and like I'm very excited to do this. I think it solves a huge need in the world. You know, whether there's business involved, which there will be, or it's just passion projects or a combination of both. Who knows? Maybe at some point, cuz I feel like this is just the start of this chapter for us. Like, we're gonna design these experiences and help people come more alive.
It's just so interesting to me that this is one of those examples of life where we're reintroducing people to something that's native to who they are. Right? Yeah. They've just simply forgotten it, you know.
[00:51:50] Chris: Yeah, for sure. And it helps when I have books like The Comfort Crisis Yeah or Lion Trackers Guide to Life or Discover Your Darma. Those kinds of books where it helps take these feelings inside of me that I feel like are these truths.
But I don't have the data. I don't have the studies. I don't have mm-hmm. anything else other than like, this is working really well for Chris. But then yeah, so I, I'm in this, this echo chamber of like, yeah, there are so many studies. There are so many, um, resources. There are so many experiences that people have shared where just these amazing, transcendent or even just amazing health benefits, that kind of stuff that people have experienced once they've evolved back into , you know, a life in connection and within a harmony with nature. And just where that takes them and yeah.
I mean, it's it's some powerful shit and it's easy. I mean, it can be very, very easy and simple. It's just, you know, there's humility and, and some surrender that's involved and expanding that comfort zone. Or shrinking that comfort. One of the ways, basically being okay, being uncomfortable more often, which you know, is not easy.
[00:53:02] Ali: Totally, dude. Yeah. Actually the way you describe that is, is a really interesting way to kind of close this segment. Is that in some ways, I can understand exactly why you said it's easy, because I feel that too. I'm like, yo, it's easy. Like the planning stuff is kind of fun. It does take work as we plan this adventure that's coming next summer.
But it's easy for us, cuz like you said, we know how to get there. I even feel like I have a a vision of what it looks like for people. Like this is something I've been paying attention to throughout my story and been like, huh, I've been able to plan and curate some pretty cool experiences from like my wedding to some guys' bachelor parties, to family adventures to ventures with you. Like, and it, again, it gives me energy so I have an understanding of how to get there and even kind of what it looks like.
Although I will say I don't know exactly what it looks like. That will present itself. Right. Going back to surrender. Yes. But what's so interesting about what you just shared at the end, you said, In a way it's not easy. And I think that's the piece of reminding people, teaching them, guiding them and being like, yo, you've gotten so used to your comforts, like the comfort crisis explains.
You've gotten so used to these conveniences, so ingrained in society, so embedded in these status games that it's actually hard for you now. And that's where we get to come in and have fun and play and guide and just do the shit we wanna do anyways.
[00:54:30] Chris: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I mean, I totally, totally believe that.
And that's what I try to be aware of the fact that, I have spent a lot of time in nature. I grew up in a small town, rural as hell, and so I, I've been outdoors with very little comforts many times in my life. So I try to bring that awareness as I try to think of ways that we can incorporate this to people that maybe have never really done anything except for driven through a national park in their car and pointed at something and said like, oh, that's cool and now let's, you know, go.
Whereas I remember it is so funny. There's been so many times I've been to like the Grand Canyon and I'm at the rim and I don't like staying at the rim too long cuz that's where everybody's at. Yeah. Everyone's sitting there doing their selfies in front of the canyon and I'm trying not to judge, but I'm observing very hard where I'm like, are you even appreciating any of this? Or are you just trying to blow up your Instagram or something like that?
But anyways, you just overhear these stories of like, okay, we've been here five minutes, let's go. And like, hell, I've spent, you know, days in Grand Canyon and I'm like, I was like, dammit, I didn't get enough time to see this or this or this or this, or whatever.
So yeah, it's just, you know, the differences of people's experiences and exposure. But I think overall, the overarching story is, nature has some impactful ways. And hopefully I can become a guide or curate these experiences with other guides that really help people to find that healing, growing energy that I've been able to tap into.
Because, yeah, it's been very critical in my experience.
[00:55:59] Ali: Hell yeah, man.
Okay, you wanna wrap with a few fun rapid fire questions?
[00:56:05] Chris: Let's do it.
[00:56:06] Ali: Let's do it, dude. Okay. First one, what animal are you most scared of?
[00:56:12] Chris: Ah, I think I've heard you ask this one before. It would be a grizzly. I have not been exposed or been around a grizzly whatsoever, but the thought of them, truly does terrify me.
So when I think of doing some future adventures in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and like super back country, they will give me pause. So yeah, but like snakes and spiders, any of that kinda stuff, I've always had a pretty good fondness and kinship with those kind of weird critters. But, yeah, Grizzlies would have to be it.
[00:56:41] Ali: Dude, I feel you. I just read through this part of the Comfort Crisis where he shares a story about , this poor younger guy who gets off a boat and like doesn't realize there's a grizzly on another side of this berry bush. So they're both foraging and then as they meet the young guys, like, oh shit. And the way they describe in the book is that the grizzly stands up and slaps his head off.
Yeah. Aww, dude. Like I believe that. And there was some very innate fear I felt around grizzlies. And dude, not a lot of things scare me. And I'm not saying that to puff the ego or try to sound so tough, but there's a few things in life that scare me. And being one-on-one with the grizzly is one of them.
Yeah, I've heard some pretty gnarly stories. It's one of those things that if I experience it, cool, but I'm probably okay not experiencing that.
[00:57:37] Chris: I think I'm, I'm right there with you Right. I've seen a few black bears and they, they've done some cool things and they still startle me. But yeah, a grizzly, like I'm pretty sure I'm losing my, my shit in my pants, you know?
[00:57:48] Ali: Right. So. Totally dude.
Okay, next question. And if possible, keeping this brief, cuz you've already shared a ton of wealth around adventures. But what's another adventure you want to get into? Like, what comes to mind? What's your next adventure? It could be big, could be small.
[00:58:07] Chris: Yeah, I wanna start playing more with water.
I've been a, a mountain guy and I thought I was a mountain guy to my core. And then I have these last three springs I've gone to the desert and I'm like, oh, the desert's powerful too. I'm, I'm amazed with the desert. And so now I'm kind of opening my eye to water adventures, kayaking, rafting, that kind of stuff.
Because up to this point I've loved, you know, hikes that take me near water or a lake or a river or whatever to get it so I can drink it. But I haven't spent much time actually using it as a vessel.
And it could be all the way back to our this winter trip when you and Wagner, and then I think, I know you had a podcast on it too, but like this two metaphors of climbing the mountain and that's very, you know, masculine type one uhhuh energy and then surrendering to the river.
And so I think that probably planted a seed or helped a seed that was already planted start to come to fruitation of like, yeah, lemme go learn some from some rivers. Let me go, uh, see what they have to teach me. Cuz I've, I've learned a little bit about what the mountains in the desert have taught me.
I bet the rivers wanna teach me some stuff too, so I'm excited about that.
[00:59:16] Ali: Hell yeah, man. Well, I'm down if you need a river buddy, so Yeah. Yeah. Count me in.
All right, last question. What is one of your fondest childhood memories?
[00:59:27] Chris: Yeah, it might be because it's top of mind from, from earlier, but like going to the mountains with my mom and my grandparents. Just going on those simple Jeep rides where, you know, we're heading out at maybe eight or nine in the morning. We have a lunch somewhere on this hillside.
Yeah, I mean, there's this part of me that remembers it in this way where I was like everybody was okay, was chill. We're not really arguing about like how clean the house is, or did this person do the right thing. There's not a whole lot of judgment going on. And so I love, I think I just love the serenity, the simplicity of those experiences.
We're having peanut butter on our Ritz cracker, and it was just like amazing. You know, because we're sitting on the side of this mountain and putting our feet in the stream, seeing who can hold their feet in the stream the longest. You know, none of us were brave enough at all to do a cold plunge or anything like that, but, you know, that was our version of the cold plunge.
Like, oh, let's try to, you know, go outside of our comfort zone by putting our foot in this stream. So those were some pretty powerful memories to me.
[01:00:28] Ali: Oh, that's beautiful, dude. As you were sharing that, I just felt emotions rise and very nostalgic. So thank you for that.
Yeah. Because I recalled some of my fond childhood memories of coming out to Steamboat. You know, so I lived in St. Louis as a kid, but my family and I would come out to Steamboat, spend time with my grandparents, and same thing, dude. We would just hike or spend time at the pool or play these basic card games together, and they were just blissful.
[01:01:01] Chris: Yep.
[01:01:02] Ali: Wow. Thank you for that.
[01:01:03] Chris: Yeah, one little extra part to that too. So at that time, My grandparents co-owned with my grandmother's sister, this tiny little, it used to be an old, like train car. So that was like our cabin. I would guess it was probably 15 feet by 20 feet, and there was times there'd be like 6, 7, 8 of us sleeping in that thing.
Mm-hmm. , like this is the size of a very small hotel room. And we had all these families crammed in there. And I guess it was just maybe this conditioning of we didn't have anything better than that, so we didn't feel entitled to anything more comfortable than that. But it was just so... I mean, everyone's in crammed quarters for better or worse.
And so it's just like, yeah, there's just some magic happens. You know, kinda like when I was telling you about going to those hostels where every morning we're going down and having breakfast with these complete strangers, and by the end of the meal you, you're connected in a way that you don't get, you know, when you're just like surrounding yourself in extreme comfort.
Like, oh, I've got my own hotel room. I can go to my own bathroom. I can do all this stuff. I don't have to interact with other people. And so, yeah, it's just another piece of that story that I just wanted to share too.
[01:02:11] Ali: It sounds like that was totally enough too, huh?
[01:02:13] Chris: Yeah. Oh yeah. There you go. Perfect way to bring that around.
Yeah, that was more than enough. Yeah.
[01:02:18] Ali: Love it. Awesome dude. Well, this has been a gift and a treat. Thank you, Chris.
[01:02:23] Chris: Same here.
[01:02:24] Ali: Anything left unsaid before we wrap?
[01:02:28] Chris: Nah, man. I don't think so. I, uh, I really enjoyed this chance to have this conversation with you. These conversations, you know, just keep building on the foundation of this friendship and where it goes from there.
So I'm excited to jam with you and I'm excited to get to explore and experience sharing this gift or this curiosity that we have with other folks. Uh, when we can look back in 20 years, I think it'll bring some fond memories of like, oh my God, is that when it started?
Is that how this going? Yeah. Oh, wow. I forgot about that. Yeah. So I'm excited for that.
[01:02:56] Ali: A hundred percent, man. Thanks for lifting me up in ways. Thanks for sharing your story. And those are just perfect words, is that I'm excited for whatever's in store for us, so, cool. Appreciate you, brother.
[01:03:10] Chris: Yeah, same to you, brother.
Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.