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MusingsTrip Journal

What The Hell Are We Doing?

By November 24, 2014One Comment
Seems like everyones making action films these days

Seems like everyones making action films these days

Our blog posts have been sparse, our photography even moreso, and our list of ticks has not grown. What gives? What happened to the “climb all the time can’t-stop-won’t-stop” never-ending road trip?

That, dear reader, is the exact question we are trying to answer.

Since we got rousted out of Canada back in the beginning of October, things have been hectic. That was right after I hurt my finger, and in the midst of trying to finish the edit for Alex Honnold’s Birthday Challenge. We spent time in Bellingham, Salt Lake City, filmed one last Birthday Challenge in Joe’s Valley, and found ourselves back in Salt Lake for Halloween. We did not party; we quite literally hid in the dark while children tried to get candy from us, while trying to work on a timelapse for the Honnold video.

I don’t read many productivity blogs, but I would wager that 0% of them advise constantly interrupting your workflow with travel, changing your work surroundings daily, and keeping irregular hours.

It’s Not That It’s Not Working, Exactly…

You know when you’re projecting a route, and there’s a section in which you can do all the moves and even link most of them together, but you just don’t see it all coming together, ever? And then someone points out that you can use a drop-knee on most of the moves, and suddenly you realize you’ve been climbing inefficiently and, frankly, stupidly?

This is what we have been feeling like. We work hard, we try hard, but we are not trying smart. I feel sometimes like we’re trying to campus up a slab…our feet are dragging us down, not helping the forward progress. Working at a desk for 8 hours is relatively normal, while working at a coffeeshop for that length of time is heinous. It’s not conducive to good elbow health, back health, or diet. Changing locations midway through the day is time-consuming and expensive. We are exhausted at the end of the day and haven’t accomplished half of what we wanted to.

It’s frustrating. On top of that, we are both feeling a lot of pressure to deliver awesome videos and photos, the kind that we are proud of and that set us apart from the masses of gnar send footage bro.

Only problem is, that kind of film also doesn’t pay very well. Red Bull throws lots of money at extreme adventure sports, and not so much at meditative reflection. The line is a tough one to walk. But we’re learning.

Grounding and Regrouping

Eliot using a 1000mm lens to explore the Bay Area on a gorgeous Sunday.

Eliot using a 1000mm lens to explore the Bay Area on a gorgeous Sunday.

For the past two weeks, we’ve been in California with our respective families. The trailer is parked in Berkeley, where it received a new coat of roof-goo to hopefully end our leak issues once and for all. Vikki is, as I type, in Mexico with her best college friends celebrating a bachelorette. Two weeks prior, I was in Los Angeles with an old friend and many new ones celebrating a bachelor. My little brother Eliot is home for Thanksgiving. My parents are at work. I’m working from a real desk, with a monitor too!

I think that our search for novelty has rubbed off on my parents. They are seasoned world-travelers, but have hardly scratched the surface of the USA. We drove down to Pinnacles National Park last weekend on a trip that my mom planned, and had an amazing 2 days of hiking.

Call me soft, but I’m not even missing the road right now. We simply have too much to do. That, and I’m currently still trying to remember how to climb (finger’s 90% healed). That, and we have way too much to do. Did I mention that already?

Making It Work

I hope I don’t give the impression that we’re going to quit, or that aren’t still psyched to keep living the dream. We are. We have a lot going for us, and we feel a sense of responsibility to repay or pay forward the love and generosity that has gotten us this far. The RV Adventures will continue. The “how” is what we are going to use the rest of 2014 to address.

I know that we can and will make it work. Here’s why:

We have an incredible community of climbers and creatives surrounding us, physically and cyber-spatially. When we drag ourselves away from perfect climbing conditions, from open roads and friends and parties, and plug in to our portable work stations, it’s the social media and email comments and words of support that keep us going and make it all seem worth it. I’ve fallen on friends old and new who are in the “biz,” to help me get an abstract vision solidified on a timeline, or just to commiserate about the toil of filmmaking. Vikki is able to get some much-needed girl-time catharsis with the friends we’ve made over the past 2.5 years.

Our best asset is you, dear reader. I speak for the both of us when I say that the people are what really matter, and I know Vikki agrees with what I’m writing because it’s ridiculously cheesy, yet true. And Vikki really likes cheesy things that are true.

We’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of the biggest stars in climbing, and to have some of the coolest companies take chances on our creative vision. Two and a half years ago we had a T3i and a tripod designed for still photography, and we tried our hand at storytelling. Let’s just say that our level of professionalism has since improved.

What’s Next?

Lots of bird-meat, lots of cheer, and then lots of training and lots of editing. We’ll be back in Tennessee for a wedding, likely staying for the second half of December. (Maybe I can finally do The Shield???) Then, well, we’re not sure. But we’ve got some ideas that are pretty exciting…I just don’t want to jinx ’em!

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