Fan mail, feedback, ideas & opinions

Letters to the Editor: In response to “Uncomfortably Numb” in ASJ #93

I really enjoyed reading your Editor’s Note, “Uncomfortably Numb.” The struggle between living life with adventure and passion, and … doing the “right thing” is a personal conflict that I, and so many others, know all too well.

Reading your article brought me back to my days in Bend, OR, Telluride, CO, and Tahoe when I was skiing my ass off, mountain biking endless trails, rock climbing, and fly fishing western streams. It was an amazing feeling to be able to throw my belongings in my truck and move to a new town. There were times when I referred to my life as “poverty with a view,” but having that element of risk in my life compensated for a lot of things I didn’t have.

Now I have all the other things I didn’t have before – money, a home, a loving wife, and two beautiful little kids. I know where my focus is, where I need to be, and I love my family beyond words. But not having that element of outdoor passion and risk does nag at me daily. I realize that so many people would kill for the “stable and secure” job that I have, but sometimes the grind seems crippling.

I realize that I’m going through one of the most challenging times of family life (no sleep, diapers, constant home repairs, and having no time), but I fear that I’ll slip into a numb and unfulfilled life that optimizes so many of the people I work with.

Don’t get me wrong – I totally plan on being an active dad and exposing my kids to the outdoors. I want them to experience a sunrise from the top of Mt. Shasta and the nervous excitement of pushing their limits. I know I need to … “Just Do It.”

Thanks for listening to my rant Matt! Any advice from someone who’s had kids & pushed them to take risks?!

— Jon Bivetto, Santa Rosa

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Fear is a very powerful drug. Addictive, often debilitating, it can drive one to make some of the best, or worst decisions of their life. In the action sports arena fear, failure, and fear of failure are dominant and necessary characteristics.

Not doing, or bailing off of something purely out of fear is a very sharp double edged sword. While it guarantees survival, at what cost? It can be very demoralizing, leaving one feeling useless, cowardly and can really screw up your mental progression as an athlete. My close friend, employer and inspiring guide, the late, great Randall Grandstaff used to say “You could put cottonballs in your ears, put on a helmet and crawl into bed. You might never die. But at what cost?”

A long boring life is not a life worth living. I have lost many friends in the pursuit of our passions and I don’t consider it tragic. Randall, McKonkey, Osman, Potter, Pereyra, the list goes on. If you could ask any of them if they would reconsider with the knowledge that it would eventually kill them, I can say with some certainty that all of them would carry on with the pursuit.

Tragic is pro snowboarder Jeff Anderson bonking his head in a hotel lobby, tragic is my close friend Lindsay Brooks dying in a car accident a few months ago, tragic is the guy who works his whole life and all he has to show for it is money.

So as I sit here, with my badly sprained ankle on ice from a fall on El Cap last week, which resulted in me spending two days getting down and literally crawling back to the car, I ponder my lost friends, my many close calls, and my future as a 43-year old skier and climber.

The future is exactly that, the future. It’s unknown, it’s scary and exciting. But if there is one thing that I absolutely, 100% know for certain, it’s the comforting fact that in two months, I’ll be back out there with as much passion, drive, and fear as I have ever had, and I can’t wait.

I’m glad to hear that you didn’t quit climbing Matt – it is the right decision.

— Josh Pearlman, Santa Cruz

Van Living: Crystal & Jeff Robertson • Le Grand Adventure Tours

“We’re nomads living a life of travel and running a business in our converted Sprinter van. We own an adventure tour company,
Le Grand Adventure Tours where our team takes you skiing, biking or surfing from Japan to Santa Cruz or to Europe. Vanlife allows us to work while continuing our personal search to find the next great single track, a new surf spot along the coast or new coffee shop around the corner.

Our van is a 2016 170 Sprinter 4×4 XL made by Roadtrek, which has been converted into a fully livable mobile sports garage. Shower/bath, kitchen, fridge/freezer, solar, gear and everything we need to be mobile. The van has enough room for daily yoga, a morning espresso and a king size bed to fuel the working nomad lifestyle.”

Share YOUR story about living on the road. Email us here.



Oct/Nov: The Van Life ­– Is it for YOU? Looks like the nomadic lifestyle is a winner, whether in reality or in your dreams!
51% —  Dreaming of it …
43% ­— Heck yeah – already living the dream!
5% — No way – I need my roots

Our next question is: Do you feel the election is going to affect the adventure sports community? Tell us how. Chime in here.

Cover Choice

We asked you to help us choose this month’s cover shot, and these were our top four choices provided by Aurora Photography/Vail Resorts. Votes came down to 2 & 4, and although we were amped to feature a woman on the cover (@Brad AndDom said it well: “Girls getting shreddy are the best!”), we went with the popular vote – #4, an epic shot from Kirkwood Mountain Resort by Bligh Gillies.


Submit Your Stories & Photos

ASJ is here for YOU – our reader! We value your feedback and contributions, and appreciate you getting involved.
Send us: Story ideas • Trip/race reports • Van living images • Shots of your favorite place to hang a hammock • Guide stories • Pictures of your adventure hound
Plus: Follow @ShareThisWave • Tell us how you “Earn Your Beer” • Respond to our articles and editor’s note
Email us here.