My trip down memory lane took me to 1987. Fresh out of high school and blatantly ignoring any further education, I was free to do as I pleased. So, when a friend called to invite me rock climbing I had no day planner to consult, I just went. From that day forward, I was a new person. I embraced the climbing lifestyle like a man overboard welcomes a well aimed life ring.
Everything I did went to climbing, work was a means to go climbing, to buy more climbing gear and to dream of traveling to the places I saw in the magazines. With $32.78 in my checking account, I had little else to do but stare at the pictures in catalogs.
The Patagonia and, at that time, Chouinard catalogs were like Bibles to me. Not just for the gear and photography, but for the energy that I felt from looking at them. I was a climber, I was not mainstream (still not!) and these two companies legitimized how I felt, justified my lifestyle and gave me reason to dream. It was an exciting time in my life, I was discovering a little of who I was.
Little did I know then, living in my truck, selling espresso drinks from my tailgate and dining in supermarket bin aisles that I was also being put on a path to where I am today, 21 years later.
To see myself on the Calendar cover, climbing in the Swiss Alps, I feel my life has come full circle. I am that person I so badly wanted to be as a poor, wandering teenager. But even better, my wife made the photo, and ironically it was a day that for each of us remains one of our best days together in the mountains.