Saying Yes to Life

This morning we woke up to heavy rain. Ok, fine, computer time it is.

Soon it was noon and I was antsy to get out, but the rain came down heavier. So dark was it outside that we had to have our lights in the house. Two, still inside, three, ditto. Four rolled around and I was feeling a bit, “Oh why bother, I’ll call it a rest day”. But it’s not a rest day, it’s more about just getting out. 4:30, things were cruxy. Settled in my seat, I was being productive, good tunes filled the house, and the thought of that initial soaking of rainwater on my shins was too much to bear. The rain was really coming down. 4:35, guilt. 4:40, Alright, YES, okay, I’m going.

Rolling out the door and onto the street, I was immediately in my element. Outside, on a bike, smelling the fresh air, freedom. I headed to the forest behind our house and on to my favorite singletrack, warmed up a bit and then opened up the throttle for some muddy fun. Pure, 100% joy.

My obligatory long uphill had me thinking what the word “yes” means. Yes, as opposed to No. Go as opposed to Not go. I have long had a rule. Say yes. If it sounds good, say yes.

More often than not, a well thought out yes leads to goodness and rich rewards. No kills opportunity and closes doors and the mind.


Roaring down my path

1987 – “Do you want to go climbing for your first time?” – Yes.

1989 – “Do you want to go to your first road race?” – Yes

1991 – “Do you want to drop out for a bit and drop into the climbing bum lifestyle?” – Yes

1997 – “Do you want to commercial fish in Alaska?” – Yes (seriously, true.)

1998 – “Can you start shooting some photos of your travels?” – Yes

Photo school? Yes. Do you want to go out for a drink (Janine) – Yes. How about traveling for a couple of years to shoot and grow our business? Yes.

All things which, when looking back have lead to the bullseye I am lucky enough to be living.

Still it continues. On a whim I’ve said yes to some crazy travels and regretted none of it. (By the way, Andreas – yes, I’ll go to Costa Rica for the Mountain Bike Stage Race). For me, yes has been all good but for one time I said yes for the wrong reason – I said yes knowing in my heart it was wrong, I said yes for money over life. I regretted it immensely and for some time was stuck being someone I was not. Luckily there was an out, and to the out I said Yes, adios.

Once at the top of my climb today I knew my descent was going to be a good one. Thanks to the rain, the trail was in perfect shape, the creek crossings deep with rainwater, and I had chosen the smoothest of all the descents. For 15 minutes I surfed my wave, squinting through the mud and pine needles splattering on my face until I was at the bottom and emerged from the forest and onto our street. I hadn’t even noticed how hard it was raining under the forest’s canopy, but once in the open I was getting drenched. The 4 minute ride home was just long enough to let the rainwater give my bike and I a good rinsing.


Just another path I would have missed out on had I not said Yes


Comments 9

  1. Thanks. That was awesome. It’s how I like to think I live my life too, but I’ve never used those words, or that simple of a concept to imagine it.

    Everything is an experience. Good or bad is just how you perceive it.

  2. Awesome post! That is kind of exactly what I need to hear today. Every once ina while the whole, ‘I can’t possibly be good enough to pull this off’ thought creep into my head, but this post is a great reminder that if you keep saying ‘yes’ to good opportunities, and work your butt off, it’s possible. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. Your blogs and imagesare always such an inspiration to Genny and I as we try to build a life similar to yours and Janine’s. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Ben, So true, huh? My day was a little like life. Wake up (born), fart around a bit in the morning (adolescence), work (20-30s), worry/guilt, (40’s) and then decision time before, yikes, bedtime… Best to make the decisions to rip it up in the early morning hours. Hug Genny for me.

  3. Amen, Dan, well said. We will never, in the end, say, “I wish I hadn’t done that” Only, “boy, what a ride, I’m glad I did all that crazy stuff” Keep it up! Lisa and I are trying to get to Austria/Italy next summer.

  4. Huge appreciation for this post! I’m bookmarking this one as I want to return to it for the occasional reminder. Simple, yet profound — thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you once again for inspiration, Dan. I’m so glad I said “yes” to that photo shoot with you guys a year ago.

    Meeting you two and seeing you living the lifestyle that I’ve been dreaming of and striving for so long has changed my life and further convinced me that something similar is not only possible for me, but inevitable.

  6. There’s nothing I love more than riding in the rain.
    This post put so many things in my mind. I love finding people w/ the same desire to live life and not leave room for what if. I want my life to continue to be this way and even more so. Thank you for being who you are because it helps reinforce who I am and who I want to continue to be.
    Here’s to putting it out to the universe and saying yes to what comes next!

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