In honor of Earth Day, we share with you a piece of art from Teton Valley, Idaho artist Michele Walters. Handcrafting her own paper, and applying a universal theme to her print-made composition, “Be Gentle With The Earth,” Michele not only encourages us to be good to the earth, but also encourages introspection on how we are living with it.
The statements included within this work inspired thoughts from our employees and ambassadors, and we are sharing their wisdom and thoughtfulness with our fans today. As you read, consider your role on this planet. We share this earth every day with countless unseen individuals, each of them sharing the human experience, each of them walking in their own unique shoes. Our bond is that we share this earth.
The way in which we choose to react to our life experiences creates an impact on ourselves and those around us. Celebrate this Earth Day by considering your own impact – and look beyond this day for opportunities to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
One year, a week after my wedding, I was participating in a mountain marathon and from mile one, it felt so hard. How could this be? I thought. I had trained so hard. I had worked so hard. I wanted to quit every single mile. I wanted to quit every single step. I pushed on and vowed I would not let myself quit. Despite my rank in the race, despite my pace, I was going to keep moving forward. I finished, and I must say, out of all of the races I have ever run, I learned from this one. I grew the most from this one and I’m the most proud of this race. Winning is a wonderful feeling but working through substantial struggle has even greater rewards.
– Nikki LaRochelle, Ski Mountaineer
Remember not getting what you want can be a wonderful stroke of luck.
My path to Kate’s was paved by the failed acquisition of a business and lack of follow through on employment promises. It wasn’t always easy to look forward from those times, but I now live my dream in the Tetons and couldn’t be in a happier place. Am I mentally tough? Not particularly. Am I emotionally strong? Hardly.
For me, surpassing not getting what you want in life boils down to this Robert Frost quote: In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. Life has no choice but to go forward. Remember to keep heading that direction and enjoy everything it has to offer.
– Aaron Stiny, Sales Jedi
The classic saying, “when a door closes, a window opens” – I like to think I’m in control of all my hypothetical doors, but they’ve been slammed in my face more than I care for. At that point I feel as if I’m sitting in a dark room, shut off from my dreams. Just when I think the walls will become padded and a straight jacket wrapped around my body, a beam of light appears out of the corner of my eye. I don’t want to give in, still staring at the door in front of me I wish I could open. Then, with triumphant glory, the window bursts open and a new life is revealed. I slowly gaze out, blinded, hesitant, but optimistic. The breeze of opportunity touches my face and I realize an entirely different future has been bestowed upon me. I step on to the ledge, look forward, and jump.
Never underestimate the power of the universe…doors may show us a passage, but windows show us the world.
– Kalen Thorien, Professional Skier
Judge your success on what you had to give up to get it.
It is too easy for me to incessantly chase my hopes and dreams; to do what it takes to pursue my goals of fitness, ski mountaineering objectives, travel and business. I believe my own success should be measured by how well I recognize when to back off and go with the flow – when to listen and support others as my priority. To be content with the earth, myself and others just as they are. To simply be grateful for what the earth offers and to take only what I need. Real success is being content with where you currently are in life, while still maintaining motivation to improve.
– Teague Holmes, Skimo Athlete
Last summer my husband and I decided to give up what many would consider a lot: a 401K, a pension, health coverage from work, jobs for life, a house, being close to our families – in search of a better quality of life for us. We already feel our life in the shadow of the Teton Mountains to be more “successful” than the life we were living in Central Illinois. The road ahead here is still going to be a little tough for us, but what we are giving up will seem so small in the end when our lives are full of meaning and experiences we never could have had with our old life.
– Katie Buydos, Master of Demos & Sponsorships
After spending my 20s and 30s working in overdrive, depleting both my adrenals and my nerves, I am starting to achieve a life balance that better suits my dharma (what I was inherently meant to do). I built a successful retail business that, in the end, did not serve me once I became a mother. Giving up this business, and basically reinventing my existence, took an emotional toll. But after years of commitment and practice, I now have more time for family, volunteering, and play, all the while achieving a work path that enhances both my community and soul.
– Christina McGuire, Branding & Marketing Guru
Share your knowledge; it’s a way to achieve immortality.
Helping others and sharing knowledge should be done because it is good, not to “achieve” anything. If you have attained valuable knowledge it is the “house rules” that you pass it on. The idea is to make the world a better place through sharing knowledge. Sharing helps all of us become happier, healthier people and is a very positive cycle. I help hone your MTB skills so you have more fun, are safer and happier. Your happiness is contagious and makes your riding partners feel happier; their happiness makes their friends happier who in turn make their friends happier. The same can be said about sharing knowledge on nutrition, safety, anything that will improve another’s life.
– Gene Hamilton, Mountain Biker