VLOG #1: The Mission

Me, looking like a scrub, explaining my mission.  This is somewhat redundant, as I wrote this out in the first post, but some stuff has changed a bit, and I wanted a video for my YouTube channel.

Are my glasses crooked?  Yeah, I think so.

Here weeeee goooooo….

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Credit Where Credit is Due; Enter Chris Guillebeau

I don’t know why I didn’t mention this in my first post, having given Tim Ferris so much credit for his work Tools of Titans I completely overlooked another book that is very much responsible for this “quest” I am taking on.  That book was gifted to me by my good friend, Erik.  A soon to be repeating theme of this blog.

Chris Guillebeau penned an awesome book about taking on a quest and although I am not walking across Argentina without shoes on my feet and with a bindle holding all my belongings on my shoulder; I definitely took some solid ideas from Chris’ book The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

I think because I didn’t fit into the same categories as others in his book, I neglected to mention this brilliant piece of work.  If you are looking for a motivating read, this book will give you some insight into other people who are stirring for a change.  Again, I am just quitting booze and focusing on self improvement, but the leveling up concept was definitely taken right out of his book.  Although, I did read about it in a chapter of Tools of Titans, too.  That was probably where part the confusion lay.

So, I’m not that original.  Sue me.

Also, after joining Chris’ mailing list, he emailed me directly and was very kind and responsive in his email.  In my opinion, that says a lot about an author.  Pick up his book and give it a read.

Cheers!

~Dane

Estes Park, the Wedding & One Year, No Beer

What a trip that was.  An absolutely beautiful wedding nestled on the edge of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding foothills in Estes Park.  Family and friends of the bride and, my brother, the groom, also, of course, being my family, filled the seats and the reception.  Elk roamed the streets.  I walked away from my five-night stay there with new friends and an urge to go back and explore a new National Park that filled me with intrigue and excitement.

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(Yes, I’m aware that I look like my father)

The air was thin and we did nothing short of drink our silly faces to death.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to hike.  Mary’s Lake Lodge, where we stayed, had an elevation near 8000′ before even entering the much higher Rocky Mountain National Park, and I’m unsure how great of a hike it would have been considering the short period of time we had to acclimate.  We did, however, drive into the park and up to nearly 12,000′ before deciding to turn around due to my sister, Cassie, feeling quite ill from the elevation.  In substitution of a hike, I scrambled my way up a large boulder in an attempt to get as scenic of a view as I could.  My Under Armor shoes really weren’t meant for this type of climbing and I got a little nervous of slipping out of a foothole so I turned back before reaching a true summit point.  It was still fun, though, and gave me a small amount of adventure beyond a drive fueled by petro.

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I did make a speech both the night of the rehearsal and the wedding night as well.  It was not the practice to do the latter, but Jake’s friends had pre-planned to do a hilarious collage of movie quotes to intro my speech, so I prepared a short and sweet homage to my little brother and his beautiful wife.  Then we danced like we lost all lucidity until they pushed us into the lodge’s bar, and then, after the bar closed, an after-hours house party at my brother’s college friends’ rental.  Sunday was rough.

Monday we traveled back to Denver and after sharing my last beer with my brother at Lefthand Brewery and saying our fair wells, we met up with my little sister, Cassie, and her boyfriend, Zach.  She looked at me with a huge smile as I walked in the door and yelled, “IT’S YOUR LAST DAY DRINKING, WE’RE GETTING YOU SOOO FUCKED UP!”

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She succeeded.  Thanks, Cass (She’s the blond one below).

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Once the beers started flowing, we named the night: ONE YEAR, NO BEER… Or, more so, I named it such as I screamed at my Snapchat friends and continually got drunker and drunker with every snap.  My sister’s Snapchat storyline is even better than mine.

The night started at an upscale restaurant in Denver where my brother and his friends work, we were quite underdressed.  From there, the night moved to the RiNo neighborhood of Denver; a very cool part of town with buildings covered in beautiful murals by artists with a graffiti-type art style (Some of the pieces can be seen in my Snapchat video).  Super dope.  Jake’s friends Josh, John James and Alex all made the night exceptional by showcasing the highlights of their city and entertaining excellent conversation.  They took us to have a nibble on the “Best Burger in Denver,” to their humble abode, to an art-walk, to a punk-rock bar called Matchbox.  We closed that fucker out with Brandi, my girlfriend, somehow convincing the entire bar to take a picture together.

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Then we took a Lyft back to my brother’s apartment where we finished the night by offering a homeless man named Terry a granola bar (he didn’t accept it) and then flipping everything in my brother’s house upside down.  I thought this was funnier than it probably was and I woke up the next morning hating my life before Brandi got me out of bed.  (Video Below is of us flipping everything in my brother’s house upside down, be warned… this is my last night drinking at probably about 3/4 AM and it is explicit.)

The next morning marked the start of sobriety.  After a hellishly painful first day, I have finally made it to Day 3 of 365 without a drop of booze.  So far I have also not smoked any ganja, though that may change at some point.

Thanks to everyone who made this trip incredible!  I’ll post more pictures once I receive them from my brother and other family members.  I am sure there are some gems.

Cheers!  (Or, maybe, not so many cheers!)

~Dane

 

The Week Before: My Brother’s Wedding & Prepping for a Change

My younger brother, Jake, gets married on Saturday.  I am his best man and am absolutely stoked for the upcoming adventure out to Estes Park in Colorado.  The daunting task of writing a loving and crowd-pleasing speech is still weighing on my shoulders as I have procrastinated my way through week after week of the now-gone summer.  It’s all good, I’ll get it done.

This is my first blog post.  I am going to be doing this blog now for the foreseeable future as I delve back into writing consistently and a quest (of sorts) that I have decided to take on.  That quest is to stop drinking for an entire year starting after my brother’s wedding. This is not because I feel like I am an alcoholic, although tendencies have been established, but instead because I am in need of some focus and think that removing this distraction is going to get me closer to my goals in life.

To make this experience more engaging for myself, I have borrowed from others and used their positivity and lessons to create my own structured plan.  One of those people I am learning from is Tim Ferris and the many astounding people in his book, Tool of Titans, which has had a profound impact on me in the last couple months as I have moved from gainfully employed to home business owner.

Here’s my current thoughts on how I will structure my plan of execution to become sober and more focused in the coming 12 months:

1.  There will be four different aspects I am categorizing everything I do in my life into during this challenge.  Mental Health; Physical Health; Creativity; Financial/Career.  Everything I do is going to be to improve myself within those categories.  I will journal about this daily and post a blog on my progress as I go.  (I am going to go into deeper detail on this in another post)

2.  Removing negativity and growth hinderance.  I also am going to look through those four columns stated above and work to remove the things that are hindering the growth of that particular category. For instance, what keeps me from being creative?  Television & video games are two things that come to mind.  So, those are going to be either removed entirely from my daily routine or rationed out based on performance in other areas.

3.  At the end of my year I am going to have a large reward.  Right now I am leaning towards a trip to Patagonia.  But that is not quite good enough.  I need to further define what is going to happen on that trip and build upon it to create an ultimate goal.  Something like, backpack 150 miles through the Gloopedy Dupedy peaks (Don’t know the name of the peaks in Patagonia) and summit so-and-so mountain.  That’s more what I am looking for and what I am currently researching

4.   I am going to use whatever reward I have chosen as the thing I train for during this time of sobriety.

Now, back to my little brother.  I couldn’t be more proud of him.  And, being his bigger brother is a reward in and of itself.  My entire family will be present and I can’t wait to have a last hoorah as we celebrate him tying the knot with an awesome gal.  I plan on getting white girl wasted.  It’s my last go anyway!

Cheers to Sober October!

~Dane