Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year Nominees Hangout in Denver
Battery 621 in Denver was the place to be last week as outdoor industry heavyweights Jeremy Jones, Red Bull-sponsored kayaker Steve Fisher, mountain biker and humanitarian Shannon Galpin, and pro skier Josh Dueck came together for the Business of Fun (BOF).
Each has been nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year and came together digitally with the folks in attendance at BOF via a Google+ Hangout. BOF’s tagline – Keeping Kids Out of Cubicles – has been sponsoring education about suit-and-tie alternatives since 2008.
Moderated by Chris Davenport, these athletes gathered to discuss a very serious subject: how to avoid the bummer life.
For Shannon Galpin, her focus shifted abroad after years of involvement with women’s issues. The Summit-county resident travelled to Afghanistan and founded Mountain2Mountain, an arts project in war-ravaged Kabul. This led to pioneering arts, sport, and music programs in Afghanistan. For Shannon, it was something that had to be done despite the safety concerns and distance from her family.
Pro skier Josh Dueck experienced a personal transition when a ski injury left him paralyzed from the waist down. In the days following his accident, Josh’s doctors broke the news of his paralysis by telling him that he would continue to ski – sitting down. Josh went after his new sport without looking back.
Jeremy Jones gave a brief summary of his plan to ride big lines and get paid for it, each step sounding like a parent’s worst nightmare.
Fixated on snowboarding as much as possible, by sixteen it was clear Jones wasn’t taking the Ivy League track. Instead, at 18 he moved to Jackson and set out to become a professional snowboarder by way of dirt-bagging it – washing dishes and couch surfing.
He never considered a backup plan. Jones is now the founder of Protect Our Winters and Jones Snowboards, and a legend in the sport. Jones’ sage advice: “Don’t follow the dollar, follow what feeds your soul.”
On the other end of the spectrum, pro kayaker Steve Fisher was on the path to return to school and study veterinary medicine but after taking a few years off he decided to follow his true calling, despite the stable paycheck.
A gathering like this affirms our decision to be a part of this community. It often means making less in order to do more of what we love, to fully engage in our interests, and to avoid the bummer life. Follow the The Business of Fun on Facebook for beta on the next meetup.
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