This past weekend was sick. I did exactly what I came out to Colorado to do: get my hands dirty. A buddy and I helped work on building this cabin up on the Grand Mesa, near Grand Junction, CO.
Don’t get me wrong, living in Los Angeles is awesome. I mean, I like it. You may not and that’s cool! For me, the opportunity in LA is exciting. I’ve been able to capitalize on that opportunity somewhat thus far but I know there’s still a lot more to achieve when I go back. And, I will go back.
But, for now, I find myself in the quite, slower-paced Western Slope of Colorado. Long have I wanted to find myself in a spot similar to Grand Junction, a place where you don’t have to look to far to find some good ole fashion, manual labor.
I believe that there’s just something instinctive about working outside and getting your hands dirty, and possibly even smashed in between a couple of boards on a home-made pulley system.
Friday night I slept on a blow up mattress in the basement of the cabin we would work on the next day. While I was perfectly safe, our conversations of bears, mountain lions, and elk sparked my imagination. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep too well.
Nonetheless, Saturday morning came around and I arise just before the sun made it’s appearance. These days, I do my best to catch every sunrise and sunset that I can. The sun showed up and it was time to get to work.
As we were working, I couldn’t help but feel a small sense of accomplishment after every board we moved and set in it’s final resting place. Very few things in life allow you to see instant gratification but in this moment of time manual labor sure did.
Truth is, I needed this manual labor. It’s been too long sense I’ve done something physical that’s actually been useful to somebody else. The past few years my physical activity has been only found in the gym, for the most part. Physicality was such a big part of my life, as it’s difficult to hide from in 10 years of football.
I doubt anybody wants this ole has-been to put on pads and a helmet anymore but that doesn’t mean I can’t find something to get my hands dirty and allow this strong back of mine to be put to get use.
“I’m gonna hang on ’til the ride is through
’cause that’s what cowboys do.”
Casey Donahew Band
Leaving Southern California (even temporarily) was a big risk. There’s potential to lose the momentum I’ve gathered. There’s no telling what opportunities I’ve missed.
But, I am not bothered by those. I am not bothered by turning down some huge opportunities. I’m not worried about going back and having no opportunities, either. Most of what I have done up until this point, I’ve played a big part in creating for myself.
“It’s not about the opportunities given to you.
It’s about the opportunities you create!”
– Greg Plitt
I’m in a difficult stage in my life [I believe we all could argue that]… I’ve accomplished a few things… small scale, I would consider… enough for people to really say, “man, Nick’s got a lot of potential.”
I’ve put myself in a situation where if I achieve nothing else, my life’s story will be one of ‘what might’ve been.’
I’ve put myself is a position where I must succeed, with grandeur… I’ve done all of this by the age of 26… if I do nothing else and manage to live to 52, what does it mean?
You’ll never be able to take away what I’ve done but the value will greatly diminish, I’m afraid… as it should, I’m not writing you today to say that they should echo into eternity for no good reason…
I bring all this up to say this, I have put myself in this position so that I must continue excelling… it’s like putting yourself against the ropes and saying I’ve got to fight or lay down… I must continue to throw punches, hoping that one connects just right…
I’m not sure what others think about my recent leave of absence from LA. Honestly, I don’t really care either.
Truth is, I needed to come out to the Rocky Mountains. I didn’t know why, initially. But, each day that passes, I’m learning about myself and where I should take my future. That information is invaluable to me.
Long have I known that I will leave behind great work but it hasn’t been until recently that the curtains have began to draw back and slowly reveal what that future looks like.
The lights are shining bright… I’ve put myself up against the ropes… I’m dying to see what I’m made of… Do I have what it takes? Am I capable of this great calling?
I suppose the verdict is still out but one thing’s for sure: I’m up against the ropes and there are but two options… lay down and quit or come out swinging…
Mr. Relentless doesn’t lay down…