12 comments on “Going Back to School (sort of)

  1. Congratulations Ryan on your acceptance into the NOLS Instructor Course!!

    Forget about all the reasons why this might not work. You only need to find a good reason why it will, and it sounds to me like you’ve already done that. Go for it!


    • Thanks, John. There’s still quite a bit that’s going to happen between now and then, so it’s hard for me to think that far ahead, but it’s certainly seems like a more stable and positive life direction for me than what I’ve been doing for the past few years. I’d say that’s a good thing.

  2. “So what’s making me so nervous about this otherwise no-brainer of a career choice?”

    None of the things you mention are real or valid. It’s just your reptilian brain and it’s natural response. So recognize it and push towards it because as you get closer to your goal the winds of the lizard brain get fiercer.

    Linchpin, Are You Indispensable?
    by Seth Godin ©2010

    The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.

    The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It’s real, and it’s living on the top of your spine…

    The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.

    There are several parts of your brain near the end of your spinal cord responsible for survival and other wild animal traits. The whole thing is called the basal ganglia, and there are two almond shaped bits in everyone’s brain. Scientist call these the amygdala, and this mini-brain apparently takes over whenever you are angry, afraid, aroused, hungry, or in search of revenge.

    The challenge, then, is to create an environment where the lizard snoozes.

    the lizard cares deeply about grades and not a bit about art or leadership or connection.

    Seeking Out Discomfort
    Going out of your way to find uncomfortable situations isn’t natural, but it’s essential.

    The resistance seeks comfort.

    discipline yourself to create bad ideas. The worse the better.

    The resistance wants you to check your email now

    • Well, I’d certainly argue about the reality of the things that make me nervous (that pack on my back wasn’t a figment of my imagination), but you’re right that they’re not anything that should change my mind in the least. There are other, more valid things about spending the summer in Wyoming that make me nervous, but still… they’re not things that will make me change my mind.

    • Maybe anxious is a better word. I don’t think anything bad will come of this summer– quite the opposite. The NOLS thing adds one more option to my future, and more options means a harder time deciding on which to take at any given time. 🙂

  3. I second John’s comments Ryan. It’s all good – go for it! Seems like both an amazing opportunity and a great fit for you. Oh, and enjoy your warm- up in the Whites!

    • At first I read that as “enjoy your warm weather in the Whites.” I guess it’ll be that, too 🙂

      I look forward to reporting on the experience this summer…

  4. Ryan, this is an amazing opportunity and that is completely awesome that you will be able to make a life of the outdoors! You are living the dream my friend!

    • The trick will be to see if that dream can be a viable life, considering the comfy home I have in NH now, that I would very much like to keep. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Nah. I will never fully go back to heavyweight, although I could use the extra muscle… My real hope is to teach on their lightweight backpacking courses, but like I said– I’m not going to hold my breath. Many of the skills out there are interchangeable between heavy and light backpacking.

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