You Can Achieve Anything, but Not Everything.

On the Way toward an Artist's Soul, Athlete's Body, and Entrepreneur's Mind.


"This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path -- the my-isn't-that-impressive path -- and keep you there for a long time. "

--Michelle Obama, Becoming.


I have a low pain tolerance. And I've worked really hard to get one.

Yes, you heard that right.


If you typically are an avoidance coper, this article is not for you unless you want to reminisce about growing up during the 90s.


Recently facebook did its stated job of "social connection" and helped me reconnect with my high school basketball coach. Coach P found me somehow and I was really surprised.


She had moved away from the gorgeous mountain hamlet of Garden Valley where she coached girls' middle and high school basketball to Buhl, Idaho. Buhl is best known today as the Trout Capital of America, with numerous hatcheries producing over 20 million pounds of rainbow trout that are shipped worldwide. Also, home to my Grandparents' dairy farm where one bull always got his own stall to prance and boast about before he was sent off to slaughter.


Garden Valley (including the only actual no-stoplight town, Crouch) is famous for having had the world champion female bull rider in rodeo back in the 90s.


The Bar, Hair Salon, Hardware Store, Overpriced Milk Store with JoJos and Library - That's All Folks

In the 1990's, Garden Valley was the seat of many a dispute between the Kayakers (stinky hippies drawn in from around the world due to world-class whitewater river rapids on the Payette River) and the Cowboys (locals wearing designer, nut-hugging too-tight wranglers --horse riding optional).


It was our very own Montagues and Capulets, with so much drama.


Mainly the cowboys wanted to let their cows shit in the river and the Kayakers (and anyone related to the tourist industry in this welfare plagued logging area) hated getting cow dung in their mouth as they held on for dear life as they traversed treacherous class III and IV white water rapids.



The Kayakers wanted to freely disrobe from their wetsuits along the side of the only road in and out of the Valley. To get groceries (or do anything) you had to wind carefully along this road that wound in sync with the mighty, frothy and scenic South Fork of the Payette, and naked butt offended the Cowboys.





The guard rails along the treacherous road were junk because they impeded your view of the river as you were driving. Both the Cowboys & Kayakers agreed on that.


A river runs through it. Sometimes you could see a fish jump, or a naked hippie.

Perhaps it was more nuanced, and maybe it had something to do with water rights in this high desert. But most definitely this Kayaker-Cowboy Rumble was a win-win for teenage girls.


Boys and men strutted in very-tight wranglers to the post office or the "Merc" (Mercantile shop), and every long car ride to the grocery store was dotted with glimpses of 6 pack abs and rock hard bottoms of long haired kayakers or college boys leading rafting trips for tourists (a.k.a. FlatLanders: City Slickers from the Boise-Nampa metro, suburb smog-o-lopolis area).




Sadly the 90s are over and we're fully into 2020 (barf).


Perhaps the glory days of the men's-butts-rumble are over, but now Garden Valley is famous for FlatLanders (or perhaps worse, Californians on vacation!) pretending to be hillbillies and launching assault style fireworks at each other in front of the Middle Fork Trading Post in Crouch.



Hey FlatLanders! We MountainFolk remember being locked into our valley with only a helicopter as means of escape. We don't F*&K around with fire. Go somewhere green and lush with your wanna be white trash. Or play cornhole, it's much more fun than starting a wildfire.



This dude is a "smokejumper" and is seriously bad ass.


This firefighter literally suits up in 110 lbs of gear and regularly jumps into raging forest fires from an airplane. 3 out of the 9 smokejumper crews are based and train out of Idaho.


Remember that as you flick your cigarette out the window, let your RV tow safety chain drag on the road, or build your McMansion logcabin in the woods without a metal roof. Or you wantonly shoot fireworks all over the damn place in July!


Sorry for the rant. You can take the girl out of Idaho, but you can't take Smokey Bear out of the girl.



Even the New York Post is paying attention to tiny Crouch, Idaho.


https://nypost.com/video/this-insane-redneck-party-puts-all-other-july-4th-celebrations-to-shame/

Notice, nowhere did potatoes come up. It's the GEM STATE people.


The spine of the Rocky Mountains and the continental divide runs through Idaho.


Hemingways' mountain cabin overlooks the Wood River near the world famous alpine skiing destination of Sun Valley.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area is home to wolverine (go wolverines!) habitat and is the single largest wild primitive space in the lower 48.


600 square miles of lava fields sit within the Craters of the Moon national park.


But no, whenever meeting any Americans over 15 years of living on 3 continents, it's "Oh, potatoes. I've never met anyone from Idaho before."


Back to Coach P.


She wore awesome wranglers and rocked a blonde spiral perm as she coached our basketball team that hadn't gone to the State Championships since 1979.


My birthyear!


As fate would have it, our girls team made it to the State championships in 1997.


Call it destiny. We seniors were born in 1979 and triumphantly going to State in 1997!


To find other schools as small as Garden Valley we would ride, ride, and ride across half the state. We endured endless bus rides starting along the South Fork of the Payette with vomit inducing bus sickness that precluded me from even seeing any hot kayakers naked on the side of the road.


There were even mudslides that blocked the highway delaying games so that we had to huddle them all together and travel everyday for weeks on end once the road was clear.


And Coach P led us through all that adversity and we made it to state. Freshmen year we probably won 2 games the entire season. It was demoralizing, but she built us up over 4 years to be Champions of the Long Pin League.


Perhaps we won "Best Sportsmen(women)" once at State, but we made it there for the first time in 18 years!


It was rad. I poured my heart, soul, and sacrificed my "body" for our team. Basketball was my true sporting love. I pretty much fouled out every game, but also drew a lot of fouls too. Thank goodness I could make free throws because my short ass 5'6" got stuffed all the time from the key.


But between 1994-2020 I had always felt Coach P hated me, or at the very least disliked me.

My former identity was "endurance coper". Whenever confronted with challenge or stress, all I had to do was more of the same but just harder. Into the pain, always busy. My path was toward corporate success and I found it very adaptive to push harder into the Busy.


Busy with a capital B. The enemy.


Instead of reflecting and choosing a path, I ran. Outdoor, indoor, cross country, high school, club, and for good measure weekend fun runs. I was short and thickly built, and puked before almost every race. My loving mother had to drive me because I usually was without a team and endured solo.


I wasn't even sure where I was running, but I did get quite a lot of my-isn't-that-impressive remarks.


I successfully pursued many priorities (is that even possible?) with no overall plan. Just one busy action to the next. No path, no Way.


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