Rj Griffis - Ep. 011
“The wise mind is taking your emotional from your rational and having a good balance of the two”
Rj and I sat at opposite ends of a long wooden table after a hard earned nights rest in a comfy mountain cabin. Here, during a summers morning in Estes Park, we sipped hot coffee and recorded our conversation. Earlier, I had wandered outside to hang our wet clothing on various tree limbs to dry them in the warm breeze and glowing sunlight. I smiled at the reminder of the prior days events, climbing with new friends in Upper Chaos Canyon of Rocky Mountain National Park. There were 7 of us in our crew, most of whom had never met until that morning in the parking lot. The initial hike in took just over an hour - ample time for strangers to become friends.
The plan was to spend as much of the day on the stone as possible. All agreed that we were okay staying in the park until nightfall as the trail out was well maintained, several folks knew it like the back of their hands and concerns of getting lost were slim to none. Then nature changed our plums when the afternoon thunder, lighting and rain set it. We’ll talk about that more on the pod, but let’s just say it was a pleasant reminder that things don’t always go as planned.
I went back into the cabin and setup the recording equipment. The prior days events and the retrospection of the morning had set the stage for the conversation.
Rj’s life has not been one guided by script. She lives in constant growth, attuned to the vibrations of the surroundings. She trusts her instincts and inner dialogue. She leans on the community she continues to develop in the climbing world throughout the highs and lows of life. And she gives back to that community by building her skills to allow her the opportunities to help others find a better sense of self and community.
You’ll hear Rj talk about life on the road in her Toyota Highlander. The freedoms found where the rubber meets the road do not come without their fair share of challenges and discomforts but that doesn’t hold her back. A year into her nomadic journey, she refuses to say that she’s homeless. These aren’t just words for Rj. It was easy to see that, no matter where she is, with her community surrounding her, she’s at home.
While we were out climbing, I’d glance over from time to time to find her perched on a sunlit stone just out of frame. She always found a spot with a vantage point of the climb and the land that stretched down the boulder-strewn canyon toward Lake Haiyaha and beyond. Deep in some state of calm appreciation, I thought best to just let her be. We all need those spaces and moments to rejuvenate ourselves. It was clear that Rj was in hers.
These conversations turn into an adventure all their own. I hadn’t imagined how much I would enjoy going back through them, and hearing them for the first time as a listener and not a participant. When I look back and draw parallels between the adventures and the conversations, it’s really rather beautiful to realize that we enter both as strangers and emerge as friends.
As always, my friends, to your wildest self, be true.
Taking Risks and Dancing with the Devil :: Written by Rj
Herpetology :: Education is fun! Check it out.
How to Live Van Life Without it Sucking :: There are hundreds of articles on van life, this is one of them.
The Wise Mind :: Springboard to start your journey
Who Moved My Cheese? :: I’m serious about this book, it’s great. And please, if you can, purchase from your local bookstore (or this one, locally owned in Portland, OR) and refrain from supporting the Amazon’s of the world.