Monday Motivation: Risking It All

Are you risking it all?

Your dream, your goal, that shiny spot that you are aiming for.

What are you willing to give to reach it?

What are you risking?

If you are not risking it all, you are in danger of never reaching it.

Risking it All

Risking it all

Risking it All

We had climbed for hours.

My legs were weak with fatigue and already understood that we would not be able to descend the same way we came up the mountain.

The sun was already inching its way back, behind the ridge line.

Adjusting my sunglasses, slipping off my face, sliding in the sweat, I looked ahead and just stared.

So close to the summit, with no place to retreat, to approach again.

A crevice, all the way to the bottom of the mountain we had just climbed, by the looks of it.

Hundreds of feet of sheer rock, straight down.

The choice? There was no choice.

We had to jump.

Looking at my partner, and fellow guide, I shrugged at his raised eyebrows and turned to our clients, still bent over with hands on knees focusing on their own next breath.

“Break.” I whispered back at them.

At their nods, I knew they had heard me and backpacks were shed and opened.

“Take a break, get something to eat and drink, and we’ll go to the ridge. The rams will be getting up, moving around for their evening feeding. We should be able to get a good look at them.”

Whispering, since we were so close, I continued after a deep breath.

“We are going to jump the crack ahead. We have to find another way back down tonight, we can’t go back down the stovepipe shoot we came up, especially in the dark.”

“Jump?” “What crack?” They whispered back at me, no longer chewing.

I moved to the side, Brian doing the same, in the other direction so that our clients could see what lay just past where we were sitting.

Now, at five feet and almost four inches tall, I was by far the one at the biggest disadvantage.

It wasn’t that the crevice was that wide, only about five feet, give or take a little.

It was the fact that it was visibly, all the way to the bottom, as if a giant had tried to crack the mountain in two.

Brian, first. Then the clients, trusting Brian’s ease and hand ready to grab hold of, reaching back.

Then, it was only me left on the side we had emerged from.

Looking to Brian I took a deep breath, the three steps I had room for, momentum and I was in the air.

A hand smacked my wrist and clamped on.

I realized that I had closed my eyes, only when I opened them to see Brian’s face grinning back at me.

Risking it All

As a Professional Guide living in the remote mountains of Alaska, as a single Mother raising two children in the bush, as the Lead Trainer for the Survival & Guide Training program and as a Blogger, here on Alaska Chick’s Blog; I am risking it all.

My life is all about risk.

Risk, the dictionary tells us, is a situation involving danger. Exposing someone or something valued to danger, harm or loss. Danger, chance, adventure.

Are you risking it all?

Risk is a part of our lives as Big Game Hunters, pursuing Grizzly Bears, enormous Alaska-Yukon Moose, climbing mountains and sheer rock walls after Dall Sheep.

As a Professional Guide, leading the way into the inaccessible wilderness, fording icy rivers, scaling glaciers navigating quicksands and enormous bottomless bogs, risk is the name of the game.

Raising my children, away from the day-to-day of society, homeschooling, questioning my own choices and decisions and trusting in God and His hands to guide me to prepare them for whatever and wherever their own paths may someday lead.

The Alaska Guide Trainees that come to us, one of only two Alaska Guide Training programs, accepted and approved by the state of Alaska, are YOUR future guides.

To lead you safely into the wild places that you shouldn’t, and in many places cannot, go without.

These young men and women that I help prepare and train to keep you safe, teach to become knowledgeable of the surroundings you dream of.

Keeping them safe as they experience the almighty wilderness that Mother Nature created.

As Alaska Chick, baring my own soul to connect with unnamed, unseen people, from all walks of life, from  every corner of the world.

Leaving us, as I am dragging Pioneer Outfitters and it’s entire team into the light for your close inspection, wide open.

I am risking it all.

For you.

For us.

For them.

For me.

Without that, the acknowledgment and willingness, the effort and release of risking it all, risking everything, how can that dream be reached? It cannot.

“Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.” ~Adolphe Monod

You have to let go, risk everything, take the leap, let go of the edge and just do it.

Risking it All

One last thing, today. Remember you are not alone.

There are people just waiting to be asked for help.

Waiting and ready to grab your wrist.

To just be there.

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12 Responses to “Monday Motivation: Risking It All”

  1. Ann Jane says:

    “One last thing, today. Remember you are not alone. There are people just waiting to be asked for help. Waiting and ready to grab your wrist. To just be there.”
    How do you DO that..LOL..you know what I mean! You my friend are always there and have the bestest grabbing hand I know of!

    Now..Umm..ONLY 5 feet to jump over a crevice? Yikes!! and you never mentioned those bogs were bottomless..Oh so much to see and learn, and not just for future guides..it’s all just fascinating and mind boggling! Here I thought I’d asked you everything..Ha! I. can. not. wait.!

    As Always ~*~

  2. Mark says:

    I’m with you, Amber – you have to risk it all in life to leave your mark! :o

  3. Stan Faryna says:

    You never fail to amaze and inspire me, Amber Lee.

    Sometimes, those five foot cracks are cut in stone. Sometimes, the rocky ground of our soul. Our heart. Or our mind. And we’ve got to jump.

  4. Alli Polin says:

    Amazing! Reading this I can’t think of how afraid I would be to jump across the crack. Your clients did it with trust and faith thanks to you creating the space where that could happen. How important to remember that when we leap, we should take the hand that’s waiting for us. I’m blown away and so incredibly inspired by you, Amber-Lee!

    • Alaska Chick says:

      Alli,

      Me too, don’t ever doubt it. Here is the thing though. Not a single one of the Professional Guides or Alaska Guide Trainees that I have ever had in my own world, would hesitate even for one thoughtful moment. Trust. And remembering, nothing is only about you. It’s all about US. You AND I. We are the hand waiting to pull you to safety.

      Thank you, Alli, for being here with us. I am inspired by you as well. Your words touch me, teach me and remind me of the right way, the right path, to be a better leader and person.
      ~ Amber-Lee

  5. I’ll always be here to grab your wrist. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Alaska Chick says:

      Me too, Kaarina. I wont let you fall. All you have to do is whisper my name and I’ll be there.
      Thank you, my friend, for being there for me too.
      THAT is the point.
      Trust.
      Cheery, indeed!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  6. That was one of your most moving posts; I was caught in the moment and living it with you and so admiring of your courage and bravery.

    I take fewer risks with myself than before; after all, I’m a single mother of the best little thing that’s ever happened to me. I have responsibilities I don’t always want, but will never cease.

    • Alaska Chick says:

      Jayme!
      Really? Wow.
      I know what you mean about the responsibilities we have, as Mommies. Every time I leave them to head into the wilderness, I honestly have to separate myself, divide who I am, just to be able to do it. I trust “Gammy” (Nancy Williams) to keep my babies safe, because they are the beat that pumps blood and air through me… but I do not think of them, especially at times like those. It would be my own downfall as well as cheating our guests and clients.

      I am only courageous and brave because I know exactly what my Team is capable of. I know, with no doubts, as a Team, we are safe and can keep our clients safe. Thank you, Jayme, for understanding me. In so many ways.
      ~ Amber-Lee

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