Sunday, April 27, 2008

Exciting News and Disappointing Reality

"You only ever grow as a person when you spend time outside your comfort zone"- Percy Cerutty

the real reason i was in salt lake last week was for a job interview. i'd made the final cut of interviews to be a guide/trip leader for backroads. they do 7-14 day cycling, hiking, kayaking and multisport trips in the most amazing locations all over the world. if it's worth spending time there, chances are backroads can guide you through your most amazing week of exploration ever. one browse through their website is enough to understand why it would be cool to guide for this organization. they are the '#1 active travel company' in the business. the trips aren't cheap and service is paramount.

i was super excited to get the call friday that i got the job.. but there was a caveat. i could not have my august to remember where i planned to run the appalachian trip with karl meltzer and the transrockies run with fellow montrail ultrarunner sean meissner. if i took all of august off, they would have to hire another guide to fill in since it's there busiest month. which means they would prefer to just hire another guide and i'd have to reapply next year... deal breaker.

how could i give these things up? i had just been in slc with karl discussing some logistics of the appalachian trail assualt. it kind of broke my heart. i first got them to give me an end date. it was aug 23rd. this meant i could still run the transrockies ultra with meissner. then i talked to karl and he was totally cool about it, and said i could meet him later in the adventure.

so after some time thinking about it and runnin scenarios in my head i decided to take the job. i will meet up with karl later on down the trail. i am sacrificing now because the job just seems like a great fit for me and will at the very least be an amazing experience. having worked for one of the best companies in the world at microsoft i was impressed with my visit to backroads offices in salt lake, and even more by the current employees.

it's seasonal employment and could be the perfect compliment to my life as athlete/coach and it will undoubtedly put me in some great locations to train! the bummer is i won't know until june 3rd where exactly i'll be. i have knowledge of the yellowstone/grand teton park area and the san juan islands so as a first year guide i'll most likely end up in one of those two places... cool with me. but i'm crossing my fingers for the yellowstone/grand teton spot as i'd be living in jackson hole - a place near and dear to my heart. plus lisa and jay batchen live there! (as a side note check out the interviews on endurance planet with jay and lisa).

so, i am heading to slc for 2.5 weeks of training on may 15th. june 4th i start guiding! things are about to get interesting.


BobbyKnight said...

Congrats Matt. I worked with a great guy at REI-Boulder until he left for a job w/Backroads. In the past year he has been to the Tetons, New Zealand and now they sent him to Italy for a few months to teach him Italian and to work. Sounds rough. Do you ever just sit back and think how great life is?
Best of luck!

Ty Draney said...

Working for the man? Hardly. Sounds awesome. Hopefully you end up in these neck of the woods.

Adventure Junkie said...

Sounds like an awesome job, and you'll still get to have your other adventures. Congrats!

Hart said...

hey thanks guys. it will be fun blogging the full time guide thing through the summer too!

ty i hope i'm jackson hole!

Brad said...

Congratulations Matt!

My wife and I went on an amazing cycling trip through Ireland with Backroads and the guides were the best. I think this will be a very good thing.


cathi said...

congrats! it does sound amazing.
as long as you have a sat phone so i can find you :)

Hart said...

thanks brad! yeah i've heard nothing but great things about backroads. i guess that is why they are #1 in the biz. =)

cathi the premium and comfort trips will have us staying at hotels (w/internet!). only the camping trips would have me out of touch.. but we'll be able to work it out and get in contact for sure on those rare ocassions.

WynnMan said...

cool beans man! What a great way to see the country.

lonerunman said...

sweeeet! sounds like an awesome opportunity, matt. there are some sacrifices with it, but also some brand new rewards that will come along too. and what a place to be running and training in!
so.....does backroads do anything in BC that they need someone for? ;-)

we'll miss you hanging around the PacNW when you're down there, but will look forward to hooking up on road trips and when you get back.


Lorna said...

Wow, that's awesome. Keep us posted.
I'm going on my first biking camping trip in a couple of weeks around the Outer Banks of NC. If I love it, which I suspect I will, I'll be looking for more trips to take!