If you've opened up the latest issue of Rock and Ice recently, you may have come across my full page mug. The size of it is a little shocking, to say the least. My girlfriend thinks its sexy, so I'm not complaining.
For just a minute, if you can, forget about my obvious sex appeal, and let's get down to the real message here, one that I'm fully committed to. Climbers are people, too. When I first met my girlfriend, in Lander, Wyoming, she told me how the man she had nannied for, Todd Skinner, inspired her to travel and live with the locals in places like the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, and Brazil. She wasn't a climber, and didn't know much about Todd as a climber... he had inspired her as a PERSON. It was a revelation for me. Todd Skinner had always been a hero to me... a legend... a climber. I never once thought of him as a father, husband, and mentor to anyone other than another climber. I have a feeling that many of us make this mistake.
Hearing these things about a man I'd only thought of as a climber led me to the concept of the above video for the song "Float", which is shot with Todd's children, my own daughter, my girlfriend, and of course Misty Murphy. Feel free to share it with whomever.
Like the ad says, I've used this word since my days as a trad climber, to pull myself through when any doubt would creep in. Today the word has taken on so many more meanings, each one important. I have to thank two of my sponsors for sharing in this vision with me.
First off, the guys at Faded Orange have gone out of their way to help me out. They are a young company of action sports athletes who understand the spirit that it takes to really go for it, whether it be climbing, skating, business, or music. They've put dollars into my ventures to allow me to focus on my climbing and my art, because they believe in the person behind the athlete. I thank them for that.
Next, the folks responsible for the ad, (New England) Maxim Ropes. Several years ago at an Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, I overheard Randy Leavitt, our team captain, explain to a photographer that they were more interested in photos that captured the athlete, and if the rope were prominent, it was just a bonus. If you consider the stable of phenomenal athletes that Maxim has, Alex Honnold, Chris Lindner, Jacinda Hunter, Jonathan Siegrist, and Paige Claassen among others, I'm both humbled and honored to be involved in this ad campaign. So to the people at Maxim who worked hard on this ad: Randy Leavitt, Dan Birch, and Marianne Badurina... Thank you all so much for helping to get this message out there, and for suggesting using me in the ad in the first place.
Last but not least, thanks to my pARTners... Misty Murphy who's helped me to make inspiring music, and Taylor Frohmiller, who is a wizard with a camera.... for letting me share with the world these things we've created.
Oh... and ROPE UP!