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What Happens When Two Sasquatch Meet in the Woods

It should be painfully obvious to anyone who just casually glances my way that I have no idea what I'm doing. Sure, inside of my rather narrow professional sphere I have gained some knowledge. I understand movement. I have a fairly good understanding of the body and a decent understanding of people and human nature. But when it comes to promoting myself, my work, or my businesses I'm really just winging it.

One of my interests of late is efficiency. How can I get the most out of my time?

In the last month or so I have given in and accepted the idea that the dog my daughters bought Samantha for Christmas a year and a half ago is actually my dog. I've tried to dissuade everyone, especially the dog, of this notion but apparently I'm the only one who couldn't see the obvious.

Nadja is a year and half old German Shepherd. We call her "The Littlest German Shepherd" because compared to the shepherds we've had in the past she is tiny. She also need lots of exercise. She has a tendency to be high strung and maybe a tad neurotic. I'm pretty sure she was the runt of her litter and didn't get the full attention she needed as puppy.

To offset this tendency I have taken to walking her down by the river three times a week. These are full on romps. I let her off lead and we generally are out for an hour and a half to two hours. I usually cover three to four miles in that time. Nadja gets in a good deal more.

Because of the time commitment my first step into efficiency was to designate these hikes as my workout. I keep a brisk pace. The goal is to cover as much ground in the time allotted. I sprint hills. I tackle downhills aggressively. I allow the randomness of the terrain to challenge both stability and the expression of force. Add to this some mobility work and my jiu-jitsu practice and I feel better in my own skin than I have in years.

But perhaps there is more that I could be getting from this. It truly is beautiful down there. I started snapping photos of things that would catch my eye. For some reason I can't fully explain (narcissism?) I feel compelled to share my experiences. I wanted others to see the awesome things I was seeing and to get a taste of what these hikes are like. Maybe even striking off on their own adventures once inspired. So I put those photos up on my Instagram feed. That led to short videos which led to me purchasing a GoPro and attempting to film the hikes. There's a fascinating juxtaposition of beautiful nature and human trash on these trails. Not humans who are trash (I, for one, do no to believe such a thing exists.) but the waste of humans who have passed through. Cans, bottles, plastic, the odd appliance, that sort of thing. I wanted to see if I could create something of value out of this time and place.

Which brings us to the video above. This video is, by far, my most successful submission so far. At present it has over 3,000 views. By no means record shattering or even monetizable, but for me and the stuff I publish it's practically viral.

It occurred the second day I went out with the GoPro and was the first time in 8 months of hiking that I had run across another human being on the trail. I won't lie. I was cautious. I think it's fair to say that running across another person out in the woods armed with a rifle sporting the largest magazine I've ever seen is reason for caution. But, as you can see the exchange really could not have gone better. I had to get creative with my editing for you to see what was going on. First off, kudos to Nadja Who Wasn't Supposed To Be My Dog for such good recall. I could watch that over and over again. Such a good dog! I'm sure that you can tell, but I made it a point to maintain distance and to present myself in as no-threatening a manner as possible, all while keeping an eye on Henry and his well ammunitioned rifle. To his credit, Henry was equally as respectful. He maintained both muzzle and trigger discipline, never once pointing the rifle in my direction and even disarming himself by laying the rifle on the ground.

I know we are living in interesting times charged with both concerns over firearms and racial tensions, but I honestly don't think this exchange could have gone better. I had a friendly encounter with a neighbor which opens the door for future friendly encounters. While professionally I might be dismayed that this video has performed so much better than say my Old Guy Mobility for Jiu-Jitsu and Other Stuff series I am pleased It could offer a contrast to the vitriol and negativity so rampant in our social media spheres. We can just all get along.

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