Trail Tales. They were Inspiring Conversations!

A big thanks to those that came out and supported our first “Trail Tales: A
Conversation With Inspiring Community Members” this last Tuesday at Deschutes Brewery Public House. As Jaymo pointed out, this was an “experiment”  never done  in this community.  Candidly, I’ve found as much joy in talking with some of the potential future guests as the night itself and look forward to continuing this event.

Our first guest was Meg Chun of Kialoa Paddles.  I have the utmost respect for Meg (as does the entire paddling community and central Oregon, I’m sure).  She was a special ed teacher for years, before committing full time to the business side of Kialoa.  As Meg pointed out, no one goes into education to strike it rich.  It seems her approach (and Dave’s, her husband and co-owner of Kialoa) embrace that mindset with Kialoa.  Inclusiveness, teamwork, doing right by your community.  Seems to have worked out for them and for the many employees they’ve hired with Kialoa.  From day one, Meg insisted that their employees have health insurance, as one example.  Pretty cool eh?

Our second guest was Alex Maclaren, one of the first pro bikers in Bend.  His story was longer–but set the stage for a heart-felt description of how Alex went from being on top of the world and his involvement with the pro bike scene to a drastically different scene–a horrendous car/Winnebago wreck that he witnessed. His inability to help in any way led him, the very next day, to quit the biking world, go back to school and become a paramedic.  How’s THAT for inspiring?

One thing I want to make really super clear here… I respect with all my heart, those athletes that excel in their sport.  Hell, I respect anyone who gets off the couch and goes for a walk rather than sitting around all day.  I’ve had the honor of meeting all kinds of people–from Olympic athletes to famous film makers, to actors, to scientists who created amazing medicines.  It all comes back to one thing for me.  That you CONTRIBUTE. Regardless of how “big” or how “small” that contribution is, it’s something.  You don’t have to be “the best” but you can be the best at how you act.  Pick up that litter, give that afternoon to Habitat for Humanity, donate blood.  Maybe just putting that smile on your face and LISTENING to a friend (or stranger) in need.  We’re in this canoe together people…kudos to those who work toward paddling in sync.

Thanks for listening…

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