The Grateful Eight

The word grateful is an adjective that means to feel or show appreciation of kindness and to be thankful. It gets it’s roots from the Latin term gratus, which means pleasing, agreeable and thankful. The term reflection is used to express one’s serious thought or consideration. Lately, during my morning runs and workouts, I’ve been reflecting a lot about the last eight months of my life since leaving military service. The result has been a sometimes emotional, feeling of being completely grateful for how things have been going in my life, where I am at in life and the moments and experience that I have been able to share with my friends and family.

It’s not that things have been easy or have even run smoothly. There have been ups and downs like any other time. Come to think of it, there have been quite a few downs. No, not downs. Just pitfalls. Periodic moments where things didn’t go as planned or as I thought they would, followed by a short moment of panic or confusion, with a subsequent series of deliberate decision and actions to get through the pitfall. Which is really just life in general if you think about it. So what has made these eight or so months so different to make me feel more appreciative and grateful than any other point in my life? The short of it is that I was able to spend time with people who were important to me, see some absolutely spectacular scenery and participate in some amazing activities. But most important of all, the last eight months provided me with the opportunity to reflect on where life has taken me up to this point and wonder and anticipate on where life will take me from here. The following are a collection of pictures with a brief caption and reflection. Enjoy.

Road Trippin'

-Seeing some of the country’s most interesting landmarks and sites while driving from the Pacific Ocean, to the Gulf of Mexico, to the Atlantic Ocean and back.

-Monument Rocks in Kansas is the result of the Inland Seaway receding.

-Running the Barr Trail after running the Incline Cog Railway trail, Manitou Springs, CO

-I ran into Neil and Jesse from the GoPro Bomb Squad in the middle of Mississippi!

-The last sunset of the trip, Eastern Washington.


-Balinghe River Bridge, Guizhou, China.

-The Great Wall of China.

-Jumping off the Balinghe River Bridge.

-Enjoying the Sights

Skiing with Family & Friends

-Great times at Crystal Mountain with the family.

-They grow up so fast!

-Deep December Pow!

-When your with your friends and nature calls.

-Dawn patrol at Bachelor. (photo: Randy Schmidt)

East Peak

-Super fired up about finally flying this peak!

Red Bull Schlittentag

-You couldn't have asked for a better backdrop.

-The Little known "skiing T-Rex"

-Don't Ask


-7,400 runs and mountains that want to kill you. That’s Chamonix.

-No two runs ere ever the same.


-Glaciers that never seem to end and some of the best friends in the world.

Ranger Road Charity Skydive

-A veteran run charity organization dedicated to introducing new experience to wounded and struggling veterans. Davis, CA.


-No matter how many times I come here, the landscape never ceases to amaze me.

-Magical Moab

-Enjoying the Mineral Bottom Sunset.

-Monkeying around on the Daly Section of the Colorado River

-A little fly-by after some falling.

Kayaking the San Juan

-The most Northwest point in the contiguous Unites States. Turn Point, Stuart Island.

-Exploring the northern Islands of the San Juan chain.

-Prevost Harbor at Sunset.

-Sunset at Turn Point with my sweetie!

The Grateful Eight in video form!