There is a proud moment defined without words, when you see your son following his passions. The ante goes up even further when part of this is the rigging that makes this happen… Why? It is part of what I do. See everyone has talents… hidden, obvious and latent. What many of us fail to realize is that many of the talents we have been given are simply meant to give away to others so their talents and passions can bloom, explode and multiply.
Over the last 20 plus years, I have been blessed in being able to work with some of the greatest people and riggers on the planet and without exception, those with greatest impact were always the ones who shared from their heart and often gave away far more than one could reasonably ever expect. There are some groups… like Peak Rescue Institute, with whom the volunteers take entire vacations (away from family and income) simply to give away a portion of themselves and their talents.
During these times, I have taken the opportunities to take Torrey along “for the ride”… and as many of you know, “the ride” is literally a seat on the high-line. I remember times in Joshua Tree with Peak and the boys… Torrey being hundreds of feet out and hundred of feet off the deck. Torrey loved it and community was being built because of trust. I trusted them with my most precious and earthly “possession”. What is often overlooked, is the gift someone trusts with someone else, and is not embraced with the same element of honor as it was given. This is a tough one, but yet… an unconditional gift is not dependent on how it is received… but only on how it was given.
The world of rescue and rigging (in general) is about honor and respect. It doesn’t matter whether it is a paid gig or a volunteer team… someone is always the recipient of the work given and this must have accountability and honor built in. The ones that demand it are often found empty of integrity. The ones who give out of who they are because it is simply an extension of their soul and spirit,… their character is intact and infect those around them with priceless bounty.
So what does any of this have to do with Filming and Passion? Community… Community is what people crave. Any successful production (and we have had many over the years) are so because of community and it only happens over time. And as time marches through the years of soil preparation, I see the good fruit of community. Rescue Response Gear, The Rigging Lab and now Rigging Lab Academy would never have had the same success without the input of Raven Collective Media… and all the contributors to the media side of things… like Tom Wood of Vertical Rescue Solutions/PMI, Glenn Pinson of Peak Rescue Institute, Pat Rhodes, Joe Flachman of CMC Rescue, Rich Delaney of RopeLab, Rich Carlson of American Canyoneering Association, Trask Bradbury, Rick Johnson of Strada Cranes Unlimited, Rick Vance of Petzl, Sam Morton of Sterling Rope, the San Diego Lifeguards, Todd Bradley of C4 Waterman, Reed Throne of Ropes That Rescue, Jason Fautz of Slackline Technologies and many many more. These are but a few of the people I have been surrounded with. As a result, people from all over this crazy planet have seen the building of something very precious… A passion melded with purpose. In community our floors becomes their ceilings.
So where does all this go from here? I am not sure, but I can tell you that with the re-launch of Rescue Response Gear, the birth of Rigging Lab Academy and the flight wings of Raven Collective Media, more incredible media productions are in store and I get the honor of continuing to build something I literally have no idea of its future. Yet, this uncertainty pales in comparison to the joy I get when I see my son and business partner putting everything he is and has into “getting the shot”. Sometimes these are hanging out on the pinnacles and canyons of Smith Rock at sunset with his slacklining mates or helping a friend build his career as a professional paddle-board athlete.
For me, business has been crazy good and continues to blow my mind with the awesome people I get to work with and hang around. Community is everything and without it?… Well, that is a step in the wrong direction. So I want to publicly thank everyone who have put their reputations and money on the line with me and my hair brain ideas. I can’t tell you enough, how honored I am that you’d take me, my family and business and say “I believe in you”. Because of this, hope is deposited into a new generation of givers and being re-born is the hope of nations.