Thursday, March 22, 2012


What season do you think is most productive for new ideas, adventures, and stepping out of the box? Is it Fall/Winter when leaves start to turn red/brown and then it gets to be -30* outside? Or is it Spring when flowers start to bloom, the grass turns from brown to green, and the sun is constantly shining outside? I’ll let you take a guess which season I’m leaning towards for my final answer. At Outdoor Mindset, we have a history of Living Big in the Spring. Way back when, when Outdoor Mindset first got started, a great majority of the Board took a trip to New Zealand in April of 2010. For two weeks we explored the South island, and backpacked, beach-camped and bungee jumped through that amazing country. You can check out our full adventure here. And while that seems like so long ago, and just like yesterday all at the same time, the Spring tradition continued last year, when we launched our first ‘March Madness’ fundraising campaign to help raise funds for our Guide/Traveler Program. This included activities including 5ks, huge Adventure Races, and even mustache growing to help spread to OM spirit.

So now here we are, Spring 2012, and how are we going to top ourselves this Sping? Well, there is LOTS going on at Outdoor Mindset, and that’s an understatement. We have two Board Members traveling the world for a year (and skyping in for Board Meetings from beautiful places like Thailand! Checkout their blog here) two Board Members about to take a 4 month adventure to Costa Rica, two moving out to Bozeman, MT (and taking OM with them!), two with new babies this year, Med school domination on the East Coast, and much much more. PLUS, we just hired our first part-time staff member (Welcome Patti!) to help expand and develop our membership programs, which is huge for us! AND, like that’s not enough, we just launched our new fundraising campaign, appropriately titled ‘Spring Madness’ to get people outside, trying new things, and join in on the fun that Outdoor Mindset likes to explore during the Spring Season, while raising funds for our Meet-Up Groups.

Check out our Crowdrise Page to see all the amazing things we’re doing for this Spring Madness campaign, and get involved in a project, or just flat out donate! Like I said, our focus for this campaign is to raise funds for our biggest 2012 initiative - Outdoor Meetup Groups within our membership program- to strengthen connections and inspire members to get outside. What a better way to build a connected Outdoor Mindset membership than to get outside together? Since many expenses go along with managing this program; such as the technology platform to manage events, labor costs associated with managing the program, outreach materials, food & beverage costs, rental expenses, etc., we’ve set at $10k goal for Spring Madness and need your help to reach that numbers. So come get involved, join in on the fun and start your own pattern of Living Big in the Spring… we wouldn’t have it any other way!

And just in case I wasn’t clear – GO TO THIS LINK NOW to join in on our Crowdrise Spring Madness event, donate, or for no other reason, just to see how cool we are. :)

Hope you're all having a great week - and Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


If there's one thing we just love love LOVE (yep, 3x the love!) about our Outdoor Mindset Members, it's their 'Game On!" spirit that really inspires us the most. The desire and openness to do anything, be anything, and accomplish anything, despite any neurological hurdles that may stand in their way, really drives our organization to provide programs and services to these awesome people. One great example of this is Outdoor Mindset Member Jesse Horton, who wrote today's guest blog. Even the sky isn't the limit for Jesse... and by reading this you'll understand why he is who he is, brain tumor and all.

Here he goes:
Tonight was a full moon night. Cold, semi clear, and brightly illuminated. As a celestial event, I am often amazed by how many people fail to recognize this regular events passing. After all, it has an effect upon all of us that is often unrecognized, and in profound ways.  Growing cycles in agriculture which dictate for many growers when to plant and when to harvest. Tidal movements in the ocean which dictate when to leave a safe harbor, or when to enter one. A full moon always seems to be the highlight of the lunar cycle. Taking a moment to enjoy the sight is always worth it.

Tonight's full moon was especially opportunistic. It seems like I used to take more advantage of the light nights to get outside more. To go for a snowshoe, have a bonfire on the beach, and just enjoy the event on a regular basis. When my friends decided to cancel and stay inside tonight instead of go for a snowshoe, I almost plopped in front of the tv for dinner and a movie. Why I didn't though is at the essence of all this full moon talk.

I got some great news today. It was news I hoped for. But it was news that confirmed my fears could be laid aside for a while longer. My doctor called today and said that my brain tumor looks to be shrinking. It is supposed to be dead, but retains its presence for some odd reason. That it is shrinking, is indeed great news. Suddenly, the world was again full of new possibilities. Suddenly the air smelled sweeter. Howling at the moon was suddenly an excellent idea.

Possibilities. That is what this is about. Socrates in all his ancient wisdom decided that if one were to search for truth, all you had to do was to think critically, remove all the "wrong" ideas, and ultimately you would be left with the "truth". The problem with that though, is that to think critically all the time, you end up losing sight of the experience. You get stuck in a negative rut analyzing what is wrong, and not seeing what is right. You never get outside and enjoy the full moon because it is cold, you have a brain tumor, you are tired, your afraid of everything not "right".

When you find out you have serious health issue life become simple. It becomes about survival. Life and death stuff, what movies are made about. All the silly petty crap like what "lifestyle" you have, the car you drive, it all gets gently slammed into place in the time it takes for a doctor to tell you what's wrong. But what is amazing, is what things emerge from the chaos and rise to the top of the pile as important. As essential actually. It seems like the short list is really a list of what makes life important to us individually. Usually friends and family top the list, not house and job. "You never know what you've got till you loose it," is a classic saying, but it is truly a hard lesson to learn.

Some of the greatest people I know have lost nearly everything. But you wouldn't know it. They live life at a pace that is staggering to watch. They have been knocked down, and get back up rejuvenated to enjoy, appreciate, and share what they have, with a smile on their face. It seems like neurological disorders give you a choice. You can give up, or you can get up.

Outdoor Mindset is comprised of a group of people who appreciate what they've  got. Some almost lost it before they realized it. Some have learned to appreciate what they have by watching others. Either way, the emphasis in OM is about the possibilities. There are a million ways to appreciate whatever good health we have. It might be cycling across a continent solo. Or it might be going for a full moon walk with friends. Either way, the level of appreciation is the same. It is about taking each and every second, and making it count. Why go out and enjoy the full moon? Because you can. 
Jesse Horton
President and Chief Mischief Officer, Walt Horton Studios  

Hope everyone is having a fabulous day!