There’s a false sense of security in staying comfortable.  For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of moving somewhere new and exploring the world.  I grew up in a small town in South Carolina, went to Clemson, and took a job 20 minutes from my parents home. I had a good job, great friends and no reason to make myself leave my bubble.

Everything changed the morning of February 6, 2016.  I woke to my dog barking because the townhome was filling with smoke.  Less than ten minutes later, I was standing outside with my roommate watching as we lost everything in a house fire.  Over the next few months, I experienced indescribable kindness from countless people and was able to transition to a new place and replace things as painlessly as possible.  My biggest takeaways from the experience were understanding that I’m just as safe staying in my space as I am pushing myself to new limits and the importance of maximizing every day I have.

In October of 2016 I accepted a position that allowed me to move to Colorado.  I packed my things and hit the road to move to a city where I knew two people.  Because of my change in perception, I prioritized getting in the mountains and making as much as possible out of every day.  In mid-June, I hiked my first 14er (mountain with a peak over 14,000 ft) with a couple of friends and we joked about the idea of doing 14, 14ers in a summer.  The joke quickly turned into a goal of mine and I spent the next 10 weeks summiting 14 14ers with 10 different people. There aren’t many things as rewarding as reaching the summit of something you’ve put in work towards, much less experiencing it with others and watching them overcome obstacles they didn’t believe they could.

LIVE A GREAT STORY is exactly what I think of when I try to explain what it is that is driving me to continue to push myself. I realized that by letting myself stay comfortable, I was wasting the opportunities ahead of me.  Forcing myself to abandon the safety net of my home has allowed me to completely change the way I live my life and learn there is a pure joy that comes with chasing your dreams. I couldn’t be more excited to join the group of people at Live and continue to try and encourage others to leave their comfort zones and chase their passions.

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