“It’s amazing to meet people living the dream!” exclaimed Arturo, my Lyft driver, as his black SUV drove through March rain on the way to SeaTac airport. I had just told Arturo about my trip to the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia, and how he was helping me to get started. The joke is that I dream about a stable desk job probably just as much as others dream about a trip like this.
Dreams often come with a lack of stability: a lack of knowing what the outcome will be. Running Skyd Magazine for the last three years has been just that: a labor of love that has afforded me as much opportunity as it has questions about my financial and otherwise future. Still, I follow this path because I love this world of ultimate and the sport. I love the opportunity to share in the joys of people’s lives and to participate in growing the community that has given me so much.
Though I begin my journey, many strings draw me back home. I think of my devoted parents, my brothers, friends and grandma. But these last few days much of my mind has been on Northfield, Minnesota.
The death of three Carleton CUT players has weighed heavy in my mind since I heard the news. I did not know Paxton, James and Michael personally, but many close friends in Seattle have attended or still attend Carleton, and the tragedy hits close to home. I think of the families and the people this tragedy has affected. The ultimate community is one I care greatly about. It has helped shape me and many others into someone I’m usually proud of. It has accomplished great things and has been so rewarding to the people that feed off it. “Taken too soon.” “Devastated.” The true words have been repeated over and over again, as the many involved or touched by the lives of these young men find themselves in mourning. Each will find grief in their own way, whether that is to show support on social media, write an article, to hug a friend or to mourn in a silent way.
I have been lucky in life to not have to suffer through much personal grief. For me, this tragedy displays the true fragility of life, and how one afternoon and one event can change so much.
Now aboard my first flight stopping in Tokyo, I wrestled with how to pay appropriate respects through Skyd, and through my own travels. The notion of putting on a smile and “living the dream” seems ill fitting in this time of mourning. But in mourning, we must also find the strength to move forward and celebrate the lives of Paxton, James and Michael and the things they loved. For me, I choose to celebrate them in the way I think most appropriate; in the way I can — by celebrating the sport and community they were a part of.
As I look at the strings pulling me in my life, I am reminded that there is no set plan, no set outcome and no formal path but the ones we create and are given. Every day is an opportunity to celebrate the things and the people we love. Though often the foundations of our dreams are unstable, and unwritten, we must follow them to wherever they lead.
Follow Elliot’s adventure at ultimateglobetrotter.tv