inspirational story

Home

Once in a while I'll get an email that seems to communicate something incommunicable. Thanks Pierce Hunsaker for letting me share it!

For the past two years I have had no address, and the only four walls I owned were made of nylon. People called me a homeless man. They equate a home with a house, with microwave ovens and plumbing and television. But I never felt more at home than I did when I ended the eight years I spent in the city, living paycheck to paycheck, building a little security. Always desperate and not even knowing it. It took all those years of treading water to realize it and just one tiny step outside to break it. There was so much fear, paralyzing amounts of it, leading up to that first step. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done but only in looking from the other side of it can I see now how simple it really was.

I took my rent deposit, sold my things and fell off the map. I was terrified and alone and colder and wetter than I'd planned, but still happier than I'd ever been.

Photo by Pierce Hunsaker

Photo by Pierce Hunsaker

Real home is the world and the only way to own the world is to be truly and fully in it. I climbed thousands of pitches of trad, bathed in mountain creeks, built bonfires and highlines and found the most fantastical, radiant friendships; as if discovering human beings for the first time.

Then everything changed.

I fell rock climbing and decked from 40 feet, shattering my spine. That day I happened to be wearing a Live Unbound shirt, one of three shirts I had to my name. I remember the irony of it clearly as EMTs cut it to shreds off my body. Sometimes the things that bind us don't just come from the inside. Sometimes it seems like the world reaches out and tries to steal what little freedom we manage to carve for ourselves.

There is a Mexican proverb I read over and over again – "Quisieron enterrarnos, pero se les olvidó que somos semillas." – They tried to bury us but they forgot we were seeds.

I spent the following week in and out of consciousness, in and out of surgery, unable to eat or drink or even sit up. I am very lucky. By the thickness of a dime I wasn't paralyzed and doctors say I'll walk again. I have lived the majority of the months since flat on my back and all of it indoors. But despite the ceiling I've stared at every day and the bed and food and television, I have never felt more homeless.

I am going to find a way back home. 

Photo by Pierce Hunsaker

Photo by Pierce Hunsaker

Life Lesson

Definitely take a moment to read this important life lesson that a teacher taught his students!

The teacher filled up a jar with golf balls until he could fit any more. He asked the students if they agree that the jar is full. They agreed that the jar was indeed full. The teacher then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar with the golf balls. The pebbles filled all of the openings in between the golf balls. He asked the students if the jar was full. Once again, they agreed. Now the teacher picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the mason jar. The sand filled in all of the empty space left between the golf balls and pebbles. He asked the class again if the jar was full. The students agreed. Then the teacher pulled out two beers from under his desk and poured them into the jar filling the empty space between the sand.

"I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life," he started. "The golf balls represent the important things. Your passions, family and friends. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles represent the other things in life that matter, such as your job, house and car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important. Spend your life immersed in your passion and create unforgettable memories with the people you love.”

Before the students left, one shouted out. "You never mentioned what the beer represents!" The teacher smiled and said, "The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room to have a beer with a friend."

Fail Safe

Once in a while I encounter something that nails everything Live Unbound stands for. Take the time to read it, I promise it's worth it!

By Debbie Millman