I had the coolest opportunity to talk to Sean Sechrist from Unbeaten Path a few months back, just before David and I started sailing together and subsequently decided to take our talent back on the campaign trail to Tokyo.

Sean hosts "Unbeaten Path," a really great podcast on, as I take it, how to follow your dreams no matter how strange and different (or off the beaten path!) they may be! 

I hate listening to myself talk, but honestly when Sean sent me a link to the finished podcast I sat in my car and listened to the whole thing from beginning to end because the conversation is actually SO good! Check it out, take a listen, be sad, happy, inspired, or whatever you wanna be. 

During the conversation we tried to get at the heart of what it takes to choose a career path as unique as professional sailing. Here are a few important take aways from this experience:

  1. Guys. I had this huge realization while doing this podcast... I have a seriously weird job. I don't often take the time to stop and think about the fact that the path I have chosen as a professional is totally unique.
  2. Your words and actions matter. If someone is pursuing an objective you don't understand, don't forget that a little encouragement goes a long way. If it doesn't seem possible to you, don't assume that someone else can't accomplish it... even if the task seems huge! 

    When your goals are out of the ordinary, you take some falls, and usually have one or more supportive people around who make the journey a little easier along the way. Thanks mom, dad, and all of my family who not only physically helped me along the way, but also offered supportive words and positive feedback instead of criticism at very important moments.
  3. It's actually pretty hard to follow your passion and make a living doing it, and most people don't always know that they're on the path to their dreams until they wake up one day and realize that they're nearly there. I didn't go to the Olympics as anything more than a training partner last quad, but I have been a professional athlete and coach in the sport for years now. I wake up in the morning, go to the gym, then the boat park, hit the water and give 100%, de-rig, review video, work on the website/make a blog post/talk to supporters, eat dinner, crash, wake up and do it again. I have won titles, taught incredible athletes as a coach, traveled to many world championships as a sailor and coach, and built invaluable skills. I have been living my dream while trying to pursue bigger dreams! How fortunate I am.

Get off the beaten path every once in a while if you haven't chosen to do it as a job. Sean's podcast is great inspo for this. Say yes to a change in your life. Try something new. Challenge yourself to take a risk. Work hard. Sweat. Go foiling! Happy Tuesday!