Who do you look up to?

Walking through SHOT show two years ago, I look over and see this Viking-looking guy with a beard halfway down his midsection with childlike eyes and grinning ear to ear. He shook hands and hugged what seemed like everyone in the venue. Naturally I ask my buddy Omar Avila, affectionately known all over the internets as “Crispy”, “who is this dude,” with somewhat of a look of bewilderment on my face. There’s a lot to take in. He looks 6’7″, 220 lbs., jacked, Viking beard, child-like grin, camo, sunglasses, the works.

Crispy says, “Oh, dude, that’s my buddy, Bert. You’ve never met BERT???” Obviously, I hadn’t met Bert, because he’s not a guy you will forget. So we walk over, shake hands, say what’s up and keep moving. I am basically drooling over all the UNREAL pistols, knives, shotguns, rifles, assault rifles, camo systems- basically all of the coolest stuff in the Shoot, Hunting, Outdoor & Tactical worlds.


Well, fast-forward about 7 months, and I’m planning my trip to Eberlestock’s Out There 2019 Event. My buddy Baker says, “Bert Sorin is going to fly to the property too (we took a little Cessna from Boise and landed in the field adjacent to the cabin), so he can be our third person.” I thought, sure, I think I met him once. He seemed super nice. Little did I know that he would be one of the most genuine, hospitable, humble, and all-around awesome dudes I have come to call a good friend.

So, fast-forward again to this past weekend, and I am at and event that Sorinex, Bert’s company, is putting on that combines some of the most amazing people in the outdoor world- WinterStrong 2020. It’s held a picturesque setting outside of Columbia, SC, that includes Pistol Shooting, Archery, Long-range rifle, 4-wheelers, deer tracking, cold water recovery plunge, a mobile sauna (yea), and insane food. There was also a BADASS “friendly” competition that involved the best of fitness, archery, running, and gamesmanship.

Then I got to see Neil Kamimura, who I have followed on SM for years, forging a knife alongside the youngest Master Bladesmith ever, Josh Smith. Anyone that knows me knows I love good knives, and they make some of the most amazing! Neil and Flora (his wife), along with two others, Danny and Zulay (his wife), make up a group called Forged to Table and they cooked one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. It consisted of an Fire-Roasted whole Lamb, butternut and acorn squash, Black beans, full roasted beef briskets, and finished off with banana cream crepes. Holy moly it was unreal.

ARE YOU NOT INFLUENCED? (read: Gladiator Vibes)

What I realized during my time out there surrounded by some of the best people in their fields is that we all need someone to look up to. They can be a father figure, business inspiration, form of “relationship goals” as the kids call it these days, fitness instructors, health and wellness coaches, etc. In fact, I have several for every aspect of my life (the 5 f’s)- family, friends, fitness, finances, and faith. We all need someone to look up to and someone who can show us what good really is. And that is where social media can be such a fantastic tool. Within 2-3 clicks, you can follow anyone with a public profile and see the type of person they are. If they are legit, they won’t just show you the good. They will show it all- the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact, if their life looks a little too good to be true… well, you know the rest.

Take some time, figure out what you REALLY want, and find people that are doing it. Follow their example and then make it your own! Our minds have a funny way of “seeing” what we focus on. So if we’re focused on what we want to be, we will see great examples of it. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, so keep your head up! I’ve listed some of my favorite people to follow as well as people/accounts I look to on the daily:

This is by no means all the people that inspire me, but a sample size of the different groups. I find daily inspiration from friends and family in all walks of life. You will find what you’re looking for.

GO, DO and GROW!