Category Archives: Adventure

If you want to go far, go together

By | Adventure, Creative, play, productivity, relationship | No Comments

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African Proverb

When my wife Kelly and I first bought our shiny yellow tandem bicycle, I was so excited to take it out for a test drive. I expected the tandem to be just like, well… riding a bike. If perhaps just slightly more awkward? When I jumped on the back seat, I immediately realized that I was in for a surprise. You see, on a tandem bicycle, the back seat handlebars are fixed in place. They exist only to help you keep balance, and contribute nothing whatsoever to the steering of the bike. I then quickly realized that tandem connects both sets of pedals with a single chain, forcing the riders to cycle in sync. As we made our way out into the neighborhood street, one thing became clear; my job here was to pedal and to lend unquestioning support to Kelly in the captain’s seat.

Personally, as someone who likes to take charge, I found it very difficult to surrender control of the bike to my wife. When I tried to lean over to look ahead, I threw us off-balance and we would begin to wobble. When I shouted out steering suggestions, they were misinterpreted (putting it kindly) and always ended up doing more harm than good. I slowly began to relearn the lesson that we first discovered through our practice of acroyoga: it requires trust in order to be graceful.

Ultimately, I had to let go. I had to learn to be playful despite my lack of control or direction in the ride. Once I was able to fully let go of my need to be the in front, the experience became so much more fun. While Kelly steered us to good places, I put in the extra pedal power to give us momentum. We were having a great time, we were in sync, and we were cruising.

Given our current political climate, I think many male leaders could learn a thing or two by taking a few laps around the block in the back seat of a tandem bike. In so many arenas, males dominate the leadership positions. Women make up just 16.6% of corporate board officers at Fortune 500 companies, and own a staggering 1% of all titled land in the world.*

When learning how to row or ride or work together, it takes good communication and equanimity to stay in balance. Arguments arise easily when you’re in the thick of it and, in my experience, this friction often stems from the man’s need for control, and from his belief he can do better.

Through the years, I’ve learned that if you win an argument with your partner, nobody wins. However, when you treat your relationship like a team, everything changes. You realize that you are on a long journey together, and that a win for her means a win for us. Whenever I catch myself growing argumentative, I try to take a deep breath and remember that teamwork makes the dream work!

As a creative couple, Kelly and I have been working for years on how to thrive as married business partners. This year, things are getting even more interesting. As we enter into a new year under our new brand of CIRCUS PICNIC, we do so for the first time with a team working around us. We have recently hired on a staff of four editors and producers to take our work to the next level. With this creative cast of characters, we’ll be able to hoist up even bigger circus tents and climb up even steeper hills.


You can go farther when you’ve got a team! The CP Team!

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Sure, we didn’t need to build a team. As the proverb suggests, we could just as easily go the road alone and pedal quicker with less complexity. In fact, for years, Kelly and I did just that, working in tandem to produce amazing videos and events while collecting unforgettable experiences. However, we realized that our mission of bringing positive movement media to the masses is far too big for our four legs to support alone. When you have a team moving forward together with a common vision, there is so much more strength and momentum.

I see us pedaling collectively towards some incredible projects this year, and we hope you’ll follow along to see what we create together!

P.S. Does anyone know where we can find a 6 seater bike?

* statistics referenced from the phenomenal book Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life.


I have a Kelly.

By | Adventure, Creative, Love, productivity, relationship, Travel | No Comments

Somebody asked me, “how do you do it?” Good question.  How do I juggle all these balls in the air?

Came at the perfect moment, because today I felt like I was really behind on things that matter to me.
I thought for a moment. I looked back on this epic journey I just returned from, only to hit the road again in a few days.
The simple answer:

I have a Kelly.

@yeskelly helps me endlessly. And she nourishes me in all the ways that restore my health when I am hustling.
It’s been a tough day. But there’s nothing like coming home to this woman. This weekend we celebrated 6 years together.
What a love, tested by trials and marked with miles of smiles all the same.

This photo was snapped at Burning Man by@danieldav_is –and this art piece still hits me right in the heart. When we are turning our backs on one another and suffering, our inner child, a deeper essence is yearning to reach out in love.
So grateful to be surrounded by a whole community of loving connection. The past few days being back in Austin has been beautiful. 1,000 yogis chanting at the capital, bringing rugged Texas Rangers to tears, and all the little moments in between that shake me awake. You guys got me gushing… Life is great. Everything is going to be okay. Reach out when you need help, and you will be supported. Even if you haven’t found your “Kelly” yet.

#burningman #austin #art #inspiration#motivation #love #greenheart


The Highs and Lows of Life on the Road

By | Adventure, Creative, Travel | No Comments

Are you a cosmopolite?

A cosmopolite is someone who is at home at any place in the world.  It’s the feeling that I aspire to in my travels.  And now that we spend half of our year on the road  filming new episodes, it’s essential we learn to adapt.  To land in each new place with a sense of connection.  Although we’ve only been on the road a couple months on this Summer’s road trip, we’ve grown through so much.  From ecstatic peak experiences, to the loss of a loved one.  Along the way, we’ve crossed paths with bears on 4 different occasions, in 4 different states!  Therefore, we are proclaiming this to be THE SUMMER OF THE BEAR!

The first lesson I learned so far this Summer: how powerful you become through the challenge of a climb.  As we navigate the highs and lows of life on the road, it’s the stories of struggle that make us stronger.  Our dear friend Nature Williams took us out for our first rock climbing adventure at Rumney in New Hampshire.  I thought I would easily ascend and find my way, but quickly learned that my upper body strength didn’t necessarily mean I would be able to muscle my way up.  On the contrary, I was too conservative in choosing my grips and barely made it a few feet on my first all-out effort.  Meanwhile, my wife Kelly was a natural!  She gracefully found her footing and used her flexibility to her advantage—making it all the way to the top of her first climb in no time!

roadI learned to be more adventurous on my second climb route.  An Aussie climber labeled it “totally jug-tastic” referring to the plentiful natural grips or “jugs” available on the ascent.  I balanced my body weight closer to the wall, and relied more on my legs.  The feeling of accomplishment when I made it 90% of the way was well worth the fear and exhaustion.  When we return home in the Fall, we hope to frequent a rock wall located only 5 minutes from our house in Austin!  As if we didn’t have enough hobbies already…

RoadWe’re lucky to land with good friends along the road.  Although finding a parking spot is sometimes nearly impossible (especially in Los Angeles), navigating the country in our family’s camper van has been a huge blessing.  We can camp out at remote hot springs, store all our equipment for video productions, and cart around a van full of friends for a shoot.

Campervan FullThe biggest unforeseen obstacle has been getting over the sudden passing of my dear grandmother Dorothy Rulapaugh.  Her friends knew her as “Dot”, and she was a powerhouse of a personality in the lives of so many.  We had just celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary with my Grandfather—what an achievement!  I’m so glad we made it out to Virginia to honor them, but I never expected to return within the month to attend her funeral.  She was the glue that kept our family together.  And now I feel a heightened sense of responsibility to keep in touch more, and let those closest to me know how much I love them.

roadI was buoyed up by the love and support I received from my extended family, including our traveling family that works with us as part of the Wanderlust tour.

This road trip has also been full of adventure.  Some of my favorite moments have been spent filming athletes that have become new friends.  Most notably, we have been filming with high-liners.  What’s that?  Quite simply, slacklining between two cliffs.  If you’ve ever seen the documentary Man on Wire, it’s pretty similar, but in some of the most exquisite natural environments.  We’ve been inspired by the courage and lifestyle of these guys and gals.  We’ll be integrating footage into a film for Wanderlust as well as our epic book trailer for entrepreneur Lewis Howes.  More on that soon!


RoadOverall, we’ve learned that there’s virtue in experiencing the highs and lows of life on the road.  The challenge of a climb only adds character.  After seeing so many bears this Summer, I thought it might be a good idea to investigate the deeper meaning.  The Bear Totem is apparently all about strength through hard times, confidence, and leadership.  So fitting, as we are seeking to embody these values with integrity moving forward.

When I used to jump in my Grandparent’s camper van as a child, we’d always race to say “On the Road Again!” saluting Willie Nelson’s classic song, and signifying a new departure.  Now that we are traversing the country in a similar camper van, I can hear my Grandma Dot’s cheerful voice as I step behind the wheel, On the Road Again…


Wanderlust Tahoe Highlights

By | Adventure, Travel | 2 Comments

We had a beautiful time in Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe filming for the Wanderlust Festival.  Some of our personal highlights include:

  • Filming a collaborative music video with Michael Franti and Friends.
  • Joining a group of extreme adventure enthusiasts rock climbing across Colorado and California with highliners who slackline across cliffs.
  • Interviewing base jumper and wing suit flyer JT Holmes.
  • Collaborating on an experimental dance film with Elana Meta and Akil Davis.

We can’t wait to share all these videos with you soon!

Wanderlust Aspen Highlights

By | Adventure, Creative, Travel | No Comments

We’re halfway through our Summer production tour with Wanderlust Festival.   Can you spot me in the video?  This marks the 5th Wanderlust video I’ve made a cameo.  Highlights include:

  • Filming an epic video with former Cirque du Soleil acrobat and crazy creative Danni Gutierrez in the Apsen mountain tops.
  • Interviewing pro snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler.
  • Learning to belay rock climbing on my birthday with Alli Gordon who then became our production assistant for Wanderlust Tahoe.
  • Having the production support from our good friends and fellow lifestyle entrepreneurs Katie and Malek. (Also featured above as the lovely couple in the gloriously expansive field).
  • Collaborating on a Kevin Paris music video with the inspiring acro yogis, Chelsey Korus and Matt Giordano.

Videos coming soon!

You were Born to Bloom

By | Adventure, Creative, Food for thought | 3 Comments

There’s something special about this video.  Beyond the feeling it captures or the majestic field of bluebonnets, it’s the fulfillment of a vision.  Over five years ago, I felt called to begin making short poetic videos.  And for some strange reason, I pressed pause on producing these cinematic shots of expression.  Why?

First of all, I was afraid.  Because the ideas came from a deeply spiritual place, I suppose I had my guard up on revealing what was living in my heart.  The last time I shared a personal, visionary message to a larger audience, I let myself get shot down by just one critic.  One person who felt like it would be funny to shout “wake up already!” in the middle of my short film screening at a festival.  The story was about fleeting memories, and there was a long (possibly indulgent) dream sequence.  Even though the film won awards and was an awesome achievement, this moment scarred me.  Caused me to cringe and halt whenever I felt compelled to create something original.

“Born to Bloom” is a nice way to say F* that.  It’s an invitation to feel free to awaken the artist within.  That vulnerable ventriloquist too afraid to stand strong with their own voice (nothing against puppeteers, I adore them).

Furthermore, it’s a war cry for creatives to come alive and express themselves.

Why do we forget the reason for our existence?

How can we more readily embrace our inner light?

Where is the proverbial hoverboard that will help us navigate the path ahead with more fun, swiftness, and grace?

I go to battle with these kinds of questions.  They lie just beneath the surface, and arrive into my awareness when I take the time to write what’s on my mind (journal more!).

The exercises in the book “The Artist’s Way” certainly help, I highly recommend it.  But I must warn you–we often hide behind our healing process for too long instead of leaping forward and taking action.  This is where the magic exists.  Where we have to confront our fears more tangibly.  There’s struggle and triumph, and every emotion in between.    And it’s the ultimate medicine for the soul.  It’s why we’re alive.  We were born to bloom…

For me, that takes the shape of just going out there and filming things for the fun of it.  And that’s what we did with this video.  We invited friends to go frolic in a field with us.  And decided to weave that visual tapestry with some deeper personal inquiry.

I realize I’m not so attached to how others may receive this video.  The reward was the process.  The art was in the action.  I can still smell the fragrance of thousands of Texas Bluebonnets.  The rush of chasing the sun as it set along the hill country horizon.  These are the moments I live for.

Want to see us make more videos like this?  Better yet, wanna be in our next video?  Let us know!  Share the love by submitting a comment below.

What happens if you turn Grandma’s car into an art car?

By | Adventure, Creative | 2 Comments

The Joy Ride is the manifestation of a long time dream come true.

I wanted to make an art car for as long as I can remember.  In high school, I was the third cousin in line for my grandfather’s hand-me-down Oldsmobile.  When finally I was granted the oldie, I begged my parents to let me paint it.  They denied my requests claiming it would ruin the resale value.  Alas, I left for college and they sold my grandfather’s car for all of $500.  I vowed to one day create an art car…

We bought my grandmother’s car the same weekend our RV broke down during a cross-country work tour.  It was quite miraculous because we had to travel from Chicago to Los Angeles in 3 days time and just swooped through Austin to swap vehicles.  Read More

Get free inspiration in your inbox | our best videos, podcasts, and blogs Yes, Please!