I usually can’t explain what I do when speaking to friends and family about my work for Force 12 Media* because it’s tough to describe what a media director’s job really is. Sometimes I talk about the Internet; sometimes I explain how a blog works. Other times, I simply say, “It’s my job, and I do my best at it.”

While on an assignment in Washington D.C. recently, l had about six full days to myself while gathering content for the Force 12 websites. When I’m in these new places for work, I often think about why I’m the one who’s out doing this.

When I’m not working for Force 12, I can be found mountain biking, snowboarding, snowmobiling, camping, hiking mountains, rock crawling in my jeep, or somehow packing so many outdoor activities into a day that you’d think I was borderline crazy. Just two days before this trip to D.C., I went on a 60-mile dirt bike ride. About 45 miles into the ride, I slammed my right foot into a tree and thought I had shattered it. I could hardly walk, and now I had to go on this big work trip.

Arriving in D.C., I found myself in 90-95℉ weather with 50-80% humidity, in and out of rainstorms with my camera gear on my back. My bag can weigh anywhere from 40-80 pounds, and I would estimate that, this time, it was on the lower end of that spectrum—around 50 pounds. I realized on this particular trip that I’m able to do the things I do for Force 12 because of the type of lifestyle I have outside of work. I can handle eight hours on my (injured) feet while carrying a heavy pack in high heat, all while maintaining a creative eye through a camera lens, because of my life outside of work.