Riders for 1400 Miles cycling through north through New Mexico towards Colorado on a hot afternoon. Michael Lim Photography 2015 ©

After a successful trip with my brother across the continent in search of enriching experiences, I came home after Outdoor Retailer (Salt Lake City) to spend two weeks with my family. I figured, if I am to continue the transition of my photography to the outdoors industry permanently, I would need to figure out a viable automobile solution. In those two weeks, I failed to do any automotive shopping and spent the majority of my time climbing and training at Sender One in Orange County, CA while focusing on the remainder of this year's goals.

  • 3 Petzl Athletes & Events (stills & video)
  • 2 American Alpine Club events (stills)
  • 1 Black Diamond Athlete (stills)

Though I came short of my promise to reach an even higher peak physical limit, I had to be realistic with myself. Two weeks isn't enough time to keep up with those who have spent more time on the mountain than off. Nonetheless, it was great way to work on my Lead Climbing mental strength as well as spending time with my parents and my dog. During all of this, I met someone who has become very important to me. I told myself I wouldn't spend any time meeting someone new or a significant other, but that quickly failed the moment we met. Our time together had been a dream; Pacific sunsets in blazes of red, orange, and purple with nights spent walking alone on hidden beaches or upon a balconies listening to waves crash upon the sand under a full moon's night.

I had become perplexed. How could something I'd been working so hard towards for the past seven months quickly become something I was dreading to resume? I knew didn't want to leave this person yet, and I was reluctant to head back onto the road to work without my brother. And to make matters more complicated and cruel, she would be leaving for Costa Rica with no specific end date. The dream I had worked so hard towards soon became my nightmare. Initially, I was frustrated, but I was quickly reminded by the book, The Alchemist, that love should never inhibit anyone from realizing their personal legend. Those who love you, will understand your pursuits and support your true path in life, so the only thing I can do is support her personal endeavors.

I'm writing this reflection from the Hillside Inn; a small motel in Pagosa Springs, CO. The town is a small mountain town along the southern Rockies just north of New Mexico by no more than an hour.  Currently, I'm on an assignment for 1400 Miles, a non-profit organization increasing awareness for testing for Prostate Cancer. The assignment has been grueling. The first three days in Texas was incredibly hot, and with New Mexico (Stage 2) completed, we begin our ascent through the mountains into Colorado (Stage 3). 

It's Day 8 of 14 of this assignment, and it's the worst assignment I've had to do yet. The crew has been disorganized, the food has been lack luster, the days are incredibly long, and I can't stand being around any of these people for another day. Time to yourself is non-existent, and considering I just spent seven months in the wilderness, the last thing I need around me is a group of people larger than two. At the end of every night, I find myself mentally decompressing with my best friend who's been on this assignment with me, and luckily, he's been feeling the same anxiety.

However, I remind myself that I would've committed suicide long ago if I had a normal job. Digging deep and finding another gear to grind on is the only solution once you've accepted financial compensation for your work. I've realized that nothing is as it seems and that the only way to continue thrive as a photographer and videographer is to be adaptable. Shitty food is still sustenance, hotels are paid for, personal expenses are compensated, and travel has been completely covered. "It's not always peaches & cream," but it's still better than anything else I've had to deal with in Los Angeles.

Life is what you make it. If you sit around and bitch about the things that aren't, you'll miss everything that is.