Universe Recycles Positivity, Mysterious Karma

There is a glossy white-tented building adjacent to the 10 Freeway right along the on-ramp at Lincoln. It’s a homeless shelter called Samoshel with rigid rules about who can stay and for how long. In 2002, I’d serve meals there for a short time in conjunction with my high school’s outreach program. 

My upbringing specifically meant I was rarely in need of much of anything and, while my “community service” wasn’t anything remarkable, it was the first period in my life where I interacted with folks who were in need in ways I couldn’t relate. 

Flash forward to 2009. In a pinch for adventure, I texted a former teammate at 8pm on a Thursday night to see if he was up to make a memory. He was. 

“Pack a backpack. Clothes for any weather. We’ll be back by Sunday. Flight leaves at 6:05am.”

We flew standby to Humboldt, which was the chosen destination simply because it was the only airport that had both no rain and a 48-hour turn around close by. We’d fly out of Redding Airport, which was 156 miles from our drop zone. 

The game was survival and accomplishing the following

  1. Build a bonfire.
  2. Drink a beer.
  3. Cook dinner.
  4. Take a photo with a redwood tree. 
  5. Spend zero dollars.
  6. Call no friends and family for help. 

Once we landed in Humboldt we trekked into town via a path along the coast mostly by foot. Our first ever hitchhiking ride came from a jazz pianist in a Volvo full of cobwebs. He took us the last three miles to town. 

While the major task of getting to Redding for the flight out was the most important task, I realized I underestimated that fact when I noticed the mountain range that stood between Humbolt and Redding from our flight in. There was snow, roads were closed, and I figured the worst case was we could walk.

The emergency plan was that we could break our rule about spending money, abort the plan, and take a bus line that covered the distance. As it turned out, that bus wasn’t running on our travel day. We had no exit strategy. 

Through a series of events that are for another blog, we found ourselves building a bonfire at the beach one minute that evening and cooking a spaghetti dinner for nine strangers, drinking their beer the next. The to-do list was going well. The prospect of getting to Redding, however, couldn’t have seemed less possible. 

The next morning was “travel day” and we had to find a way to Redding for our flight out the following morning. Hitch hiking seems to be the best route. Long story, made shorter, we got a ride into the forest a few miles, but nowhere near the three hour drive to the Redding Airport. More stranded than ever and with the sun setting, I was starting to feel like my cute adventure idea was highly irresponsible. 

Until just before dusk, a Toyota Camry pulled over and a woman came out waving us in. Initially, she let us know she’d take us to Redding Airport as it was on the way to Mt. Shasta. Later, she’d tell me why she was headed there. 

“Just as a heads up,” she said. “You and your friend should be fine, because you’re hitchhikers. But, I got laid off at the movie theater and I’m running drugs to Shasta. If we get pulled over, I’m getting locked up for a long time.”

I gulped. My friend slept in the back seat. 

The tension gave way to humanity. While my privileged adventure wasn’t real danger or struggle like hers, I at least felt like I needed help on that highway as the sun was setting and she helped me. 

A few hours into our ride later, I’d learned that this woman who came to our aid and I had met before. She was a 19 year old runaway single mother in need and had a full stomach for the first time since she could remember as soon as she checked into a glossy white homeless shelter adjacent to the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, CA. We realized what this meant at the same time. I was the skinny kid that would load her up with extra green beans at Samoshel. 

9/11/20 WOD


[Meet at Anderson Park]


[Meet at Pan Pacific Park]


Strict Press

Then, complete 2 rounds for quality:
10 3-Way DB Shoulder Raises
12 Reverse Grip Bent Rows
Max Close Grip Push Ups

Then, complete 6 rounds for calories of:
:45 Max Cal Row/Bik
-Rest 3 minutes-