SURFING IN KANSAS CH 10
By Keith Kos
“LIGHTING THE FIRE”
BLOG CHAPTER 10
There were so many more little details and events along the way while on my journey to bring artificial waves to Kansas that I didn’t include in my story. I either could not remember the details or they were not significant enough to include in the story. There were a lot of successes and a lot of doors slammed in my face. I learned so much about business and overcoming challenges throughout the entire process. I do have some regrets, but I also feel blessed for the lessons learned on my journey. It’s not the success or what you get when you are chasing your dreams. It’s the person you become along the way that matters the most.
We continue the story after ignoring “DC” and moving on with my life. I was extremely disappointed with myself and completely crushed that my dream had been ripped out from under me in a blink of an eye. It was time to start over and attempt to repair my life and clean up the destruction I left behind on my journey.
I had to notify all of our investors about the company closing and what happened with all of their money. This was one of the toughest things I had ever done in my life. I had to explain to them that “DC” was a con artist and he had spent all of our money with nothing to show for it. I was extremely blessed to have investors that understood that investing in our company was a gamble and they had forgiven me for failing. I had one investor that wanted to continue working with “DC” even after I had told him what “DC” had done and that he was a con artist. This investor ended up giving “DC” a 5 bedroom home to live in, which was a BIG mistake. “DC” ended up destroying the house and was evicted by our investor. The damage was so bad that my investor had to give the 5 bedroom home to the bank. That investor got trapped in “DC’s” evil web of lies.
At this time, I had completely destroyed any trust I had with my wife, my daughter worried about me constantly and I’m pretty sure I lost the close connection I had with my son because of my behavior and my inability to see the damage I caused while pursuing my dream.
It took some time to start living a normal life without a dream or goal to pursue. I was so angry at “DC” and angry with myself for not recognizing that “DC” was an evil con artist from the beginning. When you are intensely passionate about a vision you believe in, you overlook the obvious and miss the important things sometimes. You can get sidetracked quickly and lose your grasp of all reality when you believe in something like I did. At that time all that mattered was achieving my goal of having surfing in Kansas. Now that my dream was dead, I started to focus on redeveloping my relationships with my friends and family. After all I put my family through, they showed me what true unconditional love is by still believing in me no matter what. I didn’t deserve a second chance with my wife but she loves me deeply and somehow I managed to keep her as my wife after the “DC” storm and the damage he left behind. I am truly blessed, and I would say lucky to have an amazing wife that loves me so much to take me back after dragging her through hell.
As time went by, life started feeling normal. Go to work, come home, spend time with the family and just live. I was off of Adderall and still fought a battle with alcohol. Even though I made it through the storm it was difficult to deal with the death of my dream. I had buried my dream of waves and surfing in Kansas six feet underground…….well, not six feet. More like six inches….I thought about it all the time. When a dream is yours and you claim it, it never goes away completely. The pain of my experience with “DC” was so strong that I was able to suppress any positive feelings about my vision. My flame for waves was completely out, not even a spark could be found.
I took 3 years off from my vision and dream and I thought I had completely let it go. One day, I decided to open up my company emails to see if there had been any activity regarding waves in the past 3 years. When I opened up my email account, the first email was from someone in Kansas completely stoked about my vision. This email was sent the day before I had opened it. As I read the email I started getting stoked too and then there was a spark that lit the flame of my passion. It was just a small flame like that of a pilot light on a furnace. I emailed this guy back and told him we had shut the company down because of “DC” the con artist. Even though I told him the dream was dead, he still wanted to meet up for coffee. So, I agreed to meet him for coffee at a local coffee shop in Olathe.
We met up at the coffee shop and we introduced ourselves. Michael was a young man in High School and and extreme sports enthusiast. He also fell in love with the sport of surfing. We talked for a couple of hours and I told most of my story about bringing waves to Kansas. That day the flame for my passion of surfing grew higher. I started getting excited about my dream again. We have met for coffee every month for about 2 years and my flame grew even higher after every time we met up. I owe Michael a lot of thanks for helping me awaken my dream again.
It had been over 4 years since the “DC” event and my passion for waves grew stronger every day since then. I was constantly trying to look for something to fill the void of my dream and passion. I dabbled in many hobbies such as recycling electronics, metal acid etching and making t-shirts. At one point I had all of these hobbies going in my garage at the same time and my garage was a complete wreck! My amazing wife walked into the garage as I was buried in my work and looked around and said “babe, this is what’s going on in your head. You need to clean up this garage and pick one thing”. She always has a way to keep my feet on the ground while my head is in the clouds. I cleaned up the garage and had to think about the one thing I would pick to continue to work on. The next morning I woke up and thought to myself “waves in Kansas is my dream and no one is going to take that away from me”. I didn’t pick any of the hobbies in the garage. I chose to pursue my dream of bringing waves to Kansas again! That day I cleared out half of my garage and laid out a plan for another wave pool model. I worked every day for 2 months and completed the build in record time. I am currently still working on the wave system and plan on having waves in Kanas soon.
Thanks again for reading! I am actually living chapter 11 right now and will continue to write about my journey as time goes by.