An adventure 3 years in the making
I remember reading the Alptitude email promo some years ago when it just started. My eyes popped. Wild stuff! It sounded like the ultimate experience.
25 people: change-makers, founders, creatives gather for a week of adventure and learning in the French Alps.
It is June of 2017 and I find myself there. Even better, I was going to help shoot and film it too…
“This is it! These are the conversations I live for!”
Day 2 and Chandni nailed it, stating the obvious state of our minds — blown. Like her I know how it feels like to be met with a meh or walk-away when sharing “crazy” ideas. Instead we sparked conversations and most definitely caught fire in the course of a week. Well it helped to be in the most stunning environment doing amazing things with folks from various fields you never knew you’d click with. But that was just the tip of the iceberg, or the Alps in this case.
I have snapshots in my mind: walking through clouds in the mountain hearing cowbells in the distance, shouting profanities while white water rafting, witnessing the sunrise and sunset (and full moon) on the same day, enjoying so many laughs, silly dancing, and eyes that were LIT!
The big hike was definitely my toughest moment. Rainstorm, hail and snow raised it to a whole new level. I was freezing cold and wet by the end of it, feeling like a cripple forced to accept that it’s ok to suck and ask for help. Thanks to hot tea and good company — I was restored 10/10!
Whether it was the force of nature or people’s good vibes, we were significantly open and malleable by day 4. Sometimes it was hilarious, challenging, humbling but mostly touching to see the humanity right there when we pushed past our discomfort/fear.
On the last day, Manuel basically pushed me over a cliff by suggesting I do this mini workshop, an idea I proposed at the beginning of the week. It seemed like a good idea, initially. I didn’t think it mattered especially at the end of an intense week. But with a few taps on his phone he made it real — 7pm at the teepee. No turning back.
It was worth it.
There is no equivalent to the feeling of having people you respect look back at you as if you might actually make good with life, as if you might make a difference in the world. That in itself is already a generous overflow. The frequent exchange of trust and support with opportunities (if you weren’t pushed enough already!) to step up and serve have been the greatest gift.
Alptitude showed me a glimpse of what else is possible for myself and other humans. How it makes total sense in the end is almost surreal.
I am deeply grateful.
Laurence and Carlos behind The Happy Startup School — I knew I saw a spark when I first stumbled upon them years ago. Having met them in person only reinforced my beliefs. Well done YOU GUYS! I cheer you on and on!
To the Alptitude 2017 crew — I have so much respect and admiration for you. I wish you the wildest success. Blaze on!