After producing three season of the National Geographic Channel show, Ultimate Survival Alaska, I’m forever grateful that I went through DI. Weather, rivers, helicopters, grizzly bears…with so many variables constantly in motion, changing at the blink of an eye, even the best-laid plan seems futile. Every day in my job is an Instant Challenge.
As a kid, I didn’t really see the larger significance of what we were doing. I liked getting together with my friends, trashing my parents’ basement, and creating funny skits. I never gave much thought to what skills I was learning. Luckily, my parents did, and they had the forethought to enroll me in the program.
After a while, DI became an addiction. I loved the rush of the competitions—waking up at the crack of dawn, the pressure, the last minute disasters, the thrill of an Instant Challenge, trading knickknacks for more knickknacks, holding your breath as they announce the winners. I can still feel that energy and excitement.
Even as an adult, I volunteer as an Appraiser because I want to be a part of that energy. Each time I do, I’m amazed at the creativity kids as young as five-years-old can display.
The farther I go in my career, the more I understand how those countless hours spent brainstorming, paper mâchéing, painting, and improvising have benefited me. Today, there’s really no challenge in my job that intimidates me. In fact, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the rush I get.
I owe that to my DI training.