Is Your Work Interesting? ~ Charles Hurd

Via elephant journal
on May 28, 2011
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The most memorable lesson from this first Saturday at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival:

“Work is the calisthenic which provides the energy to do the interesting things in life.”

This bit of profound wisdom comes from the last fisherman alive to catch eel with a damn he builds by hand every spring out of stone. This full bearded back-woods character no matter how red-neck he may seem, had quite the grasp on his personal spirituality.

He like so many others spotlighted at this years Mountain Film festival, lives on the margins of human experience.  Some do it for “the best day” of their lives, others for a Zen-like state of awareness, and for others like eel-man; they do it for “enough”.

Out of everything I’ve seen today,  from spelunkers getting trapped in caves, to rock climbers getting held at knife point in the Sahara, and sadly to a man being eaten out of his kayak by a crocodile, I choose to cover the humble eel-man of Delaware river in New York because . . . his humility.

This man presents a decidedly different take on life then the adventure fueled philosophies I’ve come to expect from death defying mountain sports. It’s not my place to criticize others’ ways of life (different strokes for different folks) but in my humble opinion Eel-man is an old-school fisherman who presents some profound observations.

First this man refers to his job of corralling eels via an ancient stone weir trap as “the calisthenic which provides the energy to do the interesting things in life.”  If eel herding isn’t interesting enough, then maybe he needs to take up rock climbing with no ropes like the famous Alex Honnold (currently eating dinner behind me here in Telluride).  Regardless, this line encapsulates the essence of the Mountain Film Festival.

Photo: Selin Cerbo, Rock & Ice

Work is a conduit for the interesting things in life.

These movie makers get paid to lead interesting lives and capture it on film. This lesson has made me reflect on my work life and the work life of success stories I know.  I feel I’m halfway there, making my own schedule, reporting on beautiful places like Telluride.

I want to be paid to do interesting things.

I feel I’m halfway there, making my own schedule, reporting on beautiful places like Telluride.

But enough about me, I hope you’re inspired to lead an interesting work life, or continue with the interesting life you lead.

Bonus Get Inspired> Gnar Climbing.


Charles Hurd is a transitioning student to start-up visualizer. He is interested in unconventional lifestyles which result in minimal eco-foot prints, technology, and sustainability. You can find him partaking in zen activities from motorcycling to Bouldering.


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2 Responses to “Is Your Work Interesting? ~ Charles Hurd”

  1. Sunita Pillay says:

    Hi Charles! So lately I have been addicted to talking to people who are passionate about their work. I stick to them like a magnet. I agree with you: interesting work is critical!! I will never, ever drudge to an office again and sit in a cubicle, not that I did it for long, but two years was enough. Thanks for posting this very simple yet profound message! Love it. Peace, Sunita