When I was twelve, I was on a hike with a dozen or so people and Tim let me lead the group for a while. I set out at a brisk pace and hit the trail with gusto. At one point, I looked back and realized I was a leader without any followers. I retraced my steps and found the group at a fork in the trail I had missed, grinning at my obliviousness. I laughed it off and was more careful about checking trail markers after that. Tim has a way of letting your environment teach you lessons instead of hitting you over the head with them. As a kid, with adults telling you how you should act, you come to appreciate those who let you learn through intermittent failure and interaction with the elements.
Tim Buchanan is a coach getting you ready for a big game. An advisor who understands that in the end, you’re the only one that can hop over the boards and onto the ice. He’s someone that tells you it won’t be easy and toughen you up to deal with life's trials. Summers in the mid 2000s meant Tim was soon to send the big wolf dog after me in the pond at camp. Funny, yes. But it was as if he was teaching me how to climb a 14er. Like he was saying “Stay calm, toughen it out and move ahead.” Tim was preparing me for the big game and for the biggest game, life. Allowing me to see things that other people might miss, things like the how much joy a pie-in-the-face will bring to anyone.
My entire life I had been taken into the outdoors. But in the Fall of 2014, 1 high peak, and a couple nights in a tent had changed my perspective on the outdoors forever. This wasn't my first time in the Adirondacks, wasn't my first time camping, or even the first high peak I had climbed, but it was my first time doing any of these things with Tim. Conversations by the fire and on the trail about life, stories from his past, and over everything else, a fostering of respect and love for what the mountains represent. All of these things changed the outdoors for me forever. I went from someone who spent most of their time indoors, to someone who needs time in the woods multiple times a week just to remain sane. I owe Tim a non repayable debt, in that he gave me the gift of an appreciation for nature, something I'll never lack again.
Tim has always lived by the idea "respond with overwhelming force" and often quickly ends any annoyance aimed at him in this way. At 10,000 feet above sea level, Brian Meyers, Tim Converse, and I all made the mistake of provoking Tim by throwing small rocks at him while he was trying to enjoy the view. After a few ignored pleas for us to stop, he jumped up, grabbed any rocks close by and charged us, launching baseball sized debris at us. Brian and Tim managed to flee to safety while I was pinned behind a small wall of rocks laying flat and forced to surrender. Luckily we all managed to avoid being hit... except for Chris Klocke, the only person not involved who had a puncture in his ankle that swiftly soaked his sock with blood. After this debacle, we learned a valuable lesson when messing with Tim: always respond with more overwhelming force.
Two years ago I went on a hike with Tim and my two best friends, Larkin and Alex. This was my first Adirondack high peak summit and while the view is less than spectacular it's the newfound friends and old that I shared it with that truly made it special. It seems like ages since this photo was taken but many hikes, laughs, and peaks later I find myself cherishing that first big accomplishment. Now with Larkin and Alex producing and Tim as our subject we set out to make a film that will challenge stereotypes, show the power of nature and most importantly encourage all of us to take those steps out of our comfort zones.