We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Antin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work-Life Balance is an interesting topic. When it comes to the concepts of “balance”, I’m well aware that at many times in my life I can’t possibly be excelling at all of my life’s focal points, but it’s important for me to be engaged in many things at once. I will say that in my early to mid 20’s I was very focused on climbing up the professional ladder and as I’ve become older I’ve put more of a focus in things that make me happy – some of that is work, some of that is creating, some of that is being part of my family and some of that is continuing to explore the limits of my mind and body in a variety of ways. One aspect of my outlook on life that hasn’t changed from my younger years to present day, is that it is important to be passionate about something in life. That could be family, work or play.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It took me a few years to develop an elevator pitch that sums up who I am today. When I graduated college I was quite focused on pursuing a career in Federal Law enforcement. I focused hard on that goal and spent a handful of years building up a resume that might appeal to the Feds. At the same time, I began to appreciate a life, and career outdoors. In 2011 I had my last panel interview with a federal agency, but I had already moved to Colorado to pursue a completely different industry. I started guiding part-time and coaching part-time. I eventually managed to secure a role with a start-up called LivingSocial that hired me along with 20+ other 20-somethings to run the “Adventures” division in our respective cities. The empowerment I learned from that role was drastic and my freedom to “make things happen” with my equally as driven peers was significant. When that branch of the company was later resolved, I realized I had built a large network of incredibly people throughout Colorado and beyond that were eager to continue working with me on a variety of levels – fast forward about 8 years, a few memorable professional projects and connections to some incredible people and we’ve come full circle to my 30 second explanation: I wear a few hats, all of which in the outdoor world. I work as a mountain guides to give people the skills they need to explore incredible places they seek. I work as a performance coach, connecting with mountain athletes and helping them prepare mentally and physically for their goals. Lastly, through the Beat Monday Project and TV series I work as a story teller, aiming to inspire people from all different backgrounds, to get out there and tackle their goals – regardless of their limitations.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live Golden Colorado. Some of my favorite places to play are the local nearby trail systems, rivers and rock & ice climbing areas found in Clear Creek Canyon, Eldorado Canyon, or even up on my backyard hill: North Table Mountain. As you can guess, the outdoors play a huge role for me, my family and my profession and I’m incredibly appreciative to have such incredible resources so close to home. Keep in mind I’m keeping things close to home – with just a little extra drive time in any direction, your possibilities for outdoor recreation are almost endless. During this past year’s lock-down, I spent less time climbing and skiing and more time exploring the local gravel trails on my bike. I was amazed to find a pretty incredible network of gravel roads and mellow trails extending all across the front range. A few of my favorite spots to eat at the Tributary in downtown Golden, where I’ll often spend a date night with my 4-year old at, the Miners Saloon where it’s fun to grab dinner and drink with friends – or Xiamati, a fantastic family owned Mexican restaurant. I must say, the place I frequent most however, is Big Daddy Bagels – an incredibly friendly operation with great breakfast sandwiches that have started many of our outdoor adventures. Golden is also known for it’s many breweries…including Coors. They are all worth a visit for very different reasons.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It sure seems like every good thing to happen from my life has been due to seizing an opportunity. Every single one of those opportunities has come from a member of some sort of community I’ve had the pleasure of being part of. The list is incredibly long when it comes to people and communities that have led to my personal and professional growth. For me it started with team sports – many of my coaches helped me come to enjoy and appreciate a strong work ethic. Those coaches, along with my parents instilled in me the importance of “hustle”. The definition of “Hustle” at a very young age has stayed with me and been a strong factor in how I approach almost every task in my life. My first job out of college I worked for a younger entrepreneur, John Pantera at a small personal coaching gym in Massachusetts. John didn’t force any of his employees to take on business related professional development initiatives, but he gave us the opportunity. He was a fantastic first “boss” for me to work under. Coaching is very much a part of my professional life. When I made the move to Colorado in 2010, I reached out to the owner of a niche strength and condition facility, named Connie Sciolino. Connie was the founder and owner of the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, CO. She gave me my first job in Colorado to continue my work in the strength and conditioning field and more importantly, this was one of my first great connections to a community that is incredibly passionate and involved in the outdoor community. Guiding people in the mountains is a main part of what I do – I do have my own guiding business that I launched in 2013, but these days I’m committed to working with an incredible family of mountain guides at the Colorado Mountain School. When I first moved to Colorado, I tried to get hired by any one who would give me a job, but I only heard back from another new business owner – Kevin Capps – who had just started his own guide service (Denver Mountain Guiding). Kevin gave me a shot at learning and growing as a guide with very little experience. I’m sure it gets said often, but it’s incredibly difficult to pursue projects such as these with out a supportive partner and believer. My wife Jenny is that person and has never once been skeptical of my pursuits or passions.
Other: Get a taste for the Beat Monday show: http://www.outsidetv.com/show/detail/Beat+Monday/play/ZvvM49ZI/1/100/KAzcJ3yR/2 Book a day of climbing with me through the Colorado Mountain School: https://coloradomountainschool.com/guide/jason-antin/