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Who Is Your Sponsor?

A few weeks ago I was blessed to watch a film chronicling the many expeditions of Lonnie Dupre. ‘Watch’ is putting it mildly… ‘gaze in slack-jawed amazement’ is closer to the truth.

On screen, we watched Lonnie and friends kayak and dogsled around the perimeter of Greenland before towing 200-lb sleds across the polar ice cap to the North Pole. Not bad. But the climax was his odyssey to become the first human to reach the summit of Denali in January, alone, with no outside support.

It took him five years and five tries.

The victorious push to the top came only after he swore, after four unsuccessful attempts, that he would never try it again.

All of us exploded in applause as the film ended, and then I turned and realized he had been standing not five feet away the entire time. He had been reliving every bittersweet moment as we experienced his agony and triumph on the screen.

Professional athletes like Lonnie, Tommy Caldwell, and Ed Viesturs can train full-time, climb full-time, and spend all of their time outside planning their next summit attempt because they receive corporate sponsorship. They are attempting something so extraordinary, fantastic, and other-worldly that the brands they support want to be there when they succeed.

We simply must bring these two aspects of the sponsorship bond into our lives: The Attempt, and The Extraordinary.

So I’ll ask again, Who Is Your Sponsor?

All of us receive sponsorship every day, in ways that supercede a paycheck. And if we assume that we can simply “show up” and continue to receive sponsorship at the same level as before, we simultaneously risk everything and surrender the hope of gaining anything.

The Attempt and The Extraordinary are all that separate Lonnie, Tommy, and Ed from you and me.

Dare Greatly and you won’t have to ask for sponsorship.

Your sponsors will come to you.


Enjoy today’s recipe after attempting something extraordinary. Try making these with grass-fed beef brisket instead of fish.