Rocky McElveen (Alaskan Adventures)
Rocky McElveen grew up living on the edge of the world in Alaska. The owner of the world-renowned lodge Alaskan Adventures, Rocky leads guided hunting expeditions through the Alaskan wilderness in a location that can only be accessed by plane. Many prominent people have entrusted their lives to Rocky on past expeditions; among them are U. S. Presidents, professional athletes, and high power executives. He is author of ‘Wild Men Wild Alaska’ a book that captures his stories and lessons on how to find what lies beyond the limits of this life in the wild.
As a seasoned Alaskan guide, I have looked at a lot of maps. Two things are of primary concern when I read a map: identifying my current position and deciding my final destination. It is very similar to the map of life. When I examine my life and identify my ‘beginning’ location or point A, it enables me to imagine myself reaching point B. Even with this informed perspective, the life traveler will still encounter challenges in his journey toward point B.
Based on my introduction you may perceive my journey and wonder why I have not experienced the detours, disasters, and accidents that plague you in your own quest. However, between my points A and B is my journey. It’s that journey that will reveal the struggles and triumphs on my map to point B. Let’s rewind and start at ‘the beginning’ or point A. I grew up in Alaska as my father was a missionary. Going out to dinner meant going hunting and fishing. We did not have electricity to turn on the light at night or switch on in the morning. The only running water we had was my parents yelling for me to run to get some water from the local river. That was point A. It was a different lifestyle for a boy growing up.
As I aged, I decided to take the road less traveled on my “map” and I became the prodigal son. During this time, I joined the United States Navy and served two tours in Vietnam. I ended up landing on the beaches of California where I met my beautiful wife Sharon. I went on to seminary and became a pastor hoping to encourage people towards the ‘right path of life’ but I decided again to take a different route, which led me back to Alaska. I made up my mind to take the jump and start Alaskan Adventures. During my first year in business I had a total of five clients. It was a slow start. However, I believed that this was a season of growth and preparation that would bear fruit in the years to come. The business began to grow. What I believed was coming true until suddenly my lodge was burned to the ground. Imagine yourself coming within reach of point B just to have it disappear completely off your map. I could have turned around and given up but I had faith I belonged in Alaska. I can tell you the temperature of the water on my skin when I flipped my boat on the river, which caused part of my face to be torn off. I can tell you what a grizzly bear smells like when they stand on their hind legs towering above you getting ready to kill you. I can describe to you how your heart beats get when your plane is crashing through trees and slams into the ground. Even through all these adventures I stand before you… alive!
I share these stories with you to encourage you on your journey. My life has been spared many times, and I have gone on to guide U.S. Presidents on wilderness adventures. That is my journey. In your journey, you may be experiencing the agony of defeat, but remember the thrill of victory lies beyond the bend. Your neighbor’s map will always look like an easier route than your own, but do not be distracted. Today you may be at point A. You may be in the middle of a challenge in your journey. You may feel lonely because your dream just burned down. Remember, this is just a season. Each challenge presents you with a new opportunity or story, but most importantly, each challenge gets you closer to point B!
This month STAR WINAR is giving away three signed copies of Rocky’s book. You have to enter for a chance to win. To enter this contest email the editor Steven Haynes (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your contact information.
The winner of the January edition was STAR WINAR fan Jonathan Thomas. He took home a gift certificate to iTunes and a STAR WINAR T-shirt. Thanks for your support of STAR WINAR where the women are beautiful, the men are strong, and the kids are above average!