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400 Casey Drive
Maumelle, AR
United States


Based on a powerful book written by successful entrepreneur Holt Condren, Surf the Woods helps people and organizations navigate goals more effectively. 


Holt Condren, Jacob Schimmel, and Lee Tuxhorn write about men's issues


Are you sure you're a climber?

Holt Condren

Pinnacle Mountain, Arkansas

Pinnacle Mountain, Arkansas

We have a mountain near my house in Central Arkansas called Pinnacle.  It rises to 1011 feet towering over the surrounding landscape.  Since my 20's, I’ve spent countless hours climbing this mountain.  Climbing Pinnacle Mountain was an outdoor challenge that I talked often about and even bragged about.  As far as mountains were concerned, I couldn't imagine a more rewarding outdoor experience then hiking that trail to the top of Pinnacle.

When I was in my 30’s, I took a trip out west and laid my eyes on the Rocky Mountains for the first time.  A few years later, I started climbing the 14,000 foot peaks of the Rocky Mountains.  That put Pinnacle Mountain into perspective.  I had no idea what I had been missing by not experiencing the Rocky Mountains earlier in life.  Although Pinnacle Mountain is beautiful and rewarding to climb, you get a much greater reward when you scale a mountain that rises nearly 3 miles high.

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons

I had a similar experience as a Christian.  I embraced the fact that my faith in God’s grace had saved me from something; life and death without Christ.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.                                                                     Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

But I had not experienced the following verse that pointed me to that fact that I was saved to something; incredible works for which I was created.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.                                                                                                                                Ephesians 2:10 NASB

Embracing verse 10, helped me discover the bigger mountain.  This changed everything for me as a Christian.

Are you using the skills, abilities, and passions that God created you with to climb the Big Mountains He created you forOr are you listening to the world around you saying, “Success is found in money, power, and pleasure.” That is the little mountain. I’ve climbed the little mountain, and I’m here to tell you there’s a much more rewarding life for the Christian.  Challenge yourself to start pursuing the God-inspired dreams you were created for, and you will begin climbing the bigger (more rewarding) mountain. 

Keep on Trudging

Holt Condren

Are you trudging through life?  Every mountain I’ve climbed has what I call the trudge phase.  My spirit of adventure gets me to the foot of the mountain.  My training, preparation, and enthusiasm carries me half way up the mountain.  That’s typically the place where I inevitably hit the trudge phase; the point in the climb where I hate it and want to quit.  My legs are tired, my back hurts, the fun is gone, and I feel weak.  Every step is a physical and metal battle.  My mind battles thoughts like, “It’s not worth it.  This is more of a challenge then you were prepared for.  You could get hurt.  Go ahead and quit.”  We learn as mountaineers to climb through this phase with what’s called the “rest step”.  It’s a slow and steady trudge where we catch our breath with every step

Effective dreamers always have a trudge phase as they climb their God-inspired dreams.  Dreams like having an enriching marriage, parenting well-adjusted kids, and having a life of influence; don’t come without a trudge phase.  God has purpose for the trudge phase.  His purpose is to give us a most precious gift; the gift of character.  The Bible speaks to this in James 1.  It tells us that difficulties produce endurance.  Endurance produces character, and character will carry us up bigger and bigger mountains.

Now when I go to climb a big mountain, I anticipate the trudge phase.  I look up at the mountain and estimate the point where my excitement and enthusiasm for the climb will run out; that point on the mountain where every step will be a battle.  I stare it down and get my mind in the proper place to endure it and eventually trudge through it.  I’ve learned to normalize the trudge phase.  It’s just part of every climb.

Are you trudging through marriage?  Are you trudging through parenting?  Are you trudging through your career?  Life is lived in the trudge phase.  Don’t give up!  You may be trudging, but you’re still climbing higher.  On the other side of the trudge phase there is a mountain top for those that endure.  Sometimes it's a dream accomplished.  Every time it’s a character that’s refined.  Normalize the trudge phase and climb higher with life. 

Don't Regret Your Legacy of Words?

Holt Condren

When I speak to groups, I tell stories of my adventures as an entrepreneur, a mountaineer, and as a wilderness explorer.  No story draws more interest than the story of my search for Noah’s Ark.  People often ask me how I got involved with something as ambitious as a search for the Ark.  It all started with my parent’s Legacy of Words.

I think back fondly on those quite evenings when my lights went out in that small house in southern Arkansas.  The windows stayed open on those summer nights so I could fall asleep to the crickets chirping.  Frequently, my mom would sit on the side of my bed to say goodnight.  She had those magic fingernails that brought chill bumps as she ran her hands through my hair.  More times than I can remember she put me to sleep with these words, “God made you special. You’re going to do great things.”

Dad was a perfectionist.  His words were more like a kick in the rear.  Occasionally,  he would ask me to clean the garage.  That meant take everything out of the garage, wipe down all the walls, sweep the floor, wash things off with a hose, and then put it all back in an orderly fashion.  Inevitably, I would rush through the process and sneak back inside trying not to draw his attention.  A few minutes later I would hear that voice raised loud.  “Boy, get out here!”  He would walk me around the garage while pointing out my shortcomings.  Then he would hand me back the broom and leave me with these words, “Don’t quit son.  Finish well.”

So often in my life when I have faced a challenge, considered an ambitious opportunity, or contemplated quitting when all the evidence seemed stacked against me; I hear those Legacy of Words, “God made you special.  You’re going to do great things.  Don’t quit son.  Finish well.” 

Those words have pushed me toward challenges and opportunities I never dreamed could be reality; opportunities like owning my own business, pursuing mountaineering, writing a book, and even searching for the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.  Those words have kept me fighting through harsh conditions at 17,000 feet on Mount Ararat, just like they have helped me press through financial challenges and personal trials that many thought would sink me.  I’m so grateful for their Legacy of Words.

The bible speaks to this in Hebrews 10:24-25.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Have you considered what your Legacy of Words will be?  Will you be known as the guy who people loved to talk to because you brought inspiration, encouragement, and positive insight?  Or will people remember you as critical, discouraging, and harsh?  I challenge you.  Begin helping people up their mountains.  Be an ambitious encourager, and spur people on with your Legacy of Words.