Being a Professional

In a July interview with Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold Chin ended the conversation asking Honnold if he had a favorite quote. Below is Honnold’s response:

What is your favorite quote or motto?
Carpe diem maybe? I don’t really have a favorite.

I take that back! My favorite quote might be by Julius Irving: ‘Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.’ I think about that all the time when I have to do climbing related “work”, like photo shoots or posing or reclimbing things, or whatever. Or even training sometimes. Sometimes you just have to go out and get it done.

I read this interview this morning after I had done my crossword. I sipped my coffee and reflected on my experience from the night before.

When I left work at the boarding school I dropped off the last of the documents our lender needed to begin processing our home loan. I went for a run with my dog then cooked dinner. Kim arrived home while I was finishing eating.

She and I sat down to finalize the paper agreement we have for the client we are contracting with to take to Thailand in January. The process proved tedious and took much longer than either of us had anticipated. We got flustered with one another and wound up being cranky the rest of the night.

I lay down, upset with the fact that we even owned a business. I was upset with the fact that my free time was now spent working mostly for free.

Then she got into bed and we began talking and laughing and joking. And that was when we reminded ourselves that all of this is a means to an end. Eventually, our hard work will pay off. It’s already beginning to. People are recognizing what we are doing and coming to us asking for us to plan trips for them.

Even though I don’t love to review legal agreements, I love to travel and I love to guide people. And that evening I didn’t feel like doing any of the above, but I am a professional.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a different legal agreement to review now.


  1. Love this quote and love your application of it. Always helps to be reminded of little things like this! Your company sounds like a blast too–good luck!

    1. Thanks very much! We’re obviously still working out the kinks with the business, but we’re keeping everything in perspective and headed in the right direction.

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