Our CLOUD.IX Instameet Hikes started as an idea in conversation about our love for hiking and connecting with people. The idea was to bring together this online community of adventures, outdoor enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and really anyone that wanted to share good vibes. So, the first phase of the plan was to invite this Instagram community together to share an experience. The next part was to lead these people (most who have never met before) on a hike, which would challenge them physically. Then finally at the summit we would have a guest speaker deliver a talk or host a discussion. We hoped that this would create a unique experience for the community and ultimately have a lasting positive impact on them. So we sought out to execute on our idea.
For our first CLOUD.IX InstaMeet Hike, it was only suiting that we chose a trail that was challenging. We went with Montara Mountain trail in Halfmoon Bay. We also invited our good friend of the Jacksonville Jaguars, James Sample, to host a talk at the summit regarding his challenges, struggles and the mountains he had to climb in pursuit of his NFL dream.
We had a great turnout! As if the coastal views weren’t enough, the hike was filled with positive and open-minded individuals who made it hard not to smile and feel inspired.
As we began the first part of our journey, we discovered that each individual came to the InstaMeet Hike with a different purpose. Some came to hike, others came to network, while others came to join the open discussion. Although everyone came with a different purpose in mind, we all had the same goal: get to the top of the mountain—together.
As we ventured up steep hillsides, I witnessed friends and complete strangers encourage each other and cheer one another on. This is an unwritten rule that I love about the hiking community.
Halfway up the trail, we stumbled across an artist poised with her easel and brush. She was painting the beautiful landscape, so we stopped to admire her work. Not to mention we just finished climbing up a steep hill and needed a little break! After conversing with her briefly, it was clear to us all that she was doing something she had a fiery passion for. There couldn’t have been a more fitting surprise for our very first InstaMeet Hike.
We continued up the trail and soon found ourselves taking another moment to catch our breath and refuel for the final push up the mountain. Even our guest speaker, James Sample, and his brothers were challenged by this hike! Once we reached the summit, James began his speech sharing examples of how he had to overcome doubters and naysayers. James had a vision of how he was going to make it to the NFL, and he wasn’t going to stop chasing that dream.
“The slogan of CLOUD.IX ‘Trust Your Hustle’ really resonated with me. It’s what I’ve been doing this whole time. I truly believed in myself even when there were haters, but I still respect all and fear none.” – James Sample
He trusted his hustle from day one. James concluded his speech by encouraging everyone there to do the same. It was a resounding message to believe in yourself and always pursue your dreams and passions.
We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout for our very first InstaMeet Hike. Everyone that attended learned something new that day and left feeling lifted and inspired.
Stay tuned to our Instagram for more CLOUD.IX Instameet Hikes. See you out there!