In sixth grade language arts class, I remember our crazy southern Methodist language arts teacher Ms. Lawton teaching us a unit on subliminal advertising. After scarfing down her two Rice Krispie Treat and a Coke for lunch every day, she'd show us The Truth: the evils of advertising. We spent an entire month neglecting vocabulary and diagraming sentences and instead learned how to spot skulls airbrushed into Marlboro smoke or innuendo in Chivas print ads. It was supposed to open our eyes to the treachery of the advertising world. Fortunately, I just thought it was fun. So, thanks, Ms. Lawton. Without you, I probably wouldn’t enjoy this as much as I do.
In the ensuing years, I’ve gotten into a side gig as extreme as advertising: ultrarunning. To date, I’ve run more than 40 ultramarathons, including more 100-milers than I can count on three hands. With all that time alone in the woods, I’ve realized I can use my advertising skills to help preserve wild places, promote healthier choices, and hopefully save the planet in some small way. If you feel the same, I’d love to help.