From 1987 to 1990, during my college career, I worked part time at the REI store in College Park. I loved every minute of that job in footwear, helping prepare people for their outdoor adventures with a group of incredibly talented and passionate people.
My time at REI was so formative for me. I learned to deal with the public [like detailed in this excellent post], I worked for an incredible manager who modeled leadership to me, and I was infected with adventure. For an only child growing up with two immigrant parents, adventure was exactly not what my family was looking for.
The College Park store closed last week and I joined other alumni to mark the last evening. Thanks store #27 for all those lessons, but mostly for giving me the adventure bug and hopefully passing that to my kids. I am not fearless, but I pray my kids are. Like my friend Ben Cloud says, faith is spelled R-I-S-K.