Travis Ruskus had hit rock bottom. He was fired after three years of employment days before Christmas, and his relationship with his girlfriend ended a few weeks later. Merry Christmas.
He never really enjoyed his job, but losing it was tough. Breaking up with someone he truly enjoyed being with was excruciating. He decided to return to the town where he grew up, Boulder Colorado, and start over again.
For no particular reason, on no particular day, Travis wondered through the local woods and came upon a creek. He rolled up his jeans and walked in. He looked at the rocks. Out of boredom or curiosity or divine intervention (I suspect all three), he picked up a rock to examine it. He was curious if its peculiar shape could be balanced on another rock that was just as weirdly shaped. A frustrating forty five minutes later the rock balanced on the other. It was magical. Something impossible was just made possible. Something in Travis shifted.
The magic wasn’t the balancing of rocks. The magic was the power of Travis’s thought. He realized that the unbalance of his life was coming from his thoughts, and his ability to put his life (and rocks) back in balance all emanated from his thoughts.
Within a few short weeks of practice he was able to balance rocks four high. Then five. Then higher than that. Travis started assembling rock stacks in ways that boggle the mind. Round rocks perched on oblong rocks, perched on top of flat rocks.
Passersbys of every age examined the art work with amazement. Maybe they too got a glimpse into was is possible in themselves. Maybe they reconsidered their own thoughts.
And yes, Travis thinks outside the rocks. He has introduced fallen branches and flowing streams into his work. Whatever nature provides him and in whatever form, he finds a way to assemble it. To make all the pieces come back into balance.
To see his working is life changing. It makes you reconsider what is possible. But, for me, hearing Travis’s story was even more significant. He found purpose where others would have found desperation. That’s my kind of entrepreneur – Travis turned rock bottom into rocks up.