The Really and What the Hell Got into Me:
Jumping into Huppybar, Clueless with a Cause
by Lyndsay Hupp
Well, why not? I could make this little essay real short and say that the only real why behind the what of Huppybar was more of a why not. Like, why shouldn’t I do it?
Sometimes we have to do it. I like doing. Stalling, over-marinating, and wavering on doing or not doing tend to drive me crazy, not that I am immune to them; they just drive me crazy. So when I am sitting there wondering "what could happen," I often answer myself, "well, there's only one way to find out."
This “doing” got to me many moons (10ish years x 12ish moons/year, so about 120ish moons) ago when the witches' brew of Huppydom began its work on me. There was no shaking it; I was curious and compelled. Beyond that, I had a heightened, inflated, and irrefutable sense of curiosity that was not going away by sitting around and wondering.
The product manifested itself by natural forces and courses and there was no intention beyond keeping myself fed on my river trips. As a kid, I used to make up cookie and dessert recipes and share them with my family. This project was no different except for my ingredient choices' significantly elevated nutritional value.
Little by little other avenues of my life began to merge onto this Huppybar highway. For instance, when I was little, I used to make believe I was playing "office" with my dad's sales forms, pretending I was running a little company in the living room. I also grew up cultivating my affinity for the visual arts, eventually attending a commercial art vocational program in high school, where I learned about graphic design. I was always an athlete: from the pool, track, and court as a kid to the mountains, rivers, oceans, and deserts in adulthood. Dedicated to movement, play, and exploring my physical capabilities, I eventually began drawing a connection between health, well-being, and the outdoors. As an adult, exercise and mindful nutrition became entrenched in me, more a way of life than a part of life. So was the exploration of life. I was always eager to see what was around the next corner, what was possible, and for better or worse, what I could get away with. And then there I was in the Grand Canyon, my ultimate nurturing, cultivating, incubating center of the universe. It all started merging.
I felt fortunate in my life and my experiences at the time of the Huppybar beginnings (and I still do). It had become evident to me that the natural world was an essential ingredient for our health and well-being and I wanted to share and encourage that for others. It was a beautiful time for me, a time in my life that allowed me to pursue a vision. I had created something I liked and wanted to share with the world. And with a broader brushstroke, I wanted to make a healthy, positive contribution to the world, advocate for, and maybe even inspire, people to get outside, play, and feel good.
I was ready to work and create with integrity, joy, love, grit, tenacity, spirit, and intent. I wanted to dive in. I had no real clue what I was diving into or would do after dripping wet, but I was going in. What could go wrong?!! Ha. Honestly, I didn't care; my intentions were good, and I was ready for an adventure.
Additionally, I had the time, energy, lifestyle, product, story, friends, community, and drive, and I was hungry for a project. I had creative energy and expressive desire brimming at my brain and heart's outflow. My pool was full, and I was primed for a release. I was aware of these alignments and felt I had nothing to lose. So I strapped a couple of pistols at my hips and let my motives start to fire.
I enjoy self-exploration and what I can do in this world, not so much to prove anything to myself or anyone else, but to just do. I love the unknown and the adventure of what else I could get into (or out of, or get away with), whom I might meet along the way, and what could happen next. I have no tally board, no chalking up some list of accomplishments. I go by feel.
I want to learn, to see, to feel it all. I often feel boundless, held back only by my fears and insecurities. As strong as these are—oh yes, they are strong-- any chance I can get them wrangled in enough to let me through to a new experience, I try and go for it. I love to feel the essence of an experience: the thrill, the calm, the intensity, the struggle, and the magic. I love the purity of raw emotion. Whether it's floating a river, surfing a wave, having hard conversations, creating art, feeling the wind in my hair as it sweeps across the desert, getting my ass kicked, being held by someone you love, making sourdough bread, or creating a brand and building a company, I like leaning into how it feels.
In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield describes a form of "resistance" that lives inside us, all around us, pushing against us and keeping us from doing the creative work we long to do. If we can find a way to push that resistance aside, we find we are free to sit down and do the work, pursuing the endeavors that intrigue us. And when we are in this space, there is nothing we expect from it: no fame, no fortune; just the act of doing the work and getting this thing done, out of us and into the world, is enough. Clear to me now, Pressfield’s articulation of this creative work mindset fell right in step with how I approached this project: compelled, diligent, willing, intentional, and dedicated, with love and without expectation. I was trusting myself.
All of these things were factors in the creation and building of Huppybar. The project was an orchestration of all my angles coming together to make a point in space. It is undoubtedly my most significant orchestral performance so far. What I have learned on this little mission is immense, but that's another conversation.
In the end, I wanted an adventure and a project. I wanted to share something, to advocate for well-being, and to see what would happen. In the words of poet and river-runner Vaugh Short, "really, what the hell.”
So, then what happened?