Monday, March 1, 2010

The Who

I now realize that many of you have no idea who I am or what I'm about.  You are just joining a fan page or following Tweets blindly.  I definitely appreciate the support but let me fill you in.  My name is Andrew Ratzlaff.

So, currently I find myself residing in NYC on the upper east side hanging with old-money and Central Park.  I’ve only been in the city since April of 2009 but since my move I have been constantly on-the-go.  Whether it be working, traveling, traveling for work or riding my bike through the city or on overnight trips out on Long Island or up-state, I can not seem to satisfy my passion for adventure nor am I trying.  

I was born in Virginia, but as a military brat, my family didn’t settle down until I was ten years old in Parker, Colorado.  Colorado is the place I call home, where I grew up and became a person, and where I tell people I am from.  

It definitely surprised a bunch of people when I decided to leave the outdoor playground that is Colorado and head to the concrete jungle, but I must admit, the change has been liberating for both my life and spirit.  It is cliche to say, but nyc provides unlimited inspiration and energy.  And honestly, I feel that it has changed my outlook on life.  It has made me see anything is possible with some hard work and determination - can you say ‘cheeeeeeeyyyyeeessseee.’  But honestly, nyc is the dope spot.

So yeah, I grew up in Parker, CO, graduated from Ponderosa HS, packed my things and moved a whopping 60 miles from home up to Boulder for some schooling at the University of Colorado.  I definitely struggled a bit to figure out what-the-hell I was going to do with myself, so I tried some electrical engineering (I sucked at it), moved over to business (was bored out of my mind) and then one day I was sitting around watching a snowboard movie and decided I would go to film school and make ski films (I went to film school but I have yet to make a ski film). I seemed to be decent at making films thanks to a one, Mr. Jerry Aronson, my film teacher, so I stuck with it and after five years at CU I earned a bachelor of fine arts with an empahsis in film.

It was during my first semester of freshman year that my dad passed away after a nine-month battle with Burkitt’s Lymphoma and briefly sent my life into a tail spin.  My dad and I were close as I was growing up: always playing sports, going backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting and venturing out into the outdoors.  To lose a person who had always been there  for me was a devastating blow and something I really was not prepared for.  Fortunately I have a very close family.  My mom is the absolute best and has always given me nothing but support.  And I have a brother who is two years younger than I and we all just stuck together and pushed onward.  

Even with the support, and at 18 years old, I became more confused than ever.  I began to question life:  what’s it all about?  what’s the reason for anything?  why struggle?  Why not just do what I like? So, I turned to film school as something to do and to study.  Now, I'm pretty sure I haven't answered all the questions above, but I've been trying to figure them out.  Since my dad passed, I have definitely taken risks and basically traveled as much as possible.  I've been backpacking through Yellowstone, back-country snowboarding, taken cross-country road trips (in a car), spent six months studying and traveling in New Zealand and most recently went to Costa Rica for some surf action. The bike ride across the country is just the next step to answer questions, which are, possibly unanswerable. 

Here I am these days, a freelance video editor hanging out in nyc without a stable job and am about to enter a brief period of unemployment.  Fortunately it will give me the time necessary to continue planning and training for this ride as well as actively searching for sponsorship - but not for cash but potentially for gear or even some social media support.  Just need to to keep spreading the word.  Over and over.

1 comment:

  1. I want to help spread the word! I'm going to throw a young entrepreneurs party/fund raiser of some sort before I leave Aspen. Your info has GOT to be there.