Since we’ve been following Clay Steadman and his enthusiastic #ClaysYay on Instagram for quite a while now we had to know the story behind them.
How did #ClaysYay get started?
I am an overly enthusiastic in general and embarrassingly excited when I travel. Since I can remember people have asked me where I got my energy and told me if I could harness and sell my energy I would be a wealthy man. I am still not sure where it comes from and have not figured out a way to physically harness it. I do however, want to inspire others and help them do, see, achieve and be silly as much as possible. My Instagram is one method that I am using to accomplish this. I remember people being ripped on throughout my life for doing jumping fist pumps. It is often an embarrassing and immature thing to do. I embraced my over enthusiasm and exhilaration for traveling and I think that the jump really does it justice.
People I travel with would laugh at this because the Clay’s Yay goes far and beyond the Instagram fist pumps. I am always reminding myself and my companions of how lucky we are to be on an adventure and try to help us focus on the moment. Living for the day is a thing I learned from Dale Carnegie. He explains that if you had to live one day perfect that you could do this if you focused just on that day. If you don’t think about tomorrow or yesterday but focus on today you can do and be who you aspire to be. You can serve more people. You can be more kind, more productive, happier, have more energy, heck you can do ANYTHING for just one day. The idea is if you live your life in day tight compartments then you can do, be, see, and achieve anything.
In Dale Carnegie’s classes often quoted:
“Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today, well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day” -Francis Gray
Please don’t take this the wrong way and not plan your trip, your packing, your nutrition or your fitness until the day of. What I am saying is to not waste a day. Make the most of everyday of the week that you have. The more days that you can take on with enthusiasm and calculated action the more you are living your life.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
#ClaysYay is my best way to show the world I am not losing my enthusiasm and hopefully it will eventually inspire others to travel, appreciate and act childish.
Which #ClaysYay’s are your favorite?
My favorite and the banner on my blog claysteadman.com is the photo from halfway up the mountain in Berchtesgaden, Germany (supposedly to the greatest view in Europe) is my favorite yay pic
I was extra pumped about this one since I was testing out my new hiking boots for the first time and I always get a good feeling from Germany. In fact I am in Germany as I am answering these questions and I am in a great mood right now because of it.
A close second favorite #ClaysYay is on top of Mount Ulriken with my girlfriend, Kristin Carpenter (world-class volleyball setter currently living and playing in Greece
I am obviously enthusiastic about my traveling and post #ClaysYay pictures to show it. This particular photo Kristin and I were the only ones on the top of the Mount Ulriken on this crisp morning a few months ago. We took a few jumping pictures of each other, including one of her with a perfect form karate kick , but wanted one together.
I had a timer app that would take the pictures in 10 seconds and I quickly realized how hard it was for us to count down from 10 and jump at the right time. Kristin and I had done over 20 attempts before capturing this one. It shows our excitement and you can enjoy the Fjords underneath us.
In case you want to use Kristin’s karate kick too. (Kristin Carpenter, 2XDivision I National Champion volleyball player and now a professional setter in Greece)
How many tries does it take to get the perfect #ClaysYay?
I am still trying for that perfect one so I am not sure what it takes to achieve it yet but I intend to find the answer.
“Learn from your mistake until you succeed. It’s that simple” – Bobby Flay
I have a method for the madness. Whether it is a companion or a stranger I tell them to take as many photos as they can while I am jumping and I always do 3 jumps. Most strangers find this amusing and on several occasions the stranger has asked me to take a picture of them doing a jump. This is immediate gratification of inspiration which has lead me to ask strangers all the time for their help. The majority of #ClaysYay photos are not posted since I do not always get it right or the photographer cuts out the background. Some of them are also lot less impressive than others. Almost all of mine from my Ben Nevis hike (the tallest mountain in Britain located in the Highlands of Scotland) are not great jumps but great views nonetheless. My legs were pretty tired on this hike since we were going at a record pace.
I get people asking me what the secret is to the jump and how they can do it better. To this I always answer the same: “do more squats.” Since this is an athlete blog I figured everyone could agree with me on this one.
What does traveling mean to you?
Fitness travel: I blog for the masses and coach individuals on how to stay fit while traveling. I am currently working on how to improve this. For many people it is difficult for them to travel often and maintain fitness and nutrition levels. I help them with this by planning, strategizing and still getting to fully experience the culture without losing your athletic gains.
Similar feeling as wrestling: As a member 2 national championship wrestling teams at Penn State, I intently listened to our Penn State coaching staff. Learned a lot and did not always act on what I learned but I still listened and tried. One thing that I learned from Coach Cael Sanderson, Olympic Champion and fellow gratiDude, was that nerves are the weapons of the wise. In wrestling it is easy to get nervous since you are the only one out on the mat while you are competing. These nerves are often fought against and seen as worry. What Coach Sanderson inspires in his team is to utilize these nerves during competition. Accepting the fact that you are nervous and realizing that the nerves are a gift to help you through difficult times is what will makes you a wise person. A wise person that is capable of leading the great and of accomplishing anything. Also if you are not completely present during a wrestling match, if your mind wanders for a second you can lose. You must be all there, just like I harp on people about living for today.
Traveling makes me nervous. I am not sure why but traveling gets me in a state like wrestling does where I am 100% present in the moment. I experience setbacks like in wrestling and have to make the best of the situation such as: it is raining, I sprain my ankle in Barcelona, I lose my travel buddy or I missed a flight to Dublin. I don’t always win when I travel and that’s what makes the victories so incredible.
I read plenty of how to books and autobiographies from impressive people and let their quotes inspire me. I am also inspired by fictional characters. And two I often think about when I am traveling are:
“The gods envy us, the envy us because we are mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. We will never be here again”
This moment in this movie helps me increase my appreciation and makes me become more of a gratiDude. Another reason I travel is appreciation. The more I travel the more I appreciate America, friends and my family.
“I’m going on an adventure”
Also in this movie when he is contemplating whether to go on the adventure he asked the wizard, Gandalf, if he can promise that he will make it back alive. To which the wizard responds that he cannot promise he will come back alive but if he does come home he will not be the same. Wow! If that does not make you want to book a trip today I don’t know what will…