Outdoor

Close to Demise, New Life: The Electrical Shock Chef Eduardo Garcia on pleasure that’s by no means misplaced

Energy: you cannot create it, you cannot destroy it and it moves from one shape to another. Nobody knows this better than Eduardo Garcia.

In 2011, Garcia was hunting in front of his home in Montana when he came across a strange sight. Garcia’s glitter caught Garcia’s attention as he peered into a halved oil barrel. He had tripped over the remains of a baby bear. He did what anyone who was passionate about nature would do. Curiously, he pulled out his knife and nudged it.

What he didn’t know was that the barrel marked an exposed but forgotten electrical box. When he touched the bear, the metal knife drew 2,400V from the hidden line and let the massive current rise through his body before grounding.

Photo credit: Steven Drake

On the path of least resistance, the current flowed through his vessels, nerves and muscles, leaving a trail of debris in Garcia’s body. A bolt exploded from his torso, obliterating four ribs in his chest. His leg had a severe exit wound. And his hand, which bore the brunt of the energy, was so badly damaged that surgeons had to remove his left forearm.

The fact that we’re talking to Garcia today is a miracle. But we’re grateful to hear his story of recovery – and how his curiosity and passion shaped his incredible life.

For many of us, being an outdoor professional would be a dream job. But it is not easy. Follow us as we go straight to the source and learn from professionals like Eduardo Garcia about their success, careers, families and passion projects “In Real Life”.

“Charged” for life

If you haven’t seen Garcia’s documentary,Calculated” (and we highly recommend it!) You can’t help but notice Garcia exuding optimism. You can see it right away in the opening scene of the film. Garcia’s head, torso, legs and forearm lie on the hospital bed and are bandaged. Tubes protrude from its cautious body. Physically, he lives on a thread.

It is easy to assume that given the situation, Garcia could quickly plunge into a negative consumer slump. Instead, in sharp contrast to the gritty scenario, he jokes with his medical staff, friends and family. Garcia’s smile illuminates the room.

Eduardo Garcia cooking at homePhoto credit: Becca Skinner

Garcia describes his experience in slow, precise words with the wisdom of a Taoist monk. “If Eduardo Garcia can be said to be incredibly positive, think of it as a by-product of incredible pain and suffering. For example how to bite our tongue at the best meal you’ve ever had. “

Or basically, how protons balance electrons in every atom. “The two do not live a separate life. Pain and joy are one and the same. “

Cue the microphone drop.

Garcia speaks in metaphors that float like a butterfly. You flutter during the conversation, but always land on the point with executed grace.

He tells a story of a recent hunt where he came across a quirky tree. It had been knocked down repeatedly before it was found upright again.

The trunk of the tree grew in a complete 360-degree loop. “The lodgepole pine had enough life force to keep doing what it does best – to thrive, to grow – to be the best badass tree it can be.”

If nature teaches us something, it is the will to survive – nature does not give up. So why should Garcia?

Shared energy

Garcia embraces his work with the same positive energy. He told of one of his first groundbreaking appearances when he was hired as a chef for a high-end yacht, the greatest job he had ever placed.

Within the first week of hearing his client’s culinary taste, he knew immediately that he was not the right cook for the job. Sure, he could have cooked whatever the customer wanted, but “Cooking didn’t spark my passion. The boss deserves another chef. “

Garcia reflects on this decision as a crucial moment in his life. And he encourages those around him to live life with the same fervent energy.

“My experience has been enriched with the matter [individuals] “His employees bring a unique energy that no one else can bring. It is the special sauce of his brand and nourishes his life.

Outside of his busy grocery brand, Montana Mexand his outdoor cooking series, YETI’s hungry lifeGarcia is active in the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). CAF is an organization that offers opportunities and support to people with physical challenges. Garcia works with the organization and receives more than he gives.

Before he got involved, he wore his prosthesis everywhere, including running. It was a crutch. At a race sponsored by CAF, a young participant introduced himself, looked at Garcia’s prosthetic arm, and asked bluntly, “Are you going to run with it?”

The young athlete knew that losing weight would make him run faster. But it was deeper than that. “I think I wasn’t resigned to it [my prosthetic] yet. It’s great to live a life without the baggage that we carry ourselves. “

The power of his community and friendships have contributed to his continued recovery. You keep him on the ground. So he is cruelly protecting his relationships.

He doesn’t go out alone much while he’s still outside. “Despite all the gadgets, it’s definitely safer to travel with a buddy in the woods. I realize how much I’ve been given and do my best to be as safe as possible, ”he says, respecting the time others have invested in his life and recovery.

Eduardo Garcia cooksPhoto credit: Becca Skinner

Inquisitive mind

Some may say that it is best to let sleeping bears lie. When you play in nature, you appreciate its beauty, both large and small. Garcia opens up and defends his choice in the early autumn morning: “As a nature lover, nothing is forbidden outside. It’s the ultimate freedom. “

Like many of us, wild spaces enliven Garcia. It is his church, and he is a devout parishioner who regularly (in his words, not ours) seeks to “catch his stream”. Little did he know that the lesson that day would be something else entirely.

But it was precisely his curiosity about nature that inspired Garcia’s career. Before his life as a celebrity chef personality YETI’s hungry lifeBefore founding his company, Montana Mex, and long before his incident, Garcia was a curious kid immersed in Montana’s nature.

Whether he was hunting, fishing, or selling the fish he caught, “Montana was the canvas. And eating was a part of our everyday life. It was very evident that there was plenty to eat outside. “

Curiosity still plays a central role in his life today. He is easily distracted by shiny objects and can be immersed in a hunt that involves tracking down a moose. When he inexplicably pulls a child’s fascination with “a spider web lit by dew” with a switch. Nature trips over me! “

That is, Garcia finds inspiration in all forms and follows his curiosity. “We only need a spark to start this strange discovery process.”

Braced by the enormity of a dream? Garcia explains it with a metaphor, of course.

“Like a pearl, it starts with the smallest contribution.” He encourages people to follow their curiosity and passion and start small. “Start with a small profit. If you’re interested in foraging, get a local book! Try to find a local patch. There are so many ways to get started. “

Of course, Garcia does what he loves and positions himself where he is happiest. “Be where you want to be, do what you want. It can be done in tiny ways; Let that be an example of your work. “

Be true to yourself. Follow your curiosity. Do it with passion. Who knows, it could be the next big thing.

In the office

Food, life, exercise – for Garcia it’s all part of the same conversation. portion YETI (Makers of large, long-lasting coolers capable of pulling large harvested game from deep within the bush) Connecting the points from the field to the table was instinctive. YETI saw Garcia’s vision immediately and invited him to put on a show that luckily we can all see YETI’s channel.

As a child who grew up without funds and worked as a cook on yachts where funds flow overboard, the story of YETI speaks for a higher product. One you can’t buy.

“I could talk about their Tundra cooler or their stainless steel line, but my favorite piece isn’t the hardware. It’s the heartbeat. “Garcia said that it is YETI’s commitment to its customers’ passion for the sport that inspires him to excel in his work.” And you can’t really put a price on that. “

Garcia quickly realizes that his injury has put him in the spotlight. It was less of a wake-up call, more of a double down! he said. “I’ve seen life change quickly and I’ve found that there’s no time to lose.”

And Garcia doesn’t waste time. With COVID, his focus has shifted to the interests of cooking from home. And he has an upcoming untitled project with Magnolia Network coming out in 2021. “Details are still being ironed out, but this will be a major focus for me in 2021 and I’m super excited to be sharing it with the world.”

We can’t wait to follow.

Tool: YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler

The most versatile cooler from YETI, the Tundra 65, is just as at home in the hinterland as it is on your garden grill. This ice box offers plenty of space to keep your harvested meat from the field, the number of redfish or your valuable brisket. The Tundra 65 is built to be virtually indestructible. She’s just as tough as you and she comes back asking for more.

More information about the YETI Tundra 65

This article is sponsored by YETI as part of the brand’s “In Real Life” content series.

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