A patchy, lime-green painted room displays the canvas’ outstretched limits. Among the carefully placed lime-green blotches, a pool of white space began to pile up. Almost immediately thereafter, that pool of white began to plagiarize the anatomy of the human body. It was then that a shimmering yellow shot out from both of the arm sockets of this newly created body. A snap of the finger later, and grey shoes made their appearance south of the object’s striking bright arms. For a moment, the headless creation bobbled around leaving hints of confusion and dizziness in every step. A rumbling sound seemed to have been triggered by the 5th step, and a glass enclosed, electricity eating light bulb gracefully struggled its way out of the shoulder cavity of this purely white dressed, yellow toned human light bulb.
Turning the bright glow of its head on, the seemingly innocent white form gathered a bright idea. With nothing else needed other than that original and creative thought, the human light bulb began whipping around a red rope, as if he were ready to lasso a Golden Stallion. Launching the red rope into the unknown distance, a massive red beast emerged from inside the rope. Lush with bright blue lips and teeth sharper than a 1,000 needles, a true plot had started to write itself down onto paper. With the human light bulb grasping the red rope tightly in desperation, the massive red beast shifted its head ferociously around begging to become loose. The human light bulb was able to envision 2, one-wheeled creatures calming the beast. One with crazy and funky black strands flailing around its head, the other, with a stitched up yellow potty mouth and eyes full of anger.
The beast was now putting 100% concentration in devouring the small and tasteful creations. Having been painted by the imagination of the human light bulb in order to bring serenity to the beast rather than provoke hunger. The human light bulb had now been made aware of his mistakes, he played with real-life imagination all in an attempt to calm the beast. A mistake he would now have to fight to change. It was his idea to bring the paint to life, and it would be his doing that would forever freeze the acrylic onto the patchy, lime-green canvas. He had to protect the 2, one-wheeled creatures from the massive red beast. Jaw chomping more hardcore than pacman could ever attempt to do, the massive red beast pulled the human light bulb behind him as he darted for the 2, one-wheeled creatures.
Hurrying in a dash, the 2, one-wheeled creatures failed at maintaining their confident lead on the massive red beast. Fighting for the better position, the 2, one-wheeled creatures crafted an unchangeable disadvantage against themselves. The massive red beast was going to catch up, and inevitably, they would be eaten by the beast. Because the 2, one-wheeled creatures were not aware of their quisling team mate situated behind the massive red beast, they quickly gave up hope of survival. The stitched up yellow potty mouth creature now found himself inside the mouth of the beast, with a popped tire and no means of escape. Its frame had now started to tip way into the beasts’ throat. With his companion happily a foot ahead and out of danger, the stitched up yellow potty mouth acknowledged the fact and waved goodbye to a world only real inside a light bulb’s head of thoughts. It was right then that the light bulb decided to freeze the paint, to subject not only himself, but every other thought he had for this scenario. Freezing the paint would require extreme concentration and would ultimately freeze a snapshot of that current moment. There was no other option. Pulling back hard on the red rope with all the strength he had within him, the human light bulb jolted the creations with the power of imagination, stunning the blobs of paint frozen forever, exactly as they lay on the patchy, lime-green canvas.
Titled “Being Chased By Imagination” for appropriate reasons, that moment in history of when paint came to life, almost destroying itself before any human had the chance to witness the adventure that had taken place. This painting now sits squarely on my bedroom wall, a place for it to never be forgotten.
Moral of the story, anything is possible and hope should never be abandoned.
1986, Kris Holm is a young and adventurous 11 year old growing up in Victoria, B.C. His family being very outdoorsy, Kris found himself really into non-competitive adventure sports, "I spent most of my spare time hiking, skiiing, kayaking, and rock climbing." It was this year that Kris stumbled upon a street performer by the name Yuri Toufar, his act, riding and balancing on a unicycle while playing the violin. Being a violinist himself, Holm felt the instant need of learning how to play the violin while unicycling just like Yuri.
Holm's 12th birthday rolled around and sure enough, there it was, Kris' very own unicycle. Just like any beginner, the one wheeled bicycle proved pretty tough for Kris to learn. However, after having exhausted 8 full hours of trying again and again, and having shed not a drop of dedication, he was finally able to ride a few meters down his driveway. This was only the start to what would be become of the highly notable, and the very inspirational "Tony Hawk of unicycling".
Having a firm background in experiencing the great outdoors, it's no surprise what happened next. Taking the unicycle onto off-road trails, Kris quickly pushed the boundaries that labeled the unicycle as being only a tool that was used in the circus. With no buddies that could ride around with him, he was forced to expand his abilities and experiment with his personal limits all by himself. "I rode from 1986-1998 basically by myself." exclaims Holm. Kris didn't know what had been done on a unicycle before him, nor did he know just how far the sport could be expanded. Thus, Kris was leaving a trail in permanent ink behind him as he set his sights on the unexplored ahead of him. It wasn't until 1998 that Kris received popular recognition for riding a unicycle, attention garnering from filming bike videos.
Knowing there was no full-time career in unicycling, Kris pursued a career as a geomorphologist, having received his M.Sc. in Earth Sciences, "For me that means assessing the risk of geological hazards such as landslides and floods." Holm works that job from Monday to Wednesday. So what's he do for the remainder of his week? Well, from Thursday to Friday Kris manages and runs Kris Holm Unicycles Ltd. which has been growing for 10 years now having started in 1999. "Running the uni business is a fun, creative job - it combines design work, business management, and marketing." adding "it's a good balance with my other career." The idea of starting up KHU came about in the natural way of Kris simply needing a unicycle for himself, as at that time, there was no unicycle strong enough to withstand the constant abuse Kris exhibited on a unicycle while riding off-road trails.
With all these positive events defining Kris' early and little success, it's no wonder he faced opposition with this business idea. "I'd say the hardest part was near the beginning when few people believed that there was a market, and the market that did exist was too small to really justify it from a business perspective." Yet, that wasn't his focus, "It was much more about wanting to grow the sport than it was about growing a huge business." Kris hasn't gone on to make KHU an international company, but has still managed to get his unicycles out in the real world having his creations touch each continent on the globe including Antarctica.
Holm has had the privilege of riding in 14 countries, has been recognized in over 200 media features, including Discovery Channel's Daily Planet. He was included in the 2007 Ripley's Believe It Or Not book and the television show. On top of that, Kris is also known as being the pioneer of mountain unicycling, also known as Muni. As well as being the founder of competitive trial riding (obstacle riding) for unicycles.
When asked if he had any tips or bits of advice to someone looking to live out their dreams, Kris kindly shared "Mainly, to get started, and that combining various skills is usually a lot more effective at achieving objectives than thinking you have to be really, really good at just one thing. Sometimes skills relate to each other in strange ways." Kris concluded the conversation with "I also think it's really important to do things because you want to do them, not because you don't want to do something else. For example, I never grew KHU into an international company because I wanted to quit my day job - I really like my day job. As it turns out, they both help each other - the stability of my geoscience work lets me make longer term investments into KHU than I'd ever be able to do without it."
I was ready. I was prepared.
I waited anxiously as my level of enthusiasm increased dramatically. The living room lights dimmed as a beer was cracked open. I could hear someone girg'ling it down. A refreshed burp echoed the stillness of the room, bellowing louder than the crack of thunder. Still waiting I re-tied my shoes. I think only a blink later and a light beam shined in through the living room window. The blinds were closed. The horn honked so I grabbed my all-ready bag. I opened the door, the rusty creek staying with me as I stepped nearer in the direction of the black car. I couldn't see the driver, hidden behind tinted windows. It was cold, foggy, and barely 3 a.m. The car door was already opened for me, so I placed my left foot inside the vehicle. He handed me a stick of gum. I began to indulge in all my freedoms as we rolled backwards out of the driveway. Before I had the opportunity to fasten my seat belt, my stomach went weak. A scream came sprinting from the trunk, clearing my position only to return a moment later ricocheting off the windshield and dash. I assumed he was joking on the phone. Yet, all while fully aware of the man I had been in contact with. I knew him to never joke.
We went out that night. No one ever found the timid fright to be declared in rich spite. There was no proof.