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What’s Your Bear?

By Joey Havens

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Grizzly Bear

We are so blessed to be staying at Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge for a weekend of fishing and relaxation with friends. Although the weather is hot for Montana with daytime highs around 78 and evenings getting down to 46 degrees, it’s a welcome relief from the Mississippi 90s+ and high humidity.

As we unpacked in our cabin, we noticed the room was rather warm and it didn’t take long to figure out that we had no air conditioning. After dinner the first night, we laid down around 10:30 (it didn’t get dark until 9:30) and it was rather unpleasant as the 50-degree cool night air had not rolled in yet. We had the windows open but the breeze was very light. So after about 30 minutes, CeCe opens the door so we can get more breeze. 

It worked. We could feel the breeze start to pick up and sleep eventually grabbed us both.  The next day, we headed out on a wonderful fly fishing trip with our guide, Eric. After a full day of fishing, we were tired, hot and hungry and we headed to the shower and then up to the main house for dinner. We met our friends for a wonderful meal out on the deck watching the sun slip behind the mountain peaks and enjoying a beautiful evening in Montana.

After dinner with just about an hour of daylight left, we loaded up and went about 8 miles away to a pasture where it was very common for grizzly bears to be sighted. We knew we were at the right spot when we drove up and saw a man out with a spotting scope in front of his van. Another pick-up had pulled up with about eight kids hanging on the back. Everyone’s eyes were peeled to the east across a lush green pasture valley between two smaller mountain peaks. Sure enough, the grizzlies were there. A mother bear with two cubs and a much larger grizzly. So beautiful as they ran around the meadow as though we did not exist. That’s the first grizzly I’ve seen in the wild and they are really big, fast and beautiful.

At dusk, we headed back to our warm room for the night. I laid on the bed, on top of the covers, waiting on CeCe to finish up those 1000 things she must do every night before coming to bed. But she laid down and did not open the door like last night. I waited about ten minutes, trying to go to sleep but it was too hot and not enough breeze. 

Aren’t we going to open the door again tonight? 


Why not?  

I don’t want a bear to get us.  


I’m scared a bear might come in.  

CeCe, we knew all about the bears the first night. They even discussed with us what to do if we encounter a bear. So what’s the difference?  

Well, until tonight, I hadn’t seen a bear. Now I have seen one.  

End of discussion. I laughed but the door stayed closed. What’s the bear standing in the way of our career? Our next learning opportunity? We all have that bear somewhere in our minds and too often, like CeCe, it keeps us from opening a door to more opportunity. All opportunities and growth come with some risk. 

We are going to make some mistakes and miss some expectations, however, we will grow more outside of our comfort zone. 

We have to get into bear territory to reach our full potential. What is your bear?      

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