"This article was written by Hunt Lift Eat team member Jakus Hull. In this article, he gives the HLE Community an inside look at his journey and how he found strong purpose in life through the outdoors, fitness, nutrition, and the Hunt Lift Eat Team. Jakus is a great part of our team and his story truly embodies the sense of tribe, brotherhood, and camaraderie we are striving to achieve here at Hunt Lift Eat. You can find more of Jakus' content on Instagram @jakushull. Thanks for reading!" -Josh
All too often it’s easier to get caught up in what we aren’t, where we aren’t, or how different from someone else we are; rather than giving ourselves a healthy dose of grace and throwing that shit back like a dry scoop of some pre-workout. The fact is: our journey is ours, no one else’s, and at some point the onus is on us to take up the reigns and lead our life to a new position— a desirable position. The game of comparison and complaining is a great disservice to our own suffering, and the hard work of others.
When we constantly measure ourselves against others, we set unrealistic standards and overlook our own qualities, achievements, and personal journeys. We are responsible for our story. This isn’t just in the hunting world with all the greats like Cameron Hanes or Steven Rinella, or the bodybuilding world with Chris Bumpstead or Ronnie Coleman, or the nutrition world with…whoever is in that world, but it’s in all aspects of life. By succumbing to the game of comparison we disregard the value of our own experiences and suffering and we hinder our personal growth.
There’s a brood of white girls perched up somewhere in their oversized t-shirts and biking shorts drinking some cream-colored “coffee” retweeting ‘comparison is the thief of joy,’ and honestly, they may be on to something. I spent 20 years comparing myself to my peers who had vastly different life circumstances, goals, and plans than me. I also spent those years depressed and riddled with self-doubt and a school of insecurities that would rival that of any angsty pre-teen circa 2007, until Hunt Lift Eat. Until I discovered HLE I never thought of life as through the perspective of pillars. Honestly, I probably never really thought of life, I was just trying to survive. However, I was already hunting, I was already lifting, and I was already eating; I just wasn’t thinking of the implications of each of those things.
"Hunt Lift Eat is more than a brand, it’s more than apparel, it’s more than a company in an industry full of start-ups and big names. Hunt Lift Eat is a family that takes responsibility for one another in as much as you’re willing to buy in; we’re a gaggle of people hooked on the things of life that bring about joy, hope, and purpose and were unwilling to remain complacent or to allow space for those around us to be stale."
The pillars of Hunt Lift Eat are…hunting, lifting, and eating; although there more than physical pursuits. Engaging in these activities requires discipline, dedication, and a commitment to self-improvement. Hunting—teaches us patience, resilience, and a deep appreciation for nature’s cycles. It’s a very inclusive event that invites an intimate involvement with what you put on your table. Eating—eating nourishing foods fuels our bodies and minds, which impacts our overall well-being and vitality. Lifting—picking up heavy things and putting them back down challenges us to push past our limits, build strength, and develop mental fortitude.
I’ve put in the work day in and day out to be someone vastly different. Not to say there aren’t hard days or rough days where I struggle to remain aligned with my values, purpose, and character, but by and large when I stopped playing the comparison game and started living like the person I one day hope to be, shit got a little bit more clearer. By embracing these pillars, we embark on a journey of personal growth, constantly challenging ourselves, and developing valuable skills and qualities that extend far beyond the physical realm.
Although the details of my life are for another day, I’ll paint in broad strokes to carry us along. In 2019 the life I knew began to unravel, and everything I thought I knew fell like the walls of Jericho. The person I believed I was in control of cultivating melted away like a mirage on the hilltop of a distant horizon, and I was left wondering: who I am and what is my purpose? Like many of you, I was lost and looking for a place to belong; I was seeking out my identity in a world inundated with possibilities, and paralyzed by veracity of discovery of opportunity. In those moments here’s what rang true: working out kept me alive day by day, I needed a people to whom I could belong, and I knew that hunting was going to be a staple of the person I was to become. I clung to that. I was hungry for a people and a purpose, and though it took several more years for that to be unearthed, I put in the work so that if it came, I’d be ready.
Being part of the HLE community goes beyond sharing a common interest. It offers a powerful support system that nurtures personal growth and provides a sense of belonging. (To be clear, I’m not talking about the hold hands and coddle you type company. I’m talking about the kind of community that will bust your balls because you’re wasting potential, and then love you through the process. It’s a well polished organism of care. We don’t pamper and we don’t stroke egos. We see the work that needs to be done, and we pick up the tools and get to work).
Within this community, individuals find a space where their aspirations, struggles, and triumphs are understood and embraced. The collective experiences and shared values create an environment that inspires and motivates. The influence of this community extends beyond the realm of hunting, lifting, and eating. It spills into all areas of life, fostering personal growth, strengthening relationships, and empowering individuals to become the best versions of themselves.
Along with the help of the team guys, Luke has cultivated a people worth belonging to. The different, or weak, or opposed slowly weed themselves out, and the cream rises, but the heartbeat of the team lives within each of us picking up heavy shit day in and day out and putting it back down. The weights in the gym, the mental battles few people see, the single parenting routines, the deployments, the career changes, the loss of loved ones; all the preverbal heavy shit life throws at us: we emulate the purpose of our community by rising to the occasion and bearing down, accepting that there are no easy days and that every day we have to show the hell up and give it what we’ve got. The values gained within the HLE domain—such as perseverance, goal setting, and the pursuit of excellence—transcends into careers, relationships, and personal pursuits.
I work as a Sergeant within the confinement system and I’m tasked with building a team of trustworthy individuals capable of handling high-stress situations day in and day out with violent criminals. Because of the value brought to me by this team, Hunt Lift Eat, I’m capable, and able to cultivate a safe environment in my work life, my home life, and my friendships outside of the HLE community—That’s the value of a tribe, that’s the value of the men and women at Hunt Lift Eat. By embodying the ethos of HLE, individuals find themselves on a transformative path of continual growth and self-discovery. Sometimes it looks like starting their own business, or participating in their first archery hunt, or even driving 18 hours across the country to camp with people you’ve never met—regardless of how it looks, the principle is: each increment of growth pontificated by the community translates to discipline, correction, and humble productivity in various other aspects of life.
Hunt Lift Eat is more than a brand, it’s more than apparel, it’s more than a company in an industry full of start-ups and big names. Hunt Lift Eat is a family that takes responsibility for one another in as much as you’re willing to buy in; we’re a gaggle of people hooked on the things of life that bring about joy, hope, and purpose and were unwilling to remain complacent or to allow space for those around us to be stale. The culture of HLE is built in Zoom meetings, book clubs, workout competitions, fundraisers, and events across the country meant to build the world of hunting, exercise, and nutrition together. The purpose of that culture is to give each community within each region within each state an avenue to bring families, generations, and newcomers together with a sense of purpose, belonging, and gratitude. You don’t have to be in the teams to partake in the influences HLE is perpetuating. You don’t have to do all three of the pillars to be a part of the community, but you do have to be growing, you do have to be moving forward.
In the beginning, I said that we often get caught up in comparing ourselves, our success, or our situation to the lives of people we look up to, or our peers who seem to be more successful than we are, and I went on to notate how that’s a great disservice to our suffering, and the hard work of others, and that I believe that this game is a thief of joy. I pose to you a solution of sorts: control the controlables. That which can directly and immediately be impacted by you and your actions ought to be impacted positively to position you closer toward success. For me it’s how I train for hunting, how I treat other people despite what society says they deserve, and knowing what I’m putting in my body for nutrients. It’s connecting with the community of Hunt Lift Eat, putting my nose to the preverbal grindstone, and knowing that on the other side of doing hard things, a better version of myself exists.
Hunt Lift Eat gave me a place to belong, a place to influence, and a place to grow. Ask yourself how the things in your life are benefiting your life. Are they giving you opportunities to grow personally and professionally? Are they giving you opportunities to stand in ethical dilemmas and to do what’s right? Are you being forced to grow your thought life, your service to others, and bringing value to the tables at which you’re sitting? If the answer to any of those questions are no, find a way to change that, to live more intentionally.