By Leo Babauta
Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, died in a freak accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro a couple days ago. He was one of my best friends in the world.
I’m still in shock — at the suddenness of his death, the senselessness of it, the incredible loss of all he had to give, but most of all, at the gaping hole that his loss leaves in my heart.
I loved (and still love) Scott deeply, and I can’t believe he is gone.
Some of you might know Scott because he delivered a massively inspiring (and popular) TED talk on finding work you love. Others of you have followed his well-known blog for years, and still others have taken his courses on connecting with people and finding your passion. And some of you might be a part of his Live Your Legend Local communities around the world (thousands of people have been touched by this movement).
I know Scott as a running partner. Someone who teased me about my faults, and who I teased about his unabashed love of Taylor Swift (who he found inspiring). I know him as someone who I drank (too much) wine with, someone who pushed me to run and finish a 50-mile ultramarathon when I wanted to quit, someone who would stop to admire the beauty of the hill we had just climbed, someone who drank tea with me as we dreamed big and inspired each other, someone who ordered too much when we went out to dinner.
He was larger than life, and yet as intimate a friend as you can get. You could count on him in so many ways, to be there when you needed him, to show up in a big way, to push you when you needed it, to make you laugh, to dance and do handstands and burpees and drink green juice.
He loved life with a passion we should all find.
Scott was always challenging himself, always on a new diet or workout challenge, always finding a bigger purpose for his business, always looking to do something huge. He would order everything on the menu and roll his eyes in pleasure. He would bite off more than he could possibly chew, and love it.
How I Met Scott
What most people don’t know is that I met Scott when he was in my blogging club, a group of bloggers I mentored for a couple of years. He had a little-known blog called Reading for Your Success, about speed reading and personal development books. We met when I moved to San Francisco and held a meetup for the blogging club, and after the meetup he gave me a three-page letter that he and Chelsea had written for me. It was a list of all their favorite spots in San Francisco, because they knew that I was new to the city and so gave me some amazing recommendations — vegetarian restaurants, places to hike and work out, places to get drinks. It was awesome.
He gave me that thoughtful letter, then invited me on a run.
We went on a run, and it changed both of our lives. It was around the Marina and Presidio, at sunset, and it was gorgeous. Breathtaking. We meant to go out for 30 minutes, and we took 3 hours, stopping to do pushups or enjoy the stunning views. We connected then over that run, and we never stopped running together.
Scott in Paris
The last time I saw him, it was a hot evening in Paris with the sun going down. He and I had cold rosé wine with Chelsea and Eva on a cobbled Paris street, and the sun was bathing him in glory. I’ll always remember him like that, kissed by the gods.
We had just done a meetup with Zen Habits and Live Your Legend readers in a cool Paris park, and it was an amazing experience. We met so many great people, and Scott and I loved doing it together. We both wanted to do another hundred of those.
We won’t be able to do any more of them. That’s the gut-wrenching part of this for me: I won’t have any more of those Scott moments in my life, only the recollection. And Scott won’t be able to give everything he wanted to give to the world.
To Scott’s Family & Friends
I would like to say, to Chelsea, to Scott’s parents and sister and other family members, to his closest friends … I’m deeply sorry. This loss is felt most deeply by you guys, but just know that it is also felt by so many others, and our love is with you right now.
Scott was truly blessed to have Chelsea as his partner, and he knew it. He told me so many times how lucky he was, and going around the world with Chelsea this past year has been a dream come true for him. The two of them were such a gorgeous couple, so much fun, so full of love and life, so generous. I’m so sorry, Chelsea, that this has happened.
Scott talked so lovingly too of his parents, of how his dad was his closest confidant, how he wouldn’t be anywhere without his parents’ support, encouraging him to be bold and experiment. I saw them at our meetup in Paris, and I know how proud they were of him. You could see it in their eyes. Bill and Janet, I don’t know what to say, but that my heart is with you.
This Isn’t Goodbye
Scott will always be in my life. Every time I go on a run, it will be thinking of the time we ran up Twin Peaks and saw a sunset on fire. The excitement about life he showed in every phone call, every email, every time you saw him — that will be infused in my life. He sucked the juice out of life with no apologies, and that changed me.
Scott influenced tens of thousands of people, got them to connect with each other and do something inspiring and seek and create the work they love. That is truly amazing. I know when we went on our first run together, Scott had no idea that this would have happened. And when it started happening, he was blown away by it. He was touched by the stories of people around the world who changed their lives based on what he created. That floored him, daily.
I want to carry on what Scott was doing, in some way. I don’t know what that will be, but I refuse to let his work fade away. What Scott created, in all of us, will live on.
Scott, my friend … you don’t know what you’ve done for me, or how truly, truly grateful I am to have known you and called you a friend. I miss you, I miss you, I love you.