I regularly find myself asking, how is it possible that it has already been two years since I was on the trip of a lifetime? ..

Time seems to slip through our fingers like sand on a beach. You will never be where you are right now ever again ..  These moments, in these places, with these people ..  My greatest plea with you is that you do not repeat my mistake of wishing so much of this season away. Enjoy every second of it. Enjoy the good, and enjoy the bad, because God is going to use all of it to radically change you from the inside out.

This is my number one regret from my time on The World Race. The painful process of it all .. the long days, the sleepless nights, and the untangling of my selfish soul was too much to bear at times. I constantly found myself wishing that it would all be over ..  and now, I find myself wishing for those moments back so often.  In the two years that I have been home, the magnitude of just how much God used this experience to completely change who I am as a person has come in waves.

I haven’t posted a blog on here in almost two years. I know that AIM has changed the platform, and all my subscribers have disappeared in the switch over. I have no idea who will read this, but I hope and pray God uses it. I feel like I owe it to myself, to Jesus, and to so many others who invested so deeply into me through this trip. Fundraisers, team mates, prayer warriors, etc …  Thank you …  from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have forever changed my life. I want to continue posting again, and sharing lost stories from the field that I know need to be shared, as well as sharing about my life, and where I am at now on this journey.

My name is Brian Sanders, and in full honesty, I am a broken, sinful, selfish, greedy, lustful, and all around wicked human being saved by the unbelievable Grace of God. I grew up in a Christian home, with the best parents a kid could ask for. I went through the motions, and did all the “things” ..  but, now that I look back at it all, I don’t think I truly knew Jesus at all. Once I started college, I feel that I let go of almost everything that was instilled in me as a child. I drink from the cup of everything that the world had to offer .. and over time, it left me completely broken and empty. I just didn’t realize to what magnitude it had broken me at the time.

I joined the Air Force shortly after I graduated college, and continued down the path and habits that had formed while attending school. The military had moved me to the beautiful state of California, and I fell deeply in love with the American West. This was the beginning of God trying to break through my stubborn and prideful heart. God’s creation was the key to Him breaking back in.

It began with surfing, and I was instantly hooked. I bought my first board in 2017, and the rest was history. My friends and I took surf trips all over the California coast, and I fell in love being on the open road. There’s nothing quite like picking a spot on the map, and just going for it. My soul thrives on living life spontaneously. I don’t think that I was ever wired for the 9-5. I was still deeply immersed in the party lifestyle, but I could sense something was changing in me. The ocean was so therapeutic, and it was like God was whispering truths into my soul every time that I was in the water.

However, these surf trips were also still involved heavily with the party lifestyle. Surf all day, and hit the bars all night. If I am being honest with myself, I loved it at the time. Sin is fun until it’s not fun anymore right? Even back then though, I can still remember going to bed and thinking ..  man .. I know I should have outgrown this lifestyle by now. It was right around this time that I got introduced into climbing at the local climbing gym, and I had no idea at that time just how much climbing would change the trajectory of my entire life. At the time, it just seemed like a fun hobby to enjoy.

The party life all came to a head in the summer of 2018. I was flying back to Los Angeles from visiting family and friends in Alabama. A friend had invited me to a concert that night in LA, and we met up for an awesome night. However, I got completely drunk, and woke up the next morning in Huntington Beach where I had slept on the floor at an apartment of a friend of a friend. I remember waking up that morning and just being like man .. something has to change.

I wasn’t even necessarily thinking of it from a God perspective either ..  just in the sense of how empty this lifestyle was. I remember thinking that no matter where you are in the world .. every bar is the same. Its the same people, same conversations, same hangover, same rinse and repeat, and that you get stuck there ..  always talking about the things that you want to do in life, but never putting any action behind it. I got back home that night, and had a few more whiskey and cokes with a friend .. but came to the decision that same night that I was going to go a complete year without alcohol. And that year would come to be one of the most transformative years of my life.

2018 to 2019 was such a painful year, but also one of my favorite. I struggled so much with self esteem that year. It’s like the enemy just hit me so hard because I had walked away from the party life. My new addiction had become pornography, and it really took a hold on my life. But there was something else happening to. I was beginning to see life in a new perspective. I became interested in the things of God again. I became such a recluse during this season though, and that was one of my biggest regrets. I feel like I missed out on a lot. But it was during this time that we began to take our climbing outdoors to the local crags, and I was falling even deeper in love with the sport.

My life changed in the fall of 2019 when I took an extended road trip up through Montana and into the Canadian Rockies. Looking back, I feel like this trip solidified my longings for a simple life, lived free. I have known from an early age that I just didn’t quite fit into the mold that American society had placed on us. God would use this longing to ultimately lead me back to Him, and lead me to The World Race. Shortly after this experience, I felt that this was really the beginning of giving my life back to God.

This was also the season of my life that I was growing close to my best friend and climbing partner Colt. Through my friendship with Colt, God was going to radically change my life forever. We have literally traveled all over the country together .. climbing mountains and walls from Oregon all the way to Utah. The experiences we have had in the wild together can’t be fully expressed in words. There is something to happens to a person when you are way out in the wilderness on a big climbing objective .. your mortality becomes so much more tangible to you. When death is knocking on the door, it makes you examine your life in a much more radical way than in normal day to day living. Am I living a holy life honoring to God? It brings fear of The Lord to a whole new level. It does translate back into normal life as well. We should live every single day like that. Our days are numbered. Let our lives be holy and pure and blameless before Him.

After years of experiencing this lifestyle, I have finally figured out why I am so drawn to the mountains and all of God’s creation. It is because of that very reason. He speaks to me the most through His awesome creation. That is why I was so drawn to this mission trip. Ultimately, God would use this desire to completely change who I am as a person through this experience.

The World Race was the most difficult, beautiful, heartbreaking, life changing experience of my life .. and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Is AIM perfect and without flaws? Of course not. But who is perfect other than Christ? My greatest advice that I could give to someone considering this mission trip? ..  If God gives you the green light .. GO FOR IT! Let Him break you. Let Him rebuild you. Because ultimately, what God is calling you to is more of Himself. I set off on this trip with the expectation that we were going to rescue the world .. the truth is, is that it is all the people that I met through this journey that have rescued me.

Thank you to every one of my squad mates, leadership team, and supporters who continually saw something in me that I didn’t see myself, and who never stopped loving me despite my many many flaws. I am forever in your debt.

With all of my love,



I am excited to continue to use this platform to share lost stories from the field, as well as stories of how God is continuing to transform my life today. You can also find updates on my website at the following web address : http://www.briansandersstudio.com