The Worst Thing He Could Have Said

The Worst Thing He Could Have Said

There were no other options, we had to go back.

In fact, we went back twice. 

The second time because we knew what an amazing experience it was going to be. The first time going back was because we had to. We had to make sure that we weren’t crazy. To make sure it wasn’t a dream.

Hours earlier when the shuttle bus driver was giving recommendations for good places to eat in Ketchikan, I ignored everything he said that didn’t include the words “fish,” “seafood,” or “native.” You don’t go to the Alaska shoreline to eat hamburgers. Well, maybe you do, but I sure-as-shit do not.

So after checking into our room, Jessica taking obligatory Instagram pictures of the over-water loft, and getting turned away by a restaurant that was completely booked, we began walking downtown. While headed for a place by the water that had the words “Alaska” and “Fish” in the title, we ran into some friends who were looking for a place to quench their ruinous thirst. *

Jessica and I, being the gracious couple that we are, agreed to get a beverage with them before dinner. And because they were so damn thirsty, we quickly dipped into the nearest watering hole. The fucking burger joint. But hey, they also served craft cocktails.

And that’s when it happened. The “108 Tap House and Burger Bar” was amazing. Unique craft cocktails with names like “The Churchill,” were paired with an “Alaskan Charcuterie” board of salmon eggs, reindeer sausage and pickled onions.

It was so good that we demanded to speak to the manager…who happened to be the only server and bartender working and was helping us. From creating the cocktails to pickling the onions, this was his show, his restaurant.

That’s when it happened. While pouring out to him our appreciation and praising his work, he said it. And when he did, I almost threw my $14 drool-worthy cocktail into his face.

“Honestly, I care too much.”

Lacking the willpower or desire to restrain myself, I blurted out “THERE’S NO SUCH THING.”

There is nothing wrong with caring about doing the best you can. There is no such thing as trying too hard. You cannot care too much.

Telling yourself the story that you “care too much” or “try too hard” is bullshit. In fact, that is the goal!

The goal is to care about what you’re doing. 

To put forth maximum effort. 

To apply yourself. 

All gas, no breaks. 

Like my friend Matt DellaValle says, “effort over everything.”

Your homework this week: What are you actively pursuing that sometimes makes you feel like you’re doing too much? Lean into it! Embrace that you care. Put out maximum effort. 

Because the alternative is letting off the gas when it gets hard. Taking shortcuts and letting the small things slide. And then, you’re just some pig fucker who runs a burger joint in the salmon capital of the world.


Be great,

Danny Lehr

*Please email me ( if you know from where I ripped off the term “ruinous thirst.” But, don't cheat and look it up.