"This is My Downtime" - Parker Guthrie

"This is My Downtime" - Parker Guthrie

All my life, I’ve been drawn to the water.  In fact, I’ve always known how to swim. When I was two years old, I decided to join my older brothers who were swimming in the deep end of the pool. I took off running and, with my mother in hot pursuit, I jumped fearlessly into eight feet of water—I’ve been water-bound ever since.

After that, my desire for all things water only grew. When I was 17, I visited Lake Powell for a summer vacation and tried wakeboarding for the first time. It took me three days of trying to figure out how to get up, but when I finally made it, I jumped the wake within the first couple of sessions.

While I learned to wakeboard that summer, it wasn’t until about three years later that I really developed a passion for it. That’s when my brother and I started challenging each other. We would push each other to new limits—from who could jump the highest to who could do a 180. To his credit, my brother landed the first flip, but as he puts it, “Parker, being the merman that he is, started to figure everything out after that. Being on the water and on that board made sense to him. Much to my dismay, I finally had to accept that he was better than me even if I was the older brother.”

We really pushed ourselves, which resulted in more than a few injuries (mostly mine), some concussions (mine) and even some stitches (again, mine). But as I started to get better and more experienced, I began to participate in contests at the local and state level.

My first contest was about five years into wakeboarding. I went out and won the advanced trick division with four different inverts.  After my success in that competition, I was introduced to the Mile High Wakeboarding team. I started riding with them while I lived in Colorado. They helped coach me and even paid for me to compete.

Today, I live on a lake in sunny Florida where I regularly enjoy my passion of wakeboarding. What started 14 years ago as a recreational activity quickly developed into a full-blown water addiction. I currently ride three to four times a week. One of my favorite things is that it’s a stress release. If I haven’t been able to ride in a while, just getting out on the water always calms and relaxes me.  I also love to teach people and really enjoy helping anyone who is new to wakeboarding. Helping someone jump the wake for the first time is an amazing and rewarding feeling. To this day, my weekends (and some weeknights if I’m lucky) are spent with my wife, family and friends out on the water enjoying our time. 

When it is time to change gears, and get back to work, I don’t leave my passions behind.  At Geist, I don’t have to “survive” the work week until I get to be out on the water. Just like pushing myself to learn a new trick on the wakeboard, I’m challenged and motivated every day to do better and strive for excellence. I work with some of the most amazing and intelligent people in the industry who inspire and support me. I don’t want a job where I’m watching the clock waiting for the weekend. I want to be challenged. I want to be better. I want to add value to my company and our customers’ lives.  At Geist, I have that opportunity.

I enjoy knowing that the systems I build help prevent downtime in data centers so our customers can get out and enjoy their version of the water—whatever that may be. Geist gives me the opportunity to create solutions that allow others to enjoy their downtime. And that’s something I’m proud to be a part of.

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As far back as I remember, my working life has been very busy. In the earlier days of my career, working very long shifts during both days and nights would swallow up huge amounts of time. Before I knew it, days and weeks would pass before I caught up with family and friends. Now having a young family, I understand the necessity of having a solid work life balance – being able to give it all while at work but also having the time and energy to enjoy dedicated downtime with my wife and kids.