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I'm Christopher German

Kago News Guy

 

Let's start with sailing...

I learned to sail over the years, but got my first experiences with a sailboat in the Sea Scouts of America as part of Ship 101 out of Stratford, CT. That lead me to attend the US Coast Guard Academy. 

In the Academy, I sailed in a Luder 40 and raced with the Academy Big Boat team. I was little more than rail meat in those days having just enough knowledge to talk my way onto a boat, but having little knowledge of what to do when I got there. I might have learned more, but alas I never made it out of the Academy, for good or for bad, and transferred to the University of Connecticut

At UCONN, I sailed with the sailing club and managed to get third in my best race ever in a fleet of three boats. If it was readily apparent at that point, racing, and I didn't quite jive.

CGUSCGA
Sailing School

Fast-forward past Long Shore Sailing School, Buzzards Sailing School, Battleship Cove Community Boating, and Pequot Yacht Club where I taught hundreds to sail and developed a healthy dislike of all things Yachting. This brings us to my first opus. 

Connecticut Community Boating was, by far and away, the high watermark of my life before 40, and it was there that I realized (a) sailing is a pain in the ass and (b) people suck. I never got a single thank you from anyone that ever sailed at CCB and ultimately, almost killed myself in the process. The positive thing that came out of it all was that I realized that I didn't know how broken I really was. 

On Boat

After CCB, I had no idea what I would do, so I went sailing

On dack in sunsine

I captained a 74' schooner in North Carolina for a summer and followed that up as an instructor aboard the SV Roseway. Both boats ended in hurt feelings and I found myself sitting on shore in St. Mary's, Georgia wondering where I would go next. 

I wandered back to North Carolina, where I met my wife-to-be and started Crystal Coast Marine Consulting, which I wish I could say was a brilliant business concept.  It wasn't and ended in tragedy. 

 

On September 14, 2018,  Hurricane Florence limped across Pamlico Sound and washed the nicest boat I have ever owned, The SV Lost Boys, five miles up on the banks of the Neuse, a month after I bought her.

The Boat was ruined. 

Beyond The Sea...

For the second time in my life, my world was upended by a hurricane, and I think that was when I finally heard the Lord say to me, "Get off the water and get a new career." And so The Charted Life was born.  

 

I first launched a streaming channel called The Charted Life Television Network.

Unfortunately, the TV channel proved ill-fated as well and caused me to break out in shingles from the stress. What's more, the first years of marriage proved equally challenging, and it became clear to me that something was wrong with me. But even a case of shingles offered a lesson to me.

wife with flower
The charted life after spinning
To get better

"I want
to get better"

Smile with refresh

It was shortly after, The Charted Life TV Network died, that Jennifer read an article about a radio DJ who was undiagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.  It clicked in her head that while I enjoyed being on camera and behind a mic, we shared many of the same challenges that the couple in the article described. The inability to communicate, the frustration at not being heard, and the lack of attention to the little things. 

She had me read it, and it got me thinking. 

I made an appointment to get tested for Asperger's and sure enough, it came back that something was wrong.   The results showed evidence of ADHD and Executive Functioning Disorder. That was when the pieces all seemed to start to fall in place. 

to go west

Go West, Young Man, Go West!

with two dogs

We piled two dogs, four cats, and all our most necessary provisions into a 31' travel trailer and headed from Beaufort, NC to Bullfrog, UT.

face on car mirror

Looking back, I always knew I didn't fit in. Whether it was social situations, relationships, work life, or school. It always seemed like I was the square peg, and the world was a round hole. 

In grade school, I was the kid who couldn't finish his work, had a mess in my locker, and always got crap about my bad handwriting. In social situations, I was the guy who would randomly walk out in the middle of a conversation. In relationships, I mastered the art of not listening and being awkward. 

It never quite occurred to me that all these things were connected. But when I found out that the reason I quit media to go sailing was because I was profoundly ADHD and undiagnosed, I got really mad. 

How was it possible that after nearly 20 years of education not one teacher ever noticed my issues? 
sun and shadow

I was angry. I was resentful. How did I miss out on the life that I was supposed to have as an author, a director or a journalist? 

How would I get that back? 

I was pissed.

 

For a while, I even resented the fact that I became a sailor and captain. 
 

with life jacket in boate
My first day as KAGO News Director

I got a doctor to properly prescribe medication, a therapist to work on modifying my behavior, and my wife agreed to be my coach.  It takes a team to navigate life with adult ADHD. 

It took three years living in the desert in poverty, a half dozen podcasts, two novels, a boatload of therapy and meds, and a tour of duty on a boat in Alaska before I could work my way back to a full-time job. 

For nearly a decade, I wandered around looking for full-time work. I wrote for a few fly-by-night publications and played with a camera on the side, but no one would give me a chance with a full-time paycheck, days off or benefits, and most importantly, weekends to myself.

 

The idea of driving a boat one more Saturday in my life began to sicken me. I needed to get off the water once and for all.  And it took a short jaunt at Quinault Lake, another at Crater Lake, and finally, The KAGO News Guy came to life in Klamath Falls, Oregon. 

I am now the News Director at KAGO News and MYBasin.com. I write a daily set of news stories for broadcast and web, I produce a series of interviews with local leaders, and I am working on filming my first documentary. 

mybasin.com
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