Reach Out and High-Five Someone


High-fives aren’t just for frat boys anymore. Anyone can do it. Whenever you accomplish something unexpected, something glorious, a single moment of celebratory awesomeness–you hook a 30 lb. salmon, you lay down 30 perfect tracks through 2 feet of powder, you drop into the pocket on a glassy wave, you bite into a crispy-perfect grilled cheese sandwich–these moments are all high-fiveable.

Kids learn to high-five at a young age. And well they should. Learning to stoke the fire of appreciation for life’s brief moments of glory is a skill we should all learn early and practice throughout life. Also, high-fiving is contagious. Like a sneeze, the power of high-fiving is subtle and yet powerful. It makes us feel good.

There are very few rules to high-fiving. The only one I can think of is this: don’t leave a fellow high-fiver hanging. No matter the reason, even if the hanger is a tool, it is simply bad etiquette and bad high-five karma to leave someone hanging. Anyone. You never know. You might be out there, wanting to celebrate your triumphant balance across the slackline or your first time up on a surfboard, and someone could leave you hanging. I’m telling you from experience, it doesn’t feel good. It stinks. Any time you see someone with that goofy look on her face, her palm held up in the gimme a high-five pose, do her a favor. Even if you don’t think her feat was all that awesome, give her some skin. It’s the kind thing to do.

In preparation for this post, I kept track of all the high-fives I hit lately. Here are a few: I high-fived a fellow ski patroller after agreeing that skiing on 4th of July weekend was a new kind of awesome, I shared a high-five with nine-year-old Sasha, my teammate for the fourth of July dinghy race (even though we came in dead last), I high-fived my five-year-old niece, Alicia, just because (hint: kids under 6 don’t need a reason to high-five, just an invitation).

Every time I hit a five, I felt better, lighter. High-fiving is a way of saying you think this is awesome and so do I. Here’s the thing: high-fiving makes it awesome. By reminding ourselves of our small triumphs we actually elongate them, stretch them out a few more moments. So don’t be afraid. Reach out and high-five someone.

Now it’s your turn: Keep track of your high-fives this week. My unscientific study showed more high-fives occur between 5pm Friday and 10pm Sunday than any other time of the week. However, if you live with young children, you’re in luck. They high-five every day of the week, and like I said, never need a reason. Think about it. When was the last time a 4 year-old didn’t give you a high-five when you asked for one? So keep track of your high-fives and report back here. How many can you get?

If you haven’t checked out their website, the High Fives Foundation, you should. They offer fundraising and awareness to snow-sports athletes that have suffered life-altering injuries. If that isn’t high-fiveable, I don’t know what is.

8 responses »

  1. I like it! My most recent high five was lastnight around 8pm….high fived a fellow friend/pilot after we discussed what a perfect day flying it was! 🙂

  2. Nice. It was a perfect flying day, wasn’t it? Thanks for sharing Anna. Sorry I missed you in Friday Harbor the other day. Getting stranded from weather turned out to be great. We went bowling and I had about fifty high-fives that night. I actually bowled my best game ever, which as you know, isn’t saying much for me. But I got a strike and two spares. High-five!

  3. I love that you high-fived your teammate after coming in last in the dinghy race! I’ve given plenty of high-fives in my time, but you’re the first person who made me consider what that can say about attitude, and how it can even change attitude. My grandmother and I used to bowl together and we often high-fived each other. Her arthritis keeps her housebound these days, so we still hug but rarely high-five. I’ll have to come up with a reason next time I see her. I know it will make her smile.

  4. Love the post, Kim! I’ve been doing a lot of fist bumping lately. They are along the same lines as a high-five, no? 🙂 My last fist bump: after surviving “off-width day” with my husband. (We hiked 45minutes–with some backtracking and trail finding, of course–to some fierce off-width cracks. I got a bit schooled in a squeeze chimney.) *high-five*!

    • Bridgid,
      Fist bumping is a cooler, more up-to-the-minute version of the high-five. Even Michelle Obama fist bumps. And yes, your off-width crack climbing definitely deserves a solid high-five. Way to go.

  5. Pingback: Weekly High-Five Report | Kim Kircher

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