VHS alumnus finds success in new experiences
By Chick Green, Reporter
From playing on Stanford University’s basketball team for four years to hiking the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail, to being involved in a technology startup, Vashon alumnus John Gage has checked off many experiences that are on some people’s bucket lists. Gage is now shifting his focus to the technology industry and taking advantage of the opportunities that Seattle has to offer.
John Gage was a student at the high school from 2006 to 2010, and played on the basketball team for all four years.
“I was very lucky during that time to play with an incredibly focused and talented group of guys,” Gage said.
After his successful performance with the high school’s team, Gage went on to play four more years of basketball at Stanford University.
“At Stanford, we struggled quite a bit in my underclassman years, but eventually figured it out and played ourselves into the Sweet Sixteen — in the NCAA Tournament — my senior year,” Gage said. “My basketball experience, both in high school and college, was crucial in developing me into the person I am today.”
Gage was also involved with the Boy Scouts growing up. Some of the older scouts, who attempted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), inspired him to hike the entire trail after he graduated college.
“I had the ability to take some time off before moving back to Washington this past year, so I decided to go outside my comfort zone and hike the PCT,” Gage said. “It was quite a unique experience, and I was able to complete the trail despite numerous health setbacks –– watch out for that poison oak!”
Hiking the PCT taught Gage many things about himself and allowed him to realize his mental and physical limits and potential.
“I think the biggest takeaway I had is that I can do a lot more physically than I thought I could if I simply focus on the moment at hand,” he said. “2650 miles is hard to conceptualize, but breaking it down to 3.5 mph for the next hour –– every hour every day –– makes it more palatable.”
Besides his interest in the outdoors, Gage is also heavily involved in the technology industry. Currently, he is exploring tech opportunities in Seattle. He has experience working for three years with a startup in Palo Alto which focused on smartphone body cameras for police and private security clients.
“I really wanted to have that experience [at a startup] while I was young and had the flexibility to spend all my time on it,” Gage said. “Overall, I learned a heck of a lot, and the company grew leaps and bounds during my time there. I highly recommend others explore the start up environment in their early twenties. While most startups fail, it is only truly a failure if you fail to learn from it.”