Apr 1, 2014
I’m legally changing my name. Deciding to move away from “Brody” was far easier than I ever would have expected, especially given my predisposition toward normalcy and conformity. I’m one to avoid confrontation and discomfort; changing your name is pretty much the exact opposite of that.
Mountain sensibility and a balanced combination of longevity and mountain boldness are two of the skillsets that I respect most. They both emphasize staying alive while having fun in a vast, powerful landscape. Conrad Anker and Jeremy Jones are friends and idols who embody these characteristics better than anyone. They’re also why I’m changing my name.
June 6, 2013: I land in Alaska three days before the start of my month-long attempt to climb and ski Denali. At the hotel in Anchorage, in front of our team of skilled climbers, snowboarders, and skiers, Jeremy and Conrad–seemingly without discussion–decide to start calling me “brodyleven.com,” referencing my voicemail message, which refers callers to my website in my absence. But it catches on quickly, and suddenly two of the most admired mountain athletes of all time are calling me by my new nickname without hesitation. And I don’t know about you, but when Jeremy Jones calls me something–anything–, I respond.
Fast forward 8 months, and the necessary paperwork is circulating its way toward the Legal Services department of the Ohio District Courts. Without much analysis, and certainly without the permission of my parents (who are undoubtedly proud of the name that they created in 1987, which has since made its way to the mainstream), I decided to be spontaneous. The process is quite streamlined, with only one form and a few waivers to fill out. Although it’s irreversible, a name change is alarmingly simple.
I know it seems weird. Starting today, my new driver’s license reads “Brodyleven Dot Com.” But in practice, as Jeremy and Conrad first demonstrated, it isn’t that weird. Similarly to when you name your kid, dog, or car, I wanted a name that was both formally acceptable and easily shortened to a one- or two-syllable nickname. “Dot Com,” though technically my middle and last names, fulfills that requirement.
It’s really quite easy to accommodate my new preferences into your life:
“Yo, Dot Com, do you have any avalanche concerns for this slope above us?”
“Dear Dot Com, some mail came to our house for you, so I’ve forwarded it to Utah with a little box of your favorite homemade cookies. Love, Mom.”
I never would have considered myself someone to make this kind of move. Career changes, moving to another country, cutting off familial ties, and other drastic changes aren’t really part of my M.O. On Thursday of this week, Dirtbag Diaries will release their newest podcast. I wrote and recorded the story featured therein, and that will be my first public use of my new name. From here forward, all of my published work will be authored “Brodyleven Dot Com.”
My sponsors are seemingly compliant, and will be updating their team rosters accordingly.
Of course there will be slip-ups and confusion. All I ask is that you respect my wishes in this fragile time of personal growth. I’ll happily answer any of your inquiries, because my confidence is stronger than my doubt. You can reach me in a variety of ways, but the easiest is to just type my full name, phonetically, into your browser’s address bar. It’ll direct you to my website, with which I conveniently share a name.