013: The path of a calling is not a straight line with Cory Smith

Cory is a Virginia native and attended Virginia Commonwealth where he received his undergraduate degree in biology and his Masters in Teaching. During his time at VCU, Cory played on the soccer team and was a full-time volunteer for Young Life. After finishing college, Cory entered the Young Life intern program for two years and continued on staff for two additional years in Virginia. Cory and his wife Christine were married in 2001 and have lived in Colorado since 2002. They have two beautiful children, daughter Sage and son, Cedar. Cory is one of the founding directors of Training Ground, an organization that provides evaluated real life experiences, mentoring, and intentional Biblical teaching in the context of work, wilderness, and worship.

In this episode, Cory shares about his early career moves and how a challenging 2-year season of remodeling a barn with a friend led to discovering a calling and career. Join us as we discuss:


  • The circuitous path of Cory’s calling
  • Work that “grinds” and deeply shapes character
  • Recognizing passion and finding what you’re made of while doing less than desirable work
  • Know the difference: escaping to get relief vs. choosing something desired
  • Faith and God’s gift to us to choose our way
  • Work that “pays the bills”
  • “Everything is spiritual” in the gritty work we do
  • “Staying in the pocket” – the value of tensions that shape our character over time

Upcoming Workshops:

Cory and the Training Ground team will be doing a Gap Year in Sarasota this coming fall. 

Cory Smith’s Contact Info:

  • Website:Training Ground
  • Email:cory@trainingground.com
  • Instagram:@traininggroundcolorado
  • Twitter:@Training_Ground

Head over to Cory’s website and check out Training Ground, and be sure to be on the look out for events and upcoming workshops!


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