Caren Ware's Blog

March 27, 2014

FINIDNG FIT and PEAK EXPERIENCES

Filed under: Marathon Running,trail running,traveling — Caren Ware @ 11:45 pm

And there was a third thing, I was irritating the group. I had certain footage I had to come home with. Kathy had offered to go in halves on the expense of a camera guy. She suggested someone she knew would make the summit. He had put together media footage of their first trek ten years earlier. My constant, “Hey, let’s shoot a snatch of this” was sometimes ( maybe a lot of times) counter to the vacation agenda. Also, I already know I do not interview people well. I interrogate. I am a police officer’s daughter. I gather information by hammering out questions that are really not for an answer, but to get you to say what I need to hear. Obnoxious. Edgy. Defintely, not invitingly relaxed. But I also knew I would not be using my voice and interview in my final footage. I have in the works an outside commentator that would dress up the project in a very real and professional way. My actions, her calm narration. That is if I could get impressive enough footage and information. I had to be in some of the frames looking like I was gathering information. And to push an idea, you definitely have to self promote; somewhat inflate your own balloon. Proverbs says ,”to seek one’s own glory is not glory.” Prov. 25:26 and “let another man praise you, and not our own mouth.” Prov. 27:2. Why? Because it rubs people the wrong way when you amp up your own importance. And to get the footage for the real story, you have to grab and fabricate a story line that will show the actual story line. You round up the herd you need and choral them for a filming.
The mood the little dinky camera cast (a camera that was not really getting the footage or quality we would need) did something to the dynamics. And my mood and mode of operation did not help. I rubbed our tour group the wrong way, as if I was trying to boast something unattainable or unreal. As if I was trying to do something covert and wrong. It went home unspoken, but I could feel the noose. I knew I was being tried and convicted internally; and that this would have to be worked out after the fact. We were tired, worn out from an incredible feat of tackling a 19,320 foot mountain. The success of that needed to be celebrated, and lasting, and of this moment, not the pressure of camera footage or agendas.
I knew I would need to return to Kilimanjaro with a crew that would have the story line. And I knew I could not ignore a real need here. I saw those that climbed the mountain with a cause got to summit more than one mountain. And I saw a very real way we needed to give back. This was an experience you would wish on anyone to accomplish. And to come back with a name of a porter and his exact boot size would be a gift of a lifetime. Thus is born, PEAK EXPERIENCE. I will explain what I know a PEAK EXPERIENCE will be after I get you blogged through the actual Kilimanjaro climb. The climb is real. And it is real hard but that is what makes it triumphant.
Go to http://www.strongtofinish.com and watch the trailer. This will give you a better jest of what I am trying to do. That was the camera idea we had in mine before I left for Africa. We wanted to ‘capture’ the needs of this area in a real way about real people. Strongtofinish is a guy, a quest, and a determination to run the over 1,000 miles across Mongolia to bring awareness to the needs of that nation. My quest by combing the continents is to bring awareness to the needs of people…and figure out ways we can REALLY help REAL people. Starting with my Hispanic boys and their need for proper papers in the USA. To the aborigines in the Outback who feel western civilization will steal their children and really cares less about them. To a Syberian descendent from Japan that had to raise her child in Hawaii because the kids of her own country kicked and spit at her, in their minds, different and unaccepted daughter. To the Quechuas in the Andes that would carry our belongings across the Andes for the chance to make $5 dollars. To the Galapians on the islands that were so excited to share their new book knowledge as naturalists ,but wanting this single womanIMG_4660

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IMG_5084n to marry their uncle so they could buy a hotel on the beach. “You can be HAPPY, like the confused penguins here that chose not to migrate any more”. The boy points as two penguins are mating. To taking the time to meet the Russian crew in the belly of the ship in Antarctica. Helping fold laundry at midnight so we could practice English and learn about each other. I told them about my Russian neighbor in Lake Arrowhead. Aleksandr Zaitsev is the pair skating partner of the figure skating legend Irina Rodnina. They won every competition they entered. They won gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics. They were pleased to hear first hand of his living habits. I gave pictures on flash drives to the crew. They did not get to go ashore or interact with the passengers. They have ship visas and would be out to sea up to 9 months at a time. I literally bumped into a crew member in the stair well. He was in obvious shape and one of Russia’s Greco wrestlers. His deep eyes spoke intelligence and hard work. He had taught himself English, but had never been able to practice with an English speaking person. I stood there on the steps gripping the rail as he stood shyly rolling his cap in his hands. I introduced myself. He said he knew of me. I was the one that put a bikini on and ran around the deck (Antarctica) at 20 below zero for a picture and slipped at hit my head. Yes, that would be me. I was impressed with his command of the language and determination. Something exchanged there in that spark of a moment. It was very much about mutual respect and a hope to just get to know someone…different and from a world so far apart, but internally, on that stair well, we were the same. We finally figured out how to skype with the hope someday to really get to meet each other and spend time despite the hardship of getting visas in remote parts of Russia, praying that he get another chance to work aboard ships to help pay for his simple farmstead and his future. These Russians may not have much, but they have strength, fortitude, discipline, amazing work ethics, and humor. I am attracted.
What a vastness. The ship captain and pilots are Russian and incredible seaman on a different level. They take ‘American” vacations and their careers open the world to them. The owner of the Antarctica Expedition, One Oceans, was one of gentlest looks I have ever been lured by. I got a ridiculous girly crush that only made words stick in my mouth and made me act like a fool in his very presence. He had already owned and sold a fleet and I was described the wooded home he owned on a lake in Whistler. NOt only a wealth of experience, but a keen business man with the highest of quality of equipment and experience. You cannot go wrong on a ONE OCEANS EXPEDITION with Andrew Possin. In Jackson, I had the privilege to introduced to the wonders and awe of young golfing fame, Keegan Bradley through his pro dad, Mark whom also is a pro golfer and a pro skier… and quite the country dancer. His son is becoming a world phenomenon as he excels in almost every PGA golf tournament and is currently ranked 10th in the world. His agents know his image has to parallel his talent, so this young, focused man now lives in Jupiter, Florida across from Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. He trains and plays with the best. It doesn’t get much richer than that. And yet, we are all the same. Keegan is most in love with his family…his sister’s new babies and takes special care of his girlfriend and his gang of guys that hang out in his golf world. He seems more interested in bettering a golf swing that the sports car in the front driveway, or the yacht tied to the moorings in the backyard.
It has been a year of vastness, in the worlds of the rich… to the world of the rich in heart… to worlds rich in need. Grace. Meaning. Connection. Appreciation. I have to admit in the long run, I be the very one that needs..hugs to wringing heart ache. I have reverence when eating a great meal next to a warm fireplace in a ski lodge with great company and quiet conversation. I realize what we have. And in circumstances I thought never possible, I realize how quickly it can all vanish…in a mudslide, a tsunami, a divorce, or bad economy. It would all begin to mean something as I became in need myself. It was a quant idea to help when I had so much in reserve. It becomes another when you are the one who has used up the reserves.
So , here I am in Africa and there are the Tanzanians. A gentleman that toured with us in Antarctica was from South Africa. Africa was the one continent I had reservations about and I voiced it to him. I perceived it to be ,in my inexperience, tattered and evasive. I had a bad and boding attitude. I really did not want to go to dusty, down Africa. He raised his eyebrows. “Oh, but don’t judge Africa until you have seen Africa. I love my Africa.” He warned me I would love Africa because of the Africans. He was so right. Rory Storyn was Nelson Mandela’s personal body guide. A book just came out about his first hand life with this world changing man. Yes, Rory, I was to be taken by the grace, personalities, personable demeanor of almost everyone I met in Tanzanians. I will forever esteem Bahiti, the Wild Frontiers guide and our three guides up Kilimanjaro: Joel, Epa, and Dawson. What can I say other them. They seemed of Biblical character. They don’t have to be instructed to, they just are. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. “Romans 12:10-13. These men were of that strength and that character, despite the needs of themselves and their country. They were pouring themselves into the one viable opportunity…to guide Kilimanjaro, to be gentle and loving to the people who came to visit it.

My personality has to FIND. FIND out about people- who you are, situations-what are you up against, and most of all.. activity-what are you doing? Out of this, a very firm theme has formed, FINDING FIT. Wherever and everywhere I go, whether in the states or abroad, or parking a rental car on the last road in Tasmanian with my son…to hike the rest of the way to the very furthest tip of that Australian island just to stand on the end of that point where there is nothing ,but the ocean and Antarctic out there… to visiting a yoga studio in Florida that helps disable kids… to learning to skin up mountains just to ski down… to meeting a lady in LA FITNESS that is working out her body for the first time in her life at age sixty, there is a story. I have a website forming of stories and you are all about to meet each other through it. FINDING FIT will be a live reality series with trailers, documentaries, travel episodes, and it will be about who we find and what fit things we are all about. Fitness is just the enhancer…its the FINIDNG that is the lesson.
And PEAK EXPERIENCES will be what we do about the needs we come across. I, for one, cannot walk by a person in need of a shirt and not give them one, when I have fifty. And the giving is somehow gifted back in getting to know the PERSON who needs your gift, person to person. To reach out and embrace each other, isn’t that something EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE needs!

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