Thursday, 17 November 2011


Do or dare. Talk or walk. Dream or live.
Once a cardio junky. Always a cardio junky.
Best head rush ever?
For me, the Tripleshot Pre-Dawn Cycling Club’s Tuesday’s 6am speed workouts. Wrapping up an hour and a half with a pedal to the metal pace line pooper.
Recently I took a dip into the deep stretch. One step beyond. For me anyway. Not the Ironman or Marathon kind. A bit outside the box.
A foray of talks by adventurers. Not just the high wire kind.
I’ve been to a few TEDx events and Pecha Kuchas. Recently I favoured an Interesting Vancouver.
Never knew of FEAT Canada until I got this friend request. And lucky enough to attend the inaugural.
Tagged with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, the video introduction captured the spirit. The adrenaline-seeking junky holds hands with mountains, rivers, bikes and snow.
Soon after the opening, the Urban Health Warriors hit the stage. The she and he sparked the show with core killing lung busting yoga control warped in two in all round different dimensions. Two complete bodies as one. With a hand wave thrown in. Man they could move.
Laughter cracking mountain bike legend (around these parts) Brett Tippie hosted the formalities (Master of Ceremonies) with the dime and dash routines in between.
“Why does a pizza come in a square box?”
He got the night rolling with the audience practicing the cackles. Later to be shushed by at least two speakers for eating up their time.
It was a nine speaker evening. Each with 21 slides. 20 seconds per for a total of seven minutes each.
Jen Olson parted the way with her Climbing is my Religion talk.
“Live your passion,” clearly she does jetting the globe climbing mountains.
Call it your addiction. I especially liked this posted to one slide.
“Success: going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Like a river running downstream. Don’t stop. Flow.
Olympic Rower, Scott Frandsen wowed the stage. The build-up of training to the doubles at the Beijing Olympics. 13 years for 240 strokes. Givin’ it. He shoots for gold and captures silver.
“A purposeful and absolutely determined lifestyle,” he replies later.
He’s heading back for more. Already qualifying for London 2012.
This dude was cool. Sebastian Salas. King of the hill. The Grouse Grind Record Holder at 23:48. Also an avid cyclist.
“Pain doesn’t always hold you back. It’s your body. Ignore it.”
Up next for him?
He’s running up the Empire State Building in February. And he'd like to represent Canada at the biggest bike race on earth.
My ten for all the talks went to Niki Rehn for her take: To Run is to Live.
An extreme endurance runner, something I’ve never imagined myself doing - she catapulted us through her dismay of quitting.
Taking, in her words the “Bad ass” Italian challenge.  
An endurance race in Italy consisting of 330km, 80,000 feet of gain and some 25 mountain passes.
Here I take on my own reality check and ponder. Should I be settings my goals higher?
She conquers it the first go round in 130 hours. 40 aid stations later.
Take two the following year - didn’t take. From the woman who in her words, “Normally welcomes suffering.”
With no contingency for quitting. She DNF’d (did not finish).
In carefully crafted notes, I jot down in my notebook what I thought she said.
I sat down (on my gym bag), waiting for my life to improve.
Then she said, she suddenly grew up and got over herself.
Shoving aside the self-pity. She continued doing what she loves to do. Running. With Italy as her playground.
A reminder of not to forget to “Love the very essence of what we do,” says Niki.
I also savoured Paul Gleeson’s heartfelt yack on his row across the Atlantic. Like few have done before.
“More people have been in space then rowed across the Atlantic,” we hear.
He and his partner conquered the swells in 85 days. Forging the line off the top, it’s 90% mental.
Given he’d never even rowed a boat before.
Then the reminder, “The body will follow the mind.”
It was a tough tack hearing Philip McKernan next. Although an inspiration to FEAT organizer, Sean Verret - his row on cultivating confidence fell short on tingling my heartstrings.
The intermission mingle proved short. A sweet catch up to the local rad spirits I’d followed over the years.
Then off again to Megan Rose with The Power of Two Wheels. A chat on a three-week fundraising relay ride across Canada.
7,000km, 23 days of summer cycling with strangers.
Gary Robbins tripped my conscious. A West Coast Trail record holder. His shirt said so much.
“This day will never happen again.”
Although more importantly, “Your past doesn’t determine your future.”
The evening cultivated a lot about pain, mental toughness and determination. I nodded a lot. Again with Gary.
“Find your breaking point and break through it,” he says, adding something like, “Pain doesn’t really hurt.”
All in the mind. I digested that thought for my next personal challenge.
Kevin Vallely wrapped up the night with Impossible to Possible.
With an expedition tale or two including the Antarctic. Keen to use his expeditions virally to inspire young people he dots the i’s with the question from one challenged youth.
“How do you keep going? Why don’t you just quit?”
He’s planning to step out again this time into the Saudi Arabian Desert in March of 2012, following in the footsteps of the Lawrence of Arabia?
With a wish for the kids, like any dad he says.
“To have the confidence and the courage to pursue their dreams.”
Yes. Absolutely.
Shouldn’t we all.
Are you?


seanverret said...

Great stuff Jane, we hope to see you at the next event on the 12th of Feb.

A Fresh Thinker said...

Yes. Have my ticket.