Thursday, January 28, 2010
Please read the title above these images slowly again, in case you went over it too quickly, as it is not just a play on words, but a significant metaphor of meaning & magic, of inspiration & spirit...
In his early twenties, Rob Hill himself (pictured above) was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and underwent serious surgery. He also unfortunately discovered the stigma that often accompanies this disease. His not-for-profit program IDEAS, (International Disease Education & Awareness Society) sponsors children with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) so that they are then able to attend summer camps where they learn, grow, all while sharing and enjoying experiences with other children living with IBD. IDEAS also raises funds for research.
The IBD site says that: "Some of you may be wondering why the name (No Guts Know Glory) also puts a focus on 'know' or knowledge. When Rob was sick, like many people who are deeply affected by inflammatory bowel disease, he came to realize that knowledge of himself was his key to a complete recovery. One of the most attractive things about spending time in the mountains is the self reflection these experiences often create - being high up tends to give you a completely different perspective on your life, your world and the things that are important to you."
They write further: "If you ask a marathon runner or an Ironman triathlete why they do what they do, push their bodies the way they do, many will tell you it's because taking on these kinds of physical challenges creates the conditions necessary to truly understand themselves. There are few lonelier times than when you are deep inside yourself searching for that something to get you through a significant challenge. That something is knowledge. It's the knowledge that you have it in you, a strength, a faith, a desire, a will, to drive forward, to reach high, to aim your sights on a new goal, a new vision or sometimes even just survival in the face of a potentially life-threatening illness like Crohn's disease."
For Rob, his adventure message is all about that having IBD or an ostomy, as he does, shouldn't stop you from leading a full life... What he believes resonates close to our own adventurous hearts when he says inspirationally,"While reaching the top of each mountain is a great accomplishment, with respect... removing the social stigma associated with these diseases and having an ostomy is a far more daunting task". He quotes a young person too whom he has met and inspired recently who said, "This isn't really about climbing mountains, it's about moving them".
Powerful words, potent concepts...
So how has Rob put his ideas into motion, how has he used his life experiences to inspire... In an amazing way that almost all adventurers, likely every climber, and certainly the rest of us ordinary wanderers can look up to: Rob is climbing the highest mountain on each continent...
There are not many who have done this; only a few hundred, and only fifteen Canadians - who have taken their dreams and dedication to the highest points on these areas of our continental earth.
Rob though, is the only person living with Crohn's disease and an ostomy to do this...
He has climbed six up till now, raises funds for IDEAS on the way, and provides many with inspiration as he ascends each one. He started with Mt. Elbrus, Russia in 2002; Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in 2003; Aconcagua, Chile in 2004; Denali, Alaska in 2005; Mt. Vinson Massif, Antarctica in 2006; the Carstenz Pyramid, Indonesia in 2007... Now this spring, here in 2010, Rob is looking towards the last of his Seven Summits - Mt. Everest...
Rob won't be alone on this purposeful vision quest, as other adventurers like Paul Head - their 'Super Baje', and Clinton Shard - their youngest member, and Phil Wu & Bob Peterson will also be along on the Everest Trek portion of this wonderful adventure.
Rob, IBD Adventures, and his support team are inviting any of us to delve into our own adventurous dreams, create our own personal motivation, and go along with them. You can inquire about this on their site linked below, where donations are also accepted.
From my own perspective, everything I have done in my adventure wandering, and every moment I continue to have out in the wilds, has grown from the spark of such inspiration as that which Rob gifts to us. I experienced this first within Outward Bound, later with Mountain Guides, Elders, and the many challenged yet so hardy adventurers who have journeyed with us out there. For many years our inspiration has been not only about elusive adventure objectives, but in moving towards the horizon with those in mind who climb mountains every day of their lives, as I have written about in the link below of "There Is A Place We Go In The Mountains"...
Rob & IBD Adventures are a wonderful example of 'intestinal fortitude', if you will, of courage in the midst of pain & adversity, where we discover certain kinds of hidden strengths which as adventurers we all admire and aspire to.
So let's be sure to follow along with Rob and IBD's "No Guts Know Glory" endeavor - a metaphor of meaning & magic, a journey of spirit & commitment...
"Know Guts Know Glory" - http://nogutsknowglory.com/
"Changing Attitudes With Altitude" - http://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.com/2009/09/changing-attitudes-with-altitude-ibd.html
"A Place We Go In The Mountains" - http://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.com/2008/01/there-is-place-we-go-in-mountains.html
Posted by SummitStones at 8:07 AM
Monday, January 25, 2010
It is not a well known practice within the ages old lore of painting, yet it is though an especially endearing and timeless tradition among some artists. One that I have learned over time to so appreciate. There is such a process of trial and error to it. It begins with the selection of just the right paints, and is then blended only with certain other elements... But though the results may not be apparent, the hidden meanings of these mediums feel so very profound...
This is the practice, the painters slow artistry and discipline of 'mixing in'... Where select very small amounts of silt or earth, tiny particles of desert or coastal sand, maybe bits of crumbled leaves, possibly ash or charcoal from old campfires, even pure rain or ocean waters, or the strands of some wild ones' fur - among other unique elements, are gathered from chosen wild places, and other power places... Then they are very carefully mixed in with these paints. This technique makes the paint come alive; with a brush that takes to this blending, and is then applied so slowly in swirls and layers and coatings...
Within my own naive renditions of mountain ranges, forests, waters, sky's, and fires are often found such mixings. They then become an elemental part of these Summit Stones that I am sure the Finders can sense when they are held closely.....
Posted by SummitStones at 1:34 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: 'Leave no stone unturned'...". E.Lytton
We turn over so many cobblestones on our journey...
Under some we find what hides in the dark, damp places, and that which maybe should be left alone.
Under most others though, we discover treasure we learn to embrace and define within our adventure ways.
Yet all likely need to be turned, experienced, pondered, and mused about...
Where will your next stone be found Dear Finders...
Posted by SummitStones at 1:07 PM
Monday, January 18, 2010
The others had long gone to sleep while I remained up to listen to the night sounds and the occasional crackle of burning wood. It had been a challenging distance covered that day, up along a frozen river valley by dog team, through snow drifts so deep. Each two of us had our own team to run and it took a lot of continuous but fun attention to do so. I was remembering our first time out years before, when initially learning to bond and work with sled dogs. Such a unique, lively adventure experience. We were very aware of the style of approach these Guides used in training the dogs, as some tend to be unnecessarily quite harsh. That was not ok with us at all. With this trainer were learned only about bonding as best you can when working alongside them, while still clearly acting as the leader of your small energetic pack. Only when you are moving do you turn over some of the leader role to your first front dog, and even then they still need to respond quickly to your voice.
Our lead dog was a female whose one ear always was turned at such a cute angle. Her strength and enthusiasm were amazing as was the position she has earned on her team. Since I was not sleeping anyway it seemed like a good idea to go out for a moment to visit and check upon all the dogs. As I crunched through the snow I could see most were tucked down deeply into the drifts. All were tethered to the base of their own tree in snow beds their thick fur would make so comfortable. Some had actually chewed upon the small trees around them until fed their rich mixed diet.
I slowly moved among them so as not to give any impression we may be readying to go. They sense your intentions and mood so well, but this was a time for calm and rest, not preparation nor travel. I'm not sure how long I sat quietly with our lead dog, sharing our warmth and the comfort of a few treats. The northern lights were dancing some and the winters cold made few sounds at that hour. While pondering the next day of snowshoeing from camp to a hidden area of this valley, I glanced beside me to see if another treat may of been in order. There she was... gazing up at the northern lights, just as I had been... Maybe our lead dog and I shared as much wonder in that moment too of the wild place we camped at, and over what adventures were yet to come...
I know my excitement and appreciation mirrored theirs for all of what was being gifted to us...
It was a quiet yet very memorable visit we had, our lead dog, all the others and I, within those tall trees in a deep wintered valley... among snow capped mountains, and below the spirits dancing in the the sky...
My thanks to K.Thompson for the top image above and to G.Wiltsie for the lower image.
Posted by SummitStones at 1:19 PM
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Endless mist and mystery among the valleys,
A windy breath so very cold,
Sun too though upon frozen waters,
With crystal jewels all a shining,
Clear sky reflections, endless blue mountains,
Crisp sounds to ponder,
Now time to wander.....
My thanks to D. Cayless for the above top image and to G. Dixon for the lower image.
Posted by SummitStones at 12:58 PM
Monday, January 11, 2010
A promise of assurances that we will be just fine, just like what our climbing partner offers as they hold out a rope for us.
A promise of possibilities yet to be discovered as when we first launch out from the shoreline.
A promise to enlighten us with being able to see with new eyes, as we always feel when gazing out from that finally attained elusive summit.
A promise that we will indeed find our way because the compass will always point north.
In the dawning of a new day are promises reflecting hope, that which affirms the future, and holds out the potential for as many things as impossible to count as the pebbles on an endless beach.
In the first moments of dawn all things may come to be...
During that first light within a new days beginning, wonderment is always present.
We are promised too that the such dawnings will forever be there for us, full of prospects, new horizons, and gifts of refreshed perspectives and renewed energies.
These are the profoundly simple promises we may discover within the dawning of this new day among the dawnings of this new year...
Posted by SummitStones at 1:10 PM