Recollections, reviews, discoveries, and future plans.

TECH TIP: Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters Life is all about balance. And the same can be said for photography, especially when it comes to exposing for the highlights and the shadows. In this episode of Getting the Shot, photographer and director Corey Rich discusses an image he captured of two mountain climbers approaching the iconic mountain Cerro Torre, located in the southern part of Argentine Patagonia.

A Life Well Lived

This is a short documentary that I first saw last year and happened to stumble upon it again a few minutes ago.

Fifty years ago, Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mt. Everest.

Directed by Eric Becker. This film was made possible by support from Seattle University. Archival footage courtesy Eddie Bauer and The Whittaker Family.

Heroes Project

The Heroes Project Feature Documentary, directed by Academy Award winner Freida Mock, is an inspiring story about strength, resilience, the human spirit and the ability to triumph over the impossible. It weaves together the story of seven men, all single or double amputees, who served their country with honor.  Faced with catastrophic injuries these ordinary young men attempt the extraordinary – to climb the highest mountains of every continent in the world. 

The Heroes:

Isaac, a double amputee from Michigan, who goes down under to Australia to tackle Mt. Kosciuszco in the middle of a severe winter storm.

Brad, a double amputee from Phoenix, who just 8 months after his injuries climbs Mt. Aconcagua in South America, the 6th tallest of the 7 Summits.

Kionte, a single amputee from Stockton, CA who climbs the highest peak in frigid Antarctica.

Mark, a double amputee from Michigan, climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Matt, a single amputee from the flats of N. Carolina, climbs the highest mountain in North America, Mt. Denali.

Keith, an above the knee amputee from Colorado who climbs Mt. Elbrus in Russia, the highest mountain in all of Europe.

And Charlie, a single amputee from Boise, ID who sets his sights on the top of the world, Mt. Everest. 

For these seven, facing a challenge that demands something deeply human in themselves, what motivates and inspires them on this heroic journey of recovery?

I think this project is worth getting behind and I'm pretty shocked and disappointed that it hasn't reached or surpassed its fundraising goal yet. The guys involved with this project are all real American Heroes that made huge sacrifices beyond what most of us can comprehend.  They fought the good fight during the war and are bringing that fight home to take on each of their individual challenges head on.  Tim Medvetz is a former Hell's Angel and founder of the Heroes Project, he seems like a pretty solid guy and he's really doing a great thing by honoring and helping all the troops that were wounded during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Unfortunately our nation has a short attention span and we tend to quickly forget all of those that put their lives on the line for our country, which is why I respect guys like Tim that make sure we don't forget.  Regardless of your political beliefs or your opinion of the wars, you can't deny that this is a worthy cause.  It should be viewed as something inspiring, because that's exactly what it is.  Each of these guys has overcome serious injuries and gone way beyond the typical recovery, they've conquered their challenges by climbing the highest peaks on each of the 7 continents.  Most healthy individuals with all 4 functioning limbs can't even do that.

We all go through struggles in life, most of them petty and occasionally some that are serious, but we should look at guys like my friend Mark Zambon and realize that those problems shouldn't stop us from living our lives and challenging ourselves everyday.  Mark is the retired Marine that climbed Kilimanjaro after losing both of his legs in Afghanistan AND he's now training for the 2016 Paralympics!  He's a truly inspirational individual and one of the most upbeat people I know.  I did an ocean swim with him one night awhile back and it was a challenge for me to keep up with him.  It's hearing stories like his and those of the other guys featured in the documentary that helped me get through my injuries and recovery process after a terrible car accident a few years ago.  I broke a bunch of bones and partially tore both of my carotid arteries.  The bones have since healed, but after 4 and half years the arteries still haven't.  The injuries were pretty serious, but there wasn't a single moment when I felt down about my situation because I knew it wasn't anything compared to what others have been through.  I realized if guys like the ones involved with this project can climb that tallest peaks in the world, I should have no right to complain or even take a moment to dwell.

If you have a moment, I'd really appreciate it if you would take the time to watch their Kickstarter video, donate something if you can, and please help spread the word because there are only a few days left of the campaign and if they don't reach their funding goal they won't get any of the money.

Trailer for Heroes Project / Seven Summits