Lest we forget the most important focus: FUN!
On Friday March 7, 2014 the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, BC packed yet another full house. MEC clad adventurers were sitting on the edge of their seats aching for inspiration. FEAT speakers dug deeper than ever before into the state of mind that comes from pushing human potential to great lengths.
If you’ve ever attended a FEAT (Fascinating Expedition and Adventure Talks), you get it. The second time you attend, you may expect the event can’t be that different from the last, but prepare to be surprised. Year after year, the speakers up the ante. It’s not like the adventurers get that much more grandiose, but rather that their message becomes clearer. It’s a head game out there in the wilderness, and focusing on FUN puts it all in perspective.
Emcee Kevin Vallely from MAINSTREAM, Last First Northwest Passage expedition, Kevin embodies the ultimate genuine humanoid. Just what the event needed, someone to truthfully engage the audience with real and engaging questions. No fluff, no BS…Kevin is the guy you would want to expedition with yourself.
Deborah De Napoli’s story is compelling. She struggles with her fate as a potential carrier of a genetically inherited mutant ovarian cancer gene. Embarking on a an epic 14 day peak to peak mountain bike ride from Fernie to Kananaskas, De Napoli dove deep into her greatest fears. Her message…letting go of expectations will result in attaining something greater than you ever imagined. Powerful.
Next up, Adam Campbell. Famous ultra speed running clad in a business suit, Campbell has come full circle. From professional athlete back to white collar career man, Campbell clearly engaged the audience with his work – life balance and first world problems. It stirred debate among the audience. Campbell has yet to juggle the parenting act, which is the true test of character.
Denis Bartlett, the Irish comedian among the Mainstream Last First Northwest Passage crew, kept it light. He recalls 48 hours of madness, crossing the bay and facing the wrath of Cape Perry. Bottom line, keep it fun and you’ll make it.
Kamikaze climber Sarah Hart went from the top of her mountaineering game to living in fear. Fearing a spinal cord injury from falling 30 meters unroped into a crevasse, Hart had to be air lifted out. Known for her fearless persona, Hart soon found herself living in a blanket of debilitating fear. After much self work and determination, Sarah Hart shares her top learnings. 1. Choose your partners wisely 2. Fear is irrational 3. Confidently acknowledge all fears and dangers and 4. Trust your instincts.
Backcountry Freeskier Tobin Seagal hit a home run with the audience when he described the calculated risks and accountability needed to embark on any of his worldly ski expeditions, shedding light on his concept of ‘isolation’. When asked by Vallely what he missed most when in isolation, the answer was “community and relationships”.
I loved, loved, loved Alicia Woodside. From child figure skating star to present day adventure spice girl, Woodside added some sparkle to the show. Next time you compete in your next adventure race or such, look around. We can thank Woodside for reminding us to add some flare and good old’ fun to your next feat. From tutus to gold lame and tank tops, Woodside breathes a real life reminder into the competitive sports world with her belief that “adventure accepts everyone”.
Ryan Robertson sails the world for 371 days on a 40 foot vessel chasing remote surf breaks with the companionship of his brother and firstmate. In an effort to escape the rat race, Robertson was blown away by his findings and came home with hopes to change the world and the plastics polluting our oceans. Stay tuned for his documentary ‘Tide Lines’.
Bouldering queen Tiffany Melius gives herself permission to be great. After setbacks and injuries she found herself becoming a ‘Negasauraus Rex’ and made the choice to change her state of mind. Competitive by nature, Melius took giant leaps to keep her confidence and remember the reason why she began competitive climbing in the first place…for fun. The mind is everything. What you think you become. Beliefs create reality. Making the choice to change her thought patterns earned her the win of her dreams.
The final speaker Norm Hann took Stand Up Paddleboarding to the ancient edges of our Canadian ancestors. We join Hann along his ocean journey through Haida, Gwaii where Toe Hill and other iconic landmarks remind him that goals begin with a vision. His next goal: completing the tanker route in an effort to bring awareness to our incredible coastline.
Photo credit: Jason Smolensky
Whether you run, climb, sail, surf, SUP or shred…the universal mind seems to be in switch mode. Awareness, appreciation and presence are at an all time high. The world is beginning to get it, we are each here for reason. What is your greater purpose? When you embark on your Feat remember to follow your dharma and have fun.
To read more about each speaker visit www.featcanada.com
Watch a YouTube video replay from each 2014 speaker: