good morning bigmoosers,
how the devil are you?
very well i hope?
well in the words of the prince song 'let's go crazy' the purple one sings 'dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life' and later in the song refers to the fact that if 'de elevator tries 2 bring you down, punch a higher floor'
so in today's blog i'd like to pay homage to a guy that i met in 2014 whilst in nepal attempting to climb mount everest, mr charlie linville, who was plummeting towards the basement, but then, with help punched the top button.
charlie is a wounded u.s. vet who lost his leg whilst in iraq working for the bomb squad.
i will disassociate myself from my opinions of war, that's another blog all in itself, but rather than that, i want to focus on the man.
charlie worked for the bomb squad and knew the consequences that could happen to him daily, but chose that part of the armed forces to serve in, and that kinda tells you a bit about the man.
once repatriated, and i have discussed the detail of charlie's accident with him, but don't feel this is the forum for such horror, he had to go through various physical and psychological challenges, that i am sure you can at least try to imagine the terror of.
then charlie met tim.
i have talked about tim before, and he is the loud mouthed yank that was on the discovery channel's everest series climbing everest and failing, and going back and summiting, and i'm sorry if i offend anybody with my description, but discovery did him no favours in the edit.
i remember vividly saying to chloe if that guy was on my team i'd wanna crank him, and i'm not a crank him kinda guy.
my 2104 team list.
however, i feel one of my good attributes, i have loads of bad ones mind you, is that i can admit when i am wrong, and i was very wrong about tim medvetz.
here is a 6'2'' ex biker built like the proverbial outhouse, and a very imposing looking chap, and gobby with it.
fortunately his bark hides a very sensitive caring side, and since everest we keep in touch regularly, and i have to admit to telling each other we love each other.
this is not a platform for me to come out, just to show the complete turnaround on my behalf of preconceived ideas of a person i saw on tv, to what they were like in real life.
i have talked about tim here many times as the guy whose charity in the u.s. the heroes project inspired me to start bigmoose, and his spin bike fundraiser drives me on to get to a place where we can emulate him, and this will not stop until i do.
so less about tim, more about the man of the hour, the boy from boise, charlie linville.
charlie walks with a prosthetic leg, and a blade like foot, which he has a climbing boot on, and whilst i have heard some people ask whether that is easier to walk with since he won't get sore feet or blisters, his stump which fits into the leg gets very sore, is prone to frostbite, and is very sensitive, so the win is countered with a loss.
charlie was tim's seventh wounded vet to take to climb a mountain, and the other six guys all summited the other six summits of the highest mountains on the seven continents, and having met them i can report that the change the climbs made on their lives were astounding.
the renewed confidence, belief in their worth as humans, and general demeanour was immeasurable, and as i have chatted to them all i knew timbo was onto something.
2104 everest season ended in catastrophe, and as i peered out of my tent whilst 6000m up on mount lobuche we were informed of the tragic accident on everest which resulted in 14 sherpa being killed, and the mountain being closed to climbers out of respect to the dead.
as we all flew back to our respective countries to contemplate our lives, and our futures, some got depressed at what should have been, and some got more determined to attempt the highest mountain on the planet, whatever it took.
tim and charlie boarded the silver bird from l.a. to kathmandu in spring '15 with hopes and dreams of reaching their snowy goal, but nature again was against them, and the horrific tragedy that was to see over 9000 people die across this beautiful country, and a trail of destruction stopped them in their tracks, and they spent april and may helping with the aid workers to save lives, and help others, these are good men.
i questioned in my own mind whether the boys would want to attempt to climb chomolungma again, or if like some of my other friends i have who went out in '14 and '15 returning home vowing never to return, everest would be the one that got away.
you're ahead of me here aren't you :)
these mountains cost a lot of money to climb, and tim and charlie did a kickstarter campaign, which i supported, (go on boys!) and very nearly didn't reach their goal, but as in all good fairy stories they reached the financial target on the last day of the campaign, the dream continued.
we kept in touch, and although having a couple of minor accidents along the way
they never gave up.
the boys went to the north side of the hill, and stripped back their climbing to the most basic, to save money, and as tim text me 'going old school, like they climbed 50 years ago'.
i have been watching the everest season unfold this year, and was so pleased to see my great friends at himex, led by the legendary russell brice becoming the first to successfully summit this season, as i reported last week, and as the heroes project posted their instagram pics of the boys preparing to go, the quest grew closer, and i grew more nervous.
i knew the boys were due to attempt the summit soon, and it was a beautiful feeling that i awoke to the news this morning, that they had both reached the top of the world.
i try to learn from every experience in my life, positive and negative, and these guys both show me how i should live my life, without fear, and with determination, and when my days are dark, i use them as beacons to shine the way and inspire me.
i know that tim has filmed every soldier's journey over the time he has been climbing with them, and this seventh summit will allow him to finish his documentary, and i also know that he has employed freda lee mock, the oscar winning documentary director to put his movie together, and i am predicting an oscar for this here and now, as i have already cried at footage i have seen, and i would love you to watch this beautiful footage on their sizzle reel, it really is a good way to start friday :)
pretty cool huh?
so when your day is proving to be difficult, measure the level of difficulty, and remember when the elevator tries 2 bring you down, punch a higher floor :)
congratulations tim and charlie, you punched it to the top, i love you guys.
thanks for reading, and hopefully being inspired by some pretty strong humans.
till next week, i'll be seeing ya,