Moving Mountains at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
All of us know what it means to deal with challenges in our lives. But do all of us really know what it means to move mountains? For me, moving mountains is about the choices we make and the actions we take when dealing with the day to day challenges of our lives - whether that's reacting to a challenge that has been thrust upon us, or whether it's about breaking through the status quo, out of our comfort zones, and embracing what may be a more uncertain and unpredicatble future.
Last Friday, for the 2nd Annual Climb For Change night at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, we were excited to present our Moving Mountains panel discussion. Kicking it off was a thought provoking power dialogue with bestselling author and professional speaker Warren MacDonald, renowned ice climber and author Margo Talbot, social entrepreneur, naturalist and Explorer’s Club Fellow Jeffrey Whiting, and youth community leader, IDEAS Ambassador, and climber Clinton Shard.
All of our panellists have gone through major life challenges, some of the biggest challenges imaginable. Whether it was getting pinned under a one ton boulder for two days with little hope of rescue, or facing a dark journey of drug abuse and depression and getting locked up in jail, or being diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 12, or taking on the whole challenge of environment conservation in the face of just about every conflict.
Through their challenges and choices, however, they have chosen to take their lives to a whole new level in terms of the impact they're having on themselves personally, as well as the people and communities around them.
Following the panel discussion, we screened Blindsight the gripping and emotionally moving journey of Erik Weihenmayer (first blind man to climb Mt. Everest), and his quest to lead six blind Tibetan teenagers on an ascent up the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. "When you suffer together", says Erik, "that's when you make the closest connections with the people around you."
All too true. Here's to climbing our mountains together, and becoming better people and communities along the way.