Tag Archives: travel

Christen ~ Words With Friends: Ange and Charlie

Only ten days until we leave.

My full-time job is making it difficult to get in any real hiking, other than a couple of short, barely elevated, trails. It has been established that I am, woefully, physically under prepared for this trip. Sitting in my office, staring out the window, I am starting to feel the pressure of the challenge ahead of me. There is the knowing I need to be out practicing hiking, and the knowing I cannot get out of work long enough to be doing it, that is making these last ten days before we go feel like they are squeezing in on me. It is coming quickly.

It really makes you appreciate your friends. Two in particular, Ange and Charlie, dear friends that are very different from each other and from very different parts of my life, have something very specific in common. They are two friends that will not hold back their thoughts when they do not approve of something I am doing. It is a quality that I value highly in each of them. (Granted, I rarely tell anyone what I am doing until I have already decided I am going to do it, so their welcome commentary is usually too late to change my course, but welcomed nonetheless.)

Christen and Ange - Words With Friends

Ange (whose talented work in advertising you can see here: http://angieschoemer.com/ – in particular, I love her Cosmopolitan Las Vegas ads), has always had a way with words. When she took the time to write this the other day, it was the couple deep breaths that I needed to find my zen again, while sitting in my office, and it reenforced my knowing that we will still, somehow, make all of this work. Thank you for this, Ange. I love you.

“one of my oldest + dearest friends (we call each other CLF “common-law friends” after 31 yrs of friendship) Christen, is taking part in a documentary which will take her on a 16.5k ft trek up a mountain in Nepal. UP. A. MOUNTAIN. beautiful, wicked smart, wily and witty CLF isn’t your typical ‘trekker’ to say the least. she smokes. keeps really really odd hours. doesn’t really ‘do’ nature. doesn’t exercise unless you call dancing around & running to tackle hug someone exercise. and is one of the most stubborn and brave humans I know. she has made a life of ‘taking her own path’. she’s lived all over europe + the states and isn’t one to shy away from adventure. she’s fearless. and rarely gives decisions like this a second thought. for that I am all at once deeply proud, befuddled but not surprised, worried as hell, highly entertained, and, as I’ve always been, full of mad love and support for her and inspired by her next adventure.

BONUS! christen was brought into this adventure via fellow awesome kindergarten alum, Luke, who is taking the helm as director and producer. one south dakotan is a force. two is a formidable team that will protect, persevere and do justice to a truly incredible undertaking. luke, take care of christen. christen, listen to the voice in your head (I’ll do the same, as promised).

perhaps most importantly, the film’s premise is truly moving and makes me want to dig out and dust off my hiking books, buy a 12 pack of inhalers and book a ticket to join them. see more here (and support the film if you’re so inclined)”

> https://karmadocumentary.com/2014/03/26/christen-invest-in-karma/

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Charlie is my good dude friend from when I lived in Florence. He has said to me, many times, “I am harder on you than anyone else in my life.” He has no problem stopping me in the middle of a story to tell me, “This interests me very little, Christen.” He never pulls punches when calling me out on what he perceives to be my shenanigans (which, for him, include most things I do).

Charlie called to find out about the film project and, since Luke was there, he filmed the call.

Christen’s Call with Charlie from Luke Mislinski on Vimeo.

Thank goodness for friends who take a few minutes to bring me back to the moment at hand.

I have yet to doubt whether I should be going on this journey. I know the going is right. That answer came to me quickly when I was asked to go. And, although, I do have my moments where I wonder just how over my head it will be, which is distracting, all I can do is focus on today and this moment. For now, I just need to finish what is in front of me. I will worry about getting up the mountain when I am getting up the mountain.

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Donate to the film. Any and all contributions make a difference.

 

***You can donate through the GoFundMe campaign, as well as share the link and encourage others to donate:

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Luke Mislinski Photography

3563 US Highway 26
Dubois, WY
82513

Christen ~ Bullfighter

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When you are not an outdoorsy person [understatement], and you tell people who know you that you are going to spend three weeks hiking a mountain in an undeveloped country, the reactions vary.

Oh, wait, it is not just hiking a mountain, I am told. Even though I am not going to the very peak (no one thinks that is a good idea), I am going up to base camp, which is 16,486 ft of Mera Peak.

Let’s put this in perspective. The south and north base camps for Mount Everest are 16,900 and 17,958 ft, and people have to qualify to climb that. Since I just bought the first pair of hiking boots I have ever owned, for this trip, it probably stands to reason that I do not qualify for anything at this point.

Having mostly guy friends, they give me their reactions pretty straight, so I have had quite a few that have simply said, “Dude, you are probably going to die.” One even went so far as to sit me down for a serious conversation and say, “This is the dumbest decision you have ever made”, to which I responded, “Well, that cannot possibly be true.”

[I did try to walk off a broken foot through London with Nerdstick for a couple weeks by just tying my chuck taylors tight.]

These are the reactions that make me laugh, and they are quite helpful. I am prone to acting as a devil’s advocate on any topic, so to have others taking that side relieves me of the need.

Most responses have been supportive and of the “Once in a lifetime opportunity” variety. These are quite helpful, as well.

All three of my siblings are behind me on this trip. If you ever saw the four of us try to pick out candy together when we were kids when we could only get one thing, you would realize how astonishing this is that we all agree on something. I appreciate their support, because they do not often unite as a cohesive front behind my choices.

Then, there are those who hold a special place in my recent memory.

~I told a friend in NYC that “I have been asked to be in a documentary. It requires that I take a three week trek up a mountain. I leave in a few weeks.” He said, “Is it a comedy?”

~A friend in LA had the first reaction of, “Oh, I see Academy Award winning documentary all over this. You will be a comedy of errors in all of this.” He calls occasionally, laughing, to check in on my progress and to tell me that the more people he tells, the funnier he finds it.

He called on a Tuesday night around midnight and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Eating cinnamon rolls.” I said.

“At midnight?!”

“Yes, why not?” [What the time of day has to do with it, I have no idea.]

“Is this part of your training?” He says, laughingly.

Swallowing around the too big bite of the cinnamon roll I had just taken, “I am wearing hiking boots.”

~My dearest guy friend, Nerdstick, in Chicago, watched the first bit of footage and said, “I get why they asked you to do this. You are absurd.”

The reactions are entertaining and I love that I have such wonderful people in my life that even entertain having reactions. I guess it really comes down to the really ridiculous, stoner sounding, stream-of-consciousness explanation that I gave Luke when he broke into my place one morning to ask me if I wanted to go on a hike (and he filmed it…).

Bullfighting from Luke Mislinski on Vimeo.

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Donate to the film. Any and all contributions make a difference.

 

***You can donate through the GoFundMe campaign, as well as share the link and encourage others to donate:

http://www.gofundme.com/karmadocumentary

 

***You can donate through PayPal here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

 

***You can send a check to:

Luke Mislinski Photography

3563 US Highway 26
Dubois, WY
82513