Archive for Stress Donations

Polar Bear Marathon & Fundraiser

// October 9th, 2012 // 2 Comments » // Events, Stress Donations

“What?!”  The first word I exclaimed when I received a message on Facebook from an ultra-distance-running stranger named Albert Martens.  Another one of those out -of- the- blue, crazy ideas that come along every so often either by phone, email, direct conversation, or now, FaceBook.
“I’d like to invite you to come up to Churchill, Manitoba to run a marathon on the edge of the Arctic.  We are calling it the Polar Bear Marathon because this is the polar bear capital of Canada, and we would like to run with the bears.  What do you think?”

In my mind I began typing – you are nuts… hope this is in summer… do polar bears hibernate?…I’ve never run a marathon… who will wear the seal suit?…maybe that is why I have been invited… wait, I don’t have to be the fastest – just not the slowest!
After further conversation, convinced of good support, reliable vehicles, and a small, slow group of runners, I have agreed to do this event and run my first marathon.  Running in the realm of the polar bear  (I suspect I have a good shot at a world record.)  Well, this is not just a fun run to sight see and avoid predation, this is a benefit for Athletes in Action and their commitment to helping the indigenous people of the far north.  I will be speaking at a fund-raising dinner after the run (provided I survive the run) and am thereby pledging to help Athletes in Action help others.

This is where you can help – please consider a donation to Athletes in Action to reach a group of people that you may never otherwise get to meet.  This isolated group of people, is served with donations of sports equipment, and various community events that let them know they are loved and not forgotten.

How to give?  What exactly?  Albert gives a brief description here:

Athletes in Action presents:


A Polar Bear Marathon in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada – on the edge of the Arctic in support of the Native (First Nations people of Canada’s North) ministry work of Athletes in Action Baseball camps.   Probably a once in a life time experience, an adventure (full) marathon to be run by about 20 extreme,  elite  runners on November 20th, 2012.

Every summer, Albert Martens, ultra- marathoner flies in (with a Turbo-Otter seaplane) with a team of 8 volunteer staff to remote and isolated First Nation communities to do sports camps.   For the past 8 years we have flown to Pauingassi, Tadoule Lake, Manitoba and Poplar Hill, Ontario to help the children and youth with baseball, bible classes, as well as serve the adults with Men’s Breakfasts, Ladies Teas, and other community events.   All work and expenses are covered by personal donations and volunteer staff.   Often our native people of our country’s North are isolated and forgotten.  We have the privilege to go to these communities and bring them love, gifts and hope as we serve them.

See website for more details of Albert Martens extreme running in support of other charities.


Eric Alexander, an amazing Athlete and Mountain climber, having climbed Mt. Everest, but not only that, escorted and helped a blind climber summit Everest.   See his website at

Eric will join us in running this Polar Bear Marathon in support of our Athletes in Action First Nation camp ministry.  I have invited him to join us as one of our Polar Marathon runners in Churchill as well as be our guest speaker at our Fund-Raising evening on the 22nd November in Winnipeg after the marathon.  You may make a donation to help this cause by issuing a cheque USA or CDN currency – payable to Athletes in Action and mail it either to Eric Alexander:

Mailing Address:
Higher Summits
Eric Alexander
PO Box 6102
Vail, Colorado 81658


Or to:
Albert Martens
408-2nd Street,
Steinbach, Manitoba
Canada R5G0V5
Albert Martens:
Tel. 204-346-1345

USA or CDN tax receipts will be issued to the donor.


A winter-adventure-charity marathon in support of the Athletes in Action (AIA) work done in the Sayisi Dene First Nations community of Tadoule Lake – 250 km west of Churchill. AIA has done baseball camps in 2 different First Nations communities for the past 8 years. This work is based on volunteers and donations.

Safety and Protection:

Due to the harsh environment, e.g. the weather conditions at this time of the year, we will run in either one or two tight groups of runners – We will need to stay together because of the possible presence of Polar Bears, foxes, wolves, etc. Vehicles will accompany us in front of and behind the group of runners for safety reasons & serve as a mobile Aid Station.

Athletes in Action (AIA) Canada is a ministry division of Power to Change that focuses on the domain of sport. Sport is the one language that knows no boundaries and sees no distinctions. It unites cultures, transcends values and defies convention. AIA is committed to using the language of sport to communicate the most powerful message of all: God’s passionate love for his children as communicated through his Son, Jesus Christ. It’s a story that’s changed our lives, given us purpose and hope. In Canada our work is a variety of ministries such as the Pro Ministry – Chaplains to the CFL (Canadian Professional Football League), sports camps and tours abroad with soccer, basketball, volleyball, and hockey teams. It is mentoring, training and educating Athletes, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our home base is in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

For more information see:

Churchill, Manitoba, Canada:

Called the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill is also known as Manitoba’s beluga whale watching hotspot and is a birder’s paradise. The approach of winter also makes Churchill one of the best places to experience the northern lights. October and November are the best months to see polar bears as they get prepared to move out on the newly formed ice in search of seals. Scientists from around the world have come to Churchill to study the northern lights in the active night sky – Churchill is one of the top three places on the planet to see the northern lights. Located on the edge of the Arctic, Churchill offers the feel of a frontier town with the amenities of an international tourist destination.

Thank you very much for your great support.

Creekside Cragging – A Father’s Day Gift

// June 19th, 2012 // No Comments » // Climbing, Stress Donations

On Father’s Day I spent the morning sharing at a church in Conifer, Colorado called Journey Church.  I got to share about the challenge of being courageous as dads and how we need to set an example to our kids by honoring our Heavenly Father.  The morning was great, the people were kind, I even saw a few old friends as I made new ones.

On my way home I got to meet up with my good buddy James “J” Whorton for a quick lap on the cliff called Creekside in Clear Creek Canyon.  This climb was so aesthetic that it just had to be done.  So given a little time on Father’s Day, we scaled this beautiful line after a Tyrollean traverse across the river.  The video shows what a beautiful route it was and what a beautiful day too.  To all you dads – I hope your father’s day was as much fun.


Ice Climb at Night

// December 6th, 2011 // No Comments » // Climbing, Stress Donations

It might be cold out, but at least it’s dark.  After a full day of skiing it was nice to meet up with my good friend James Whorton for some night ice climbing.  It was our first frozen climb of the season so it was good to knock the rust off our tools and knuckles as we climbed Pumphouse in East Vail.
If you have any desire to try ice climbing give Apex Mountain School a call and come give it a shot.  Good fun.


iPad 2

// April 26th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice, Events, Stress Donations

Just Another Tool

I travel a lot and give a lot of presentations.  I love photography and am always looking for better ways to share what I am able to capture.  Trying to merge these two pursuits into one lightweight device has been a challenge, one that I had hoped the iPad 2 could resolve.  New technology always captivates me and appeals to my lust for bright new shiny things – usually expensive, and often a let down.  The iPad 2 seems to be fitting right in.

I thought the iPad was a glorified iPhone – after using it for a week, I feel I was right.  The display is amazing, the battery-life incredible, the design is indeed sexy, however it leaves me wanting much more.  This device is not a replacement for a laptop – especially not today’s lightweight powerhouses.

If Apple would allow my iPhone to run Keynote and Pages, I would have no need for the iPad as my phone really seems to be just as capable and it makes phone calls (still my favorite app).  The iPad is great for email, so so for web browsing because it does not support flash (even though apps allow you to get around this), and terrific for displaying photos and videos though the worst part about this is that like most Apple products you must use iTunes and allow it to run your digital life.  The fact that the iPad can’t think for itself and act independently from a computer is a real letdown.  Speaking of letdowns – I have my own digital projector and when I tried to play a movie I purchased through iTunes, it would not allow it in fear that I would be showing it to hundreds of people and charging them each $8 I’m sure.  That’s like not allowing me to play music I purchase over the air in fear of others hearing.  I bought it Apple, let me do as I please.  My two year old girls are not a threat to your market share or copyrights.

In terms of presentations: I can run Keynote and an app I found called 2Screens.  Through the VGA adapter the pictures look great, the movie clips run smoothly, but the only way to advance slides in Keynote is to swipe the display or use a blutetooth keyboard.  Wireless networks are not always available or reliable and bluetooth maxes out at 30 feet or so.  2Screens allows for a connection to the iPhone for remote control of the slides but only in the 4:3 aspect ratio and does not allow for video playback at this time.  I thought an easy way around this would be my Apple remote using IR technology, but only the dock for the Iphone allows for IR.  AAARRGGHH!!!  (I can’t even charge it with my phone cable/ if Apple makes me buy one more adapter dohickey thingy… I swear…).  If this is the entertainment device Apple claims it to be, then make it more friendly, give it more goodies.  I would gladly sacrifice a little sleekness, weight, size for a little more  function and user friendliness.  My conclusion is this: for small casual audiences it can be a great presentation tool, but for a big room with a lot on the line a laptop is still going to allow a presenter to give a more professional delivery.

If you want to show pictures, facetime, tweet, blog, email and surf then the iPad and iPad2 will be good travel companions for you.  If your work and travel require more – go with a small laptop and save yourself the aggravation of trying to find work arounds for what seem to be design flaws, but are actually probably more purposeful engineering, giving the buyer just enough to get by, but not enough to get the job done.  Why?  So you will need to purchase one more big ticket item from the Apple store to get the job done right.

I will find ways to make the Ipad2 do what I want it to do over time.  Perhaps the best thing about these devices is the open source programming and apps that are available.  Soon I know I will find a way to use an RF remote to advance slides and be on my way to traveling lighter and giving professional presentations without hauling a beasty laptop or relying on someone else’s virus infected, balloon popping, slow running, underpowered, Microsoft bugged and bogged down machine.  Thanks for letting me rant, I do like the thing.

Wednesday’s Free Stress Donation

// October 27th, 2010 // No Comments » // Stress Donations

On Fridays I like to offer a stress free moment from my life.  I figure at the end of the week most people need at minimum a one minute break.  Today I want to offer the first in what I anticipate to be a lot of stressful moments.  These are intended for those people out there who are sipping mamosas most days, have a large bank account, perfect health, kids out of school or never had kids, don’t pursue extreme sports and enjoy seeing what the little people are up to.

Well here is what the little people are up to today:  Enjoy and make sure the volume is turned waaaay up.