The Ramblings of 4WheelBob
America's premier wheelchair hiker speaks.
Doin' What Comes Naturally...

This has been a pretty fair month despite the climate at work. It's been an eye opener, though. Made me wonder if what I'm currently doing to pay the bills, pick up a new tent now and then and just enjoy a few moments alone is worth the headaches. I was invited to speak at three separate occasions in the last 10 days, and had such a grand time of it I think I need to find an agent who could get me booked for more. Let me make mention -

I was asked by REI in Concord, CA to present a slide show of my White Mountain summit last summer. Well, nothing is more fun than speaking to people about stuff I love to do. It was a natural. For a first effort, it was pretty good. My audience was small but enthusiastic, genuinely interested and engaged. That always makes for a successful talk - to see sparkle in the the eyes of those who made a choice to be there. REI has asked me to present the show at other stores soon, so stay tuned and read your store's event schedule in coming months.

A week and a half later, I attended a BAWSI Rollers class at Orchard School in San Jose. BAWSI (pronounced "bossy", and stands for Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative) is sponsored by Brandi Chastain and other women athletes who take time to teach girls to compete, to gain strength and confidence through competition. The Rollers are a group of young wheelchair athletes, led by Sharon Kelleher, world class wheelchair tennis star who's taken on and beaten the best on the planet. Under her guidance, this group of kids has become a force, demonstrating it as they rolled circles around me while playing Capture The Flag and soccer after school. I was so taken with the attitude demonstrated by these kids - they may be in chairs, but there's nothing fragile around pity and they'll run over you! I was honored to be asked to speak with them, and hope to do more with the BAWSI Rollers. I couldn't have dreamed of a better way to spend an afternoon. They were inspiring!

Saturday I was asked to speak to a group of docents - in - training at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, home of the great elephant seals. Their training would include learning how to make a visit to the reserve successful for the disabled and ambulatory - challenged. What a group! I might go out there once they're on duty just to see if they picked up on anything while I was there! Just kidding, of course. It's great to see members of a local community give of themselves to this reserve, for which they carry such passion. I believe my short talk made a bit of an impression, and I felt like a veteran of this group of volunteers after ahwile. But I believe now, unlike before, that perhaps "my" message has broader appeal than with just the disabled. I believe in challenging myself, and not wasting a single minute of this precious life we're given. When I go, I don't want to regret missing out on anything. Wow, I sound like such an egotist! But perhaps the stress and wrenching rigors of my workplace could be left behind. Maybe this is a way to go...

Only time and my ability to step out and promote myself will tell what 2008 may hold. I'm not one to talk about "me" unless there's something in it for someone else, something to share. I'm really looking forward to expanding this endeavor - it may be just the ticket. 

2007-11-20 06:04:46 GMT
Comments (4 total)
Hi Bob,
What an affirmation of who you are and what you do in your life!
I am sure the 'messages' do indeed have broad appeal... We are all always searching for inspiration and meaningful perspectives...
By the way, may I put a link on my Blog to yours? I am selective about fellow adventure links but would enjoy sharing yours.
2007-11-21 16:26:10 GMT

When are you going to talk closer to civilization? (San Jose) :>) Try to get a gig at REI Fremont or Saratoga. Contact the "Outreach" coordinator at those stores.

--Rick Deutsch
2007-11-21 16:36:38 GMT
Hey Bob.
Saw you on utube. You rock!
I have summit stone too from yosemite.
Where's your from?
2007-11-23 22:19:35 GMT
Rick, look for Fremont in February. REI is putting a schedule together for me, dates as yet unconfirmed. I'll keep you posted!
2007-11-26 20:59:03 GMT
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