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terça-feira, 26 de junho de 2012

Spencer West - O que o impede de se superar? + Spencer West - What stops to overcome?

"Temos a capacidade de redefinir os limites do nosso próprio potencial...
Me disseram que eu não seria um membro contribuinte da sociedade, mas agora eu vou subir a montanha mais alta da África." Spencer West

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        Segundo dados da ONU (Organização das Nações Unidas) cerca de 10% da população mundial tem algum tipo de deficiência, isso representa em torno de 700 milhões de pessoas, dessas 60% estão em países de desenvolvimento. Apesar de se falar constantemente sobre o tema muitas questões ainda são negligenciadas, tais como: acesso a locais públicos, participação mais ativa em eventos sociais: dança, música, teatro, artes plásticas, enfim... não cabe somente ao governo adequar questões físicas aos deficientes, é de suma importancia o aprendizado do respeito pela condição de cada um, bem como a inclusão, passiva e ativa em diversas atividades.

      Não digo que não fiquei impressionado com o feito de Spencer, mas além de impressionado fiquei sensibilizado e maravilhado por sua conduta diante de sua vida. Lembrem-se: "Você escolhe viver a sua vida ou ver sua vida pela ótica do "se": se eu tivesse feito, tentado...

        O que motiva pessoas a sairem de seu conforto e tentarem uma escalada estenuante durante dias para alcançarem o ponto mais alto e retornarem é muito particular, agora o que levou um homem sem as pernas a enfrentar esse desafio, vocês verão a seguir, um exemplo de superação, física, emocional, psicológica.


       Specer nasceu com uma grave deformidade na coluna vertebral, resultando o amputamento de suas pernas, apesar desse trauma um sopro de vida o fez reerguer, literalmente com apoio das mãos, Spencer fez de tudo para seguir uma vida natural, dentro de sua limitação, participou de peças teatrais na escola, foi lider de torcida e já a alguns anos viaja o mundo como palestrante motivacional. Inspirado e carismático, Spencer fala abertamente sobre as lutas que venceu depois de perder as pernas com a idade de cinco anos, ele fala sobre superação de estereótipos e intimidação, de encontrar significado e felicidade em um mundo material e como ele nunca perdeu a esperança ou a coragem necessária para superar obstáculos pessoais. Infundido com humor e humildade, sua instigante mensagem inspira as pessoas a encontrar oportunidades em cada desafio. A cada discurso, Spencer deixa uma marca indelével em suas audiências, incutindo esperança e uma forte liderança para que possam inspirar outros a criar mudanças positivas.


       Desde que começou a falar, Spencer chegou a milhões de pessoas, incluindo estudantes, educadores, empresas, faculdades / universidades, grupos religiosos e famílias com suas palavras encorajadoras. Ele cativou o público de dezenas de milhares de pessoas com seu discurso, que foi destaque nacional na CTV. Spencer já dividiu o palco com pessoas tão influentes como Sua Santidade o Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, o ex-EUA Vice-Presidente Al Gore, Mia Farrow, o reverendo Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Prêmio Nobel da Paz Nobel Betty Williams e Elie Wiesel, e seu ídolo musical Jason Mraz.

       Em 2008, Spencer viajou para o Quênia em uma viagem de voluntariado internacional, onde ele ajudou a construir uma escola em uma comunidade rural no Maasai Mara. Nesta viagem, ele conheceu os jovens que se esforçam para superar os desafios a cada dia. Ele credita que essa experiência o ajudou a reconhecer a sua vocação verdadeira, motivar e inspirar pessoas ao redor do mundo e desde sua primeira visita em 2002 diz que sentiu uma conexão, como se sentisse em casa. Essa conexão é tão expressiva que Spencer queria ajudar a população local, mas como levantar recursos? 


       Uma idéia ambiciosa dada por um de seus amigos, mas porque nao tentá-la? Assim podeia ter a atenção da mídia e arrecadar fundos para investimento local. Bem, mas escalar uma montanha com quase 6.000 metros de altitude não é tão simples quanto se imagina, o esforço físico já fizera muitos andantes não completarem o percurso, além de o ar rarefeito elevar ainda mais o risco, podendo ser fatal quando não socorrido a tempo. 

       Outra preocupação é com a sobrecarga nas articulações do punho, cotovelo e ombros de Spencer que naturalmente não foram concebidas para um esforço tão grande, parte da trilha de acesso poderia ser realizada em sua cadeira de rodas, no entanto, o restante, em ascensão, somente por força própria.

       No ano de 2000, Spencer sofreu uma lesão no manguito rotador (Músculos: Supraespinal, Infraespinal, Subescapular e Redondo Menor ) esse grupo muscular é responsavél pela estabilização do ombro e se um tipo de lesão como essa se repetisse durante a escalada além de encerrar imediatamente a expedição ainda poderia trazer danos irreversíveis ao ombro de Spencer, afetando sua mobilidade para o resto da vida.
     Para evitar que esse possibilidade se transformasse em realidade Spencer conjuntamente com um treinador pessoal passaram a treinar desde um ano antes da tentativa de escalar o Monte Kilimanjaro, duas a três vezes por semana seu treinador indicava exercicios especificos para fortalecimento das áreas que seriam tão exigidas. Como parte do treinamento a preparação cardio-respiratória é de importancia máxima para um montanhista, assim Spencer realizava corridas, em sua cadeira de rodas, cerca de 4 quilômetros diários em uma média de 20 minutos, sua velocidade sendo de 12 km/h. Além de Spencer, David e Alex, amigos a vários anos estão enganjados nesse super desafio.

     
     Uma cadeira especial foi doada pela Sunrise Medical, construida de material resistente e com rodas todo-terreno, Spencer ainda trabalhou na instalação de um sistema de transmissão nas rodas principais a fim de reduzir o esforço dos braços e um sistema de bloqueio para que a cadeira não rolasse para trás. Durante o trajeto em que Spencer terá de caminhar a cadeira será levada com o restante do equipamento pelos carregadores

     A arrecadação de é outro desafio a parte, mas com a divulgação e insentivos particulares Spencer conseguiu arrecadar mais de US$500.000, que foram revertidos para a construção de poços em três comunidades no Quênia, abastecendo assim mais de 18.500 pessoas com água potável.

A expedição

     O relato abaixo é do próprio Spencer durante a subida.
 "Ninguém no time teve um sono muito bom ontem à noite. Nossos guias nos cumprimentaram na nossa barraca com chá e água quente para uma lavagem rápida antes do pequeno almoço. Saimos as 8 horas da manhã, e a subida da manhã foi forte. Após o almoço, saímos da trilha principal oferecendo-nos uma visão do Mawenzi, que é uma subsidiária pico do Kilimanjaro, e o terceiro maior da África com 16.830 pés
Jornada do dia foi sobre super-solo rochoso e íngreme. Ela ficou tão íngreme em um ponto que os carregadores realmente tiveran que me levar por mais de uma hora em cima da cadeira transportadora. A maior parte, porém, eu estava andando e subindo em minhas  mãos. Isso foi definitivamente pólo pólo (devagar). Junto com o terreno cada vez mais rochosa e estéril, a altitude realmente começou a bater-nos durante o dia - alguns de nós sentiram a falta de ar e me senti um pouco enjoado.


Comecei a pensar em todas as pessoas que mereciam ver essa vista espetacular: dos meus heróis, como Rick Hansen, aos velhos amigos como o nosso Free the Children colega Matt Tod (que brincou sobre ferindo David na festa de despedida para que ele pudesse substituí-lo na equipe), nas pessoas que eu tive sorte o suficiente para inspirar.
Isto não é sobre mim. Trata-se de nós.


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"We have the ability to redefine the limits of our own potential ...
I was told I would not be a contributing member of society, but now I'll climb the highest mountain in Africa. "Spencer West

        According to the UN (United Nations) about 10% of the population has a disability, this represents around 700 million people, 60% of these are in developing countries. Despite all the talk constantly about the subject many issues are still neglected, such as access to public places, more active participation in social events, dance, music, theater, visual arts, anyway ... belongs not only to the government to adjust to the physical disabilities, is of paramount importance of learning about the condition of each, as well as the inclusion, passive and active in various activities.

      Do not say I was not impressed with Spencer's achievement, but also impressed and amazed I was touched by his behavior in his life. Remember: "You choose to live your life and see your life from the perspective of" if ": if I had done, tried ...

 
        What drives people out of their comfort and try a strenuous climb for days to reach the highest point and return is very particular, now leading a man with no legs to face this challenge, you will see below, an example of overcome physical, emotional, psychological.

       Specer born with a severe deformity in the spine, resulting in the amputamento of his legs, despite this trauma a breath of life did rebuild, literally in the palm rest, Spencer did everything to follow a natural life, within its limitation, participated of plays at school, was cheerleader and now a few years traveling the world as a motivational speaker. Inspired and charismatic, Spencer talks openly about the struggles that won after losing his legs at the age of five years, he talks about overcoming stereotypes and intimidation, to find meaning and happiness in a material world and how he never lost hope or the courage to overcome personal obstacles. Infused with humor and humility, his thought-provoking message inspires people to find opportunities in every challenge. Every speech, Spencer leaves an indelible mark on your audience, instilling hope and strong leadership that can inspire others to create positive change.

       Since we started talking, Spencer has reached millions of people, including students, educators, businesses, colleges / universities, religious groups and families with their encouraging words. He captivated the audience of tens of thousands of people with his speech, which was featured on CTV National. Spencer has shared the stage with such influential people as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Mia Farrow, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams Nobel and Elie Wiesel, and his musical idol Jason Mraz.

       In 2008, Spencer traveled to Kenya in an international volunteer trip, where he helped build a school in a rural community in the Maasai Mara. On this trip, he met young people who strive to overcome the challenges every day. He credits that experience helped him to recognize his true vocation, motivate and inspire people around the world and since his first visit in 2002 says he felt a connection, as if he felt at home. This connection is so expressive that Spencer wanted to help the local population, but how to raise funds?

    How about climbing the symbol of Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro?   
 
       An ambitious idea given by one of his friends, but why not try it? So podeia have the media attention and raise funds for local investment. Well, but climbing a mountain nearly 6,000 feet high is not as simple as one might imagine, the physical effort he had done many walkers do not complete the course, and the thin air to further increase the risk, and may be fatal if not relieved the time.
       Another concern is the overhead in the joints of the wrist, elbow and shoulder Spencer who naturally were not designed for such an effort, part of the access track would be held in his wheelchair, however, rest on the rise, only by their own strength.

 
     In 2000, Spencer suffered an injury to the rotator cuff (muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) muscle group that is responsible for stabilizing the shoulder and a kind of injury like that would be repeated during the climb than to immediately terminate the expedition could still bring irreversible damage to the shoulder of Spencer, affecting his mobility for the rest of his life.

     To prevent this possibility became a reality Spencer together with a personal trainer to train passed since a year before attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, two to three times a week your trainer indicated specific exercises to strengthen the areas that would be so required. As part of training to prepare cardio-respiratory maximum is of importance for a climber, so Spencer accomplished racing in his wheelchair, about 4 km on a daily average of 20 minutes, their speed being 12 km / h. In addition to Spencer, David and Alex are friends for several years enganjados this super challenge.

     A special chair was donated by Sunrise Medical, constructed of durable, all-terrain wheels, Spencer has worked in the installation of a transmission system in the main wheels to reduce the effort of the arms and a locking system for the chair not rolled back. Along the way in which Spencer will have to walk the chair will be taken with the rest of the equipment by shippers

    
    The collection is another challenge that part, but with the disclosure and private incentive programs Spencer managed to raise over $ 500,000, which was reversed for the construction of wells in three communities in Kenya, thus fueling more than 18,500 people with drinking wate
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Hans Meyer cave to Uhuru Peak: 19, 340 ft.
Hike duration: 3 hours
Temperature: -5 degrees Celsius
Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "We... David: "...made... Alex: "...it!"

This was it. The day that possible would be redefined. It was an almighty struggle, but...WE MADE IT!

We woke super-early (4 AM) to a light breakfast, and then prepared for our final ascent. Our goal, quite simply: to reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.


Kibo Hut to Hans Meyer Cave: 17,200 ft.

Hike duration: 4 hours

Temperature: -5 degrees Celsius

Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "Challenging."
David: "Difficult."
Alex: "Depleted."

I thought yesterday was hard and cold. It was. But it was nothing compared to today. This was by far the hardest day yet.

We continued our ascent, crossing the alpine desert. Sound remote and freezing? It is. The terrain was similar to yesterday - loose rocks and nothing green in sight - but today we encountered snow! It wasn't much of a factor, the snow, except as a reminder of what's about to come: the grueling summit attempt. 
/ / /
noinclinewalk.JPGMawenzi Tarn Hut to Kibo Hut: 15,466 ft.

Hike duration: 4 hours

Temperature: 5 degrees Celsius

Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "Powerful"
David: "Humbled"
Alex: "Connected"

Today was hard. And it was cold.

We're talking really cold - five degrees (Celsius) during the day and way chillier at night. It feels like the dark side of the moon, which is fitting because today we crossed what's known as the lunar desert - the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks - to reach the huts at the bottom of Kibo peak.

Day Four: A Day for Dads

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Rest day at roughly 14,000 ft.

Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius

Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "Kenny West" (father)
Alex: "Tony Meers" (father)
David: "Ella/Arlo Johnson" (daughter/son)

The day was spent resting and acclimating to the altitude and our surroundings, which is essentially some of the most superb alpine views imaginable. And so, without a grueling climb to endure, and as Father's Day is nearly upon us, it's the perfect time and the ideal setting to think about my dad, Kenny.

Day Three: The Heights of Friendship

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SECOND CAVE TO KIKELEWA CAMP (Third cave): 11,440 ft. - 12,057 ft.

Hike duration: 4 hours

Temperature: 8 degrees Celsius

Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "Friendship"
David: "Reflection"
Alex: "Uplifting"

My word of the day - friendship - cannot be understated. 

I've gotta be honest: Day Two was a real struggle. I felt better once we were all reunited at the camp by day's end. But the fact that we had to break into two groups (in order to proceed more efficiently) was actually more discouraging than I cared to share yesterday. It was slow going, a frustrating climb and being apart, well, sucked.

Today was a different story, thankfully.

Rongai Cave to 'Second Cave': 8,645 ft. to 11,440 ft.
Hike duration: 5.5 hours
Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius
Word that captures the day:?
Spencer: "Beautiful"     David: "Pole pole" (Swahili for "slowly.")      Alex: "Grateful"

You could say things are ramping up here.

No one on the team got a very good sleep last night. Not too surprising; it's been a while since any of us have slept outdoors - and pretty much never on the side of a mountain!
Thumbnail image for spencewalkingcrop.jpgThe wake-up regimen helped, though. Our guides greeted us at our tent with tea and hot water for a quick wash before breakfast. We got moving by 8 a.m., and the morning climb was quite a steady ascent up to the 'Second Cave,' which rings in above 11,000 ft.

After lunch, we left the main trail and struck out across the moorland on a smaller path, offering us a view of the jagged Mawenzi in the distance, which is a subsidiary peak on Kilimanjaro, but still Africa's third-largest at 16,830 ft.

The day's trek was on super-rocky ground and was crazy-steep. It got so steep at one point that the porters actually carried me for over an hour atop the chair-carrier. (I joked about it in my pre-climb blog post but there was no other option.) For the most part, though, I was walking and climbing on my hands. That was definitely pole pole.

Along with the increasingly rocky and barren terrain, the altitude really began to hit us during the day - a few of us were short of breath and felt a little queasy. (No need to bust out the Gamow Bag - that's only for real emergencies!) We did split into two groups for a portion of today's hike, which was really the lowlight of the day for me. Didn't feel right not progressing as a team.

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The payoff of the day would soon arrive though. As we ascended so steeply, we were soon under a veil of clouds. And as we emerged above the clouds we were awed by the incredible views of Kibo and its ice fields.

I began to think of all the people who deserved to see this spectacular vista: from my heroes, like Rick Hansen, to old friends like our Free The Children co-worker Matt Tod (who joked about injuring David at the farewell party so he could replace him on the team), to the people I've been lucky enough to inspire, like my video-posting buddies,

Thumbnail image for IMG-20120613-00052.jpgOur camp at the end of today's climb is like a tent city. (David's photo offers just a glimpse.) It's populated by climbers, most of them tired, all of them with something to prove. Just like us, except we've got to be the only ones fortunate enough to have such amazing support. When I close my eyes, you're all here, and I can imagine the entire mountain dotted with tent cities of friends.

Whether or not you someday see the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro from this height, maybe it's O.K. that I'm your eyes for one day. After all, you've got my heart forever.

This isn't about me. It's about we.

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