Keoki Flagg on Tedx Talks about Grant Korgan May 13, 2012Posted by heidi skarie in Uncategorized.
Tags: adventure sport photography, Grant Korgan, Keoki Flagg, paraplegic, photography, South Pole
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A good friend sent me a remarkable youtube video of her nephew Keoki Flagg, an adventure sport photographer, on Ted x talks. The talk is about Grant Korgan’s journey to the South Pole that made history on January 17, 2012. Grant was the first adaptive athlete to trek to the South Pole. It was done on the 100-year anniversary of the first South Pole explorers.
Keoki joined the journey to photograph it. To make the expedition he had to get into shape because he had to pull a sled with 500 pounds of equipment on it.
Two years ago Grant Korgan had a snowmobile accident that left him a paraplegic. Grant decided to make an expedition to the South Pole as part of his recovering program and to raise money for medical research for paraplegics. The trip was funded by the High Fives Foundation, which helps injured athletes recover. Grant used a custom sit ski to trek 75 miles in two weeks. With ski poles he pushed himself along. Keoki compared it to sitting in a cardboard box and pushing it across the room.
The weather was as cold as forty degrees below zero with head winds of 10 to 20 knots. At those temperatures it is hard to function.
In the youtube video you’ll see some of Keoki’s remarkable photos of the trip. IN discussing his photography, he said that original art touches the viewer emotionally.
Keoki also talked about the experience of making this journey. The land is flat and the sun never set so there was no way to gain perspective as to how far he had gone each day. There weren’t any clocks, phones or internet in the South Pole. Being removed from all this technology helped Keoki find inner peace and balance. He said that we all need more peace. He wants to affect the world in a positive way. He ended his talk with: “The message of positivity in these times is critical. Dream as big as you can and change the world.”
Here is the Youtube:
To learn more about the project go:
Tags: book review, Buck, Buck Brannaman, Emperor moth, movie, Nicholas Evans, Robert Redford, Stories, Struggles, The Horse Whisperer
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Recently I read THE HORSE WHISPER a best selling novel by Nicholas Evans. In 1998 it was made into a movie, which Robert Redford directed and starred in. The story is about Grace Maclean a thirteen-year-old girl whose life is shattered by a terrible accident. One snowy day in upstate New York Grace goes horseback riding with her friend Judith. As they start up a hill Judith’s horse slips on ice and crashes into Grace’s horse Pilgrim. Judith falls off her horse and is dragged down the hill. Both girls and their horses end up in the road to find a semitruck barreling toward them.
The story is about Grace’s struggle back to health, physically and emotionally. Grace’s horse Pilgrim is also seriously injured and traumatized by the accident. He has become wild and uncontrollable. The veterinarian recommends putting Pilgrim down. Annie, Grace’s workaholic mother, refuses because she realizes her daughter’s full recovery is connected somehow to Pilgrim’s recovery.
In Annie’s search to find help for Pilgrim, she hears about Tom Brooker, a man with unusual abilities with horses called a “horse whisperer.” When Tom sees the terrible shape Pilgrim is in, he says it’s too late to save the animal. Annie refuses to take no for an answer and drags her daughter and the horse all the way from New York to Montana to beg Tom to work with the horse.
Annie and Grace have a dysfunctional relationship and Grace refuses to talk to her mother on the drive west. The book is about the struggle of the daughter and horse to recover from the accident and the struggle of the mother and daughter to rebuild their relationship.
The story is also about Annie taking a new look at her life and what is truly important. She and Tom fall in a love and have an affair, which leads to further complications.
The majority of the movie portrays the book fairly accurately, but if you really want to find out how the horse whisperer works with horses I’d recommend reading the book. The movie also softens the affair to a romantic dance and changes the end to a happier one.
The book and movie were both inspired by Buck Brannaman, a man with an amazing, almost spiritual way with horses. A documentary named BUCK was made about him. The film won the Roger Ebert’s list of the Best Documentaries of 2011 and the Oscar shortlist. Buck said he doesn’t help people with horse problems but rather horses with people problems. His compassion for horses came partly out of a challenging childhood with a violent father.
No one likes hardship and suffering, but it is through the trials of life that some of greatest learning comes. It reminds me of the story about a man who found the cocoon of an emperor moth. He watched the moth struggle to come out of the narrow opening of the cocoon and decided to help it by cutting off a bit of the top. The moth emerged with a swollen body and small wings, and died soon after. The man wondered what had gone wrong. He looked up information about the emperor moth and discovered that in order for a pupa to become a moth, it must squeeze its way out of the narrow neck of the cocoon. This forces the fluid out of the body and into the wings so it will be able to fly. The man thought he was being kind by cutting a slit in the cocoon and easing the moth’s journey. Instead the poor creature was never able to reach its full potential and become a beautiful emperor moth.
In THE HORSE WHISPERER the child, mother and horse all have to go through a great struggle like the emperor moth. Through their experience they grew and emerged as stronger more loving beings.
All of us have struggles and challenges in life to help us learn love and compassion. Through our hardships we develop beauty and grace as the emperor moth does as it emerges from its cocoon.
Have you had an experience where you were faced with a challenge and rose to the challenge to become a stronger, more compassionate person? Please share your experiences.