The Outside Blog

Athletes : Nov 2010

Climbing the 7 Summits - More than a Climb

IMG_1124-225x169 Welcome to The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything. It is on! And it is, simply put, to find a cure for Alzheimer's and support families who are living with this disease.

My first climb is in a few weeks to Antarctica. But before I go any further, let’s look back for a moment. Almost a year ago, I wrote these words:

First it is important to understand that this is about finding a cure for Alzheimer's, not mountain climbing. You see, if I could sing or dance or had some other skill that I thought would raise the money, I would use it. It certainly would be easier than climbing Mt. Everest! But I don't. I climb mountains and can keep an audience entertained for a while.

The Search

I sought partners for over two years that would help me fund and publicize this campaign. What I wanted, needed, was a global partner who had the expertise to reach millions with a message of urgency and hope.

In the end it was through connecting with a dear friend through Facebook who knew someone - who knew someone. And the rest is history.

We have been working for the past six months to create a campaign that will emphasize the need for more research to find better treatments and eventually a cure. We want to bring attention to the impossible task that families and caregivers face when their loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

On November 9th, we are conducting interviews with over 20 TV and radio stations across the US as well as newspapers and Internet articles to announce the campaign. Yes, it is on - big time!

The Story

And I will be sharing my personal story along the way.

I lost my mom, Ida, to Alzheimer's about a year ago. As my family and I went through the stages of the disease with her - watching her lose her short term memory, then long term memory, not being able to take care of herself, losing her identity and finally succumbing to the disease; it was horrifying.

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Former Child Soldier Becomes Fitness Warrior

  

Tchicaya Missamou, once a child soldier in the Republic of Congo, is now helping hundreds of Americans shape up in his Warrior Fitness Camp in California, CNN reports.

As a child in the Republic of Congo, Missamou was taught brutality and forced to participate in taking lives. Later, he joined the country's elite military force. To avoid fighting, he began a private security militia that helped white families flee during the Republic of Congo's civil war in 1997, though even his own men turned against him and brutalized his family, setting fire to their home while some were still inside. Missamou managed to escape and fled to the United States.

Missamou quickly joined the U.S. military and was soon leading men into battle in Iraq. After eight years of service and a harrowing return to the Republic of Congo that landed him in jail there, Missamou opened his gym, offering "warrior" classes to help Americans shed pounds and gain self-confidence.

"You're going to see them rolling, sweating, and crying," he told CNN. His tough training style includes spraying clients with water as they don a full military pack and pull dollies piled with tractor tires. "My workout is a mind game," he says, "because I believe when your mind is strong, your body will be strong."

Missamou, who recently published his memoir In the Shadow of Freedom, also lectures around the country on the plight of child soldiers in Africa, CNN says. "All my life, I lived in the shadow of freedom," he told CNN. Now, "I am not dreaming freedom. I am living freedom."

--Nick Davidson

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The Top 10 Blogs from October

What made big news last month? Scroll down to find out. Here are the top 10 posts from October. At least you'll be armed with good dinner party conversation.

Number 10: The Top 10 Adventures in Scotland

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Number 9: The Top 10 Things To Do in Tofino

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Number 8: Fatal Shark Attack in California

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Number 7: Red Bull Stops Stratos: Freefall Jump from 120,000 Feet

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Number 6: The Gear Junkie Interview: Clif Bar's Gary Erickson

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Number 5: The Marathon Diaries: The Stubborn Gene

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Number 4: Gear Army: CW-X Running Tights

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Number 3: Twitter Contest: Win Custom Folsom Skis

[Editor's note: Sorry, contest ended October 31st. But follow us on Twitter and you'll find other contests worth entering]

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Number 2: The Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2011

Number 1 (and reigning champion for two months!): Woman Saves Choking Bear

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Anything we missed that you'd like to share?

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Outcry Continues After Hit-and-Run Charges Changed

The blogosphere lit up after news broke last week that a financial manager would not face felony charges after a hit-and-run on a cyclist in Colorado. Here's the latest with updates from involved parties and reactions from our readers.

Dr. Steven Milo was biking outside of Avon, Colorado when Martin Joel Erzinger hit him with his Mercedes Benz. Erzinger then reportedly drove to a local Pizza Hut and called for his car to be towed, but did not report the accident to police. Milo suffered a number of injuries, including damage to his spinal cord, brain, knee and scapula.

The local district attorney, Mark Hurlbert, decided to press misdemeanor instead of felony charges against Erzinger (a director in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver) because:

“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said to the Vail Daily. “When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.”

When we posted news of the incident on our facebook page, here's what some of you had to say...

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