May 9, 2017

A New Partnership

http://www.enduroforce.ca/en.htmlYou all know that I’m involved in Mas Korima, as a means to support our Raramuri friends in facing the advance of the modern world onto their remote wilderness home, but also with the aim of bettering my endurance nutrition using natural ingredients.

I’ve been extensively using Korimalitas as my running fuel of choice, and I make liquid nutrition out of Andale! pinole powder and maple syrup. So when my friend Jack introduced me to a new type of endurance tonic based on maple syrup, using only natural ingredients and free from caffeine and taurine, it was an instant natural fit.

I started using Enduroforce last year, and quickly became a fan of its energy-boosting effects. It only uses 4 ingredients; ginseng, maple syrup, sea buckthorn and spirulina. No head rush, no buzz, no crash. Just a nice cocktail of superfoods I start my long days with and use about every 4-5 hours along the way.

Well, it seems Enduroforce liked me back and has offered to make me a brand ambassador :)

So whenever you meet me in running events and on the trails, don’t hesitate to snatch a vial or two from me and to give Enduroforce a try. I think it’s an excellent, natural endurance supplement well worth checking out!




I’ll be writing some more in-depth analysis of the product itself and its ingredients as I keep using it this season. In the meantime, you can access full product info right here.

April 25, 2017

Indigenize the World

First time I heard those words, I had a flash. They came from the music of Cody Coyote, another amazing young leader I’ll spend more time writing about a little later on. Like a connection had been re-established, like I had just been made to remember a solution to a problem I’ve been having for too long, I’d been offered a teaching of wisdom.

The Western world is failing and our value system as a society is shallow and destructive. Every day that goes by, we suffer the consequences of the terrible choices we’re making as a civilization. War, poverty, injustice, exclusion, hatred and the destruction of our environment. All in the name of profit and the enrichment of a powerful few who divide to conquer.

I am a son of the oppressor. An unwilling member of this broken system looking for better answers. I found many of them, on a personal level, in running and endurance. Through it, I’ve also been extremely fortunate to be welcomed in many Native circles, to be taught and guided by ancient knowledge. For a while, it felt like a personal, intimate journey and a privilege. I hope I’ve shown worthy of what I’ve been taught. But as time passes, I’ve been increasingly wondering what I can do, on a more global level, to bring change and hope for a better world.

Then I heard Cody sing “Indigenize the World”.

Here I was, always worried that my endeavor in Native knowledge and culture would be seen as appropriation. Tip-toeing in a new world, eager to share my excitement and discoveries, but shy and afraid of being inadequate, out of place, wrong. I had it backwards. I wasn’t taking anything from anyone, I was being generously given a gift. I was missing a concept. I was missing a word.

I am simply becoming indigenized. I am invited in circles and taught. I am being healed and rooted back into the culture of Nature and all living things. I am being made a witness to a living, breathing culture that has lived on from millennia until this very day, always following the same basic principles; Respect yourself and others. Share more, own less. Take care of the land, air and water. Respect and abide by the Circle of Life. Realize that we are all related.

***

Like it happens every once in a while, I was invited last weekend to talk to a group of inspiring young people who’ve embarked on a great physical challenge; they will run a 250+ km relay between Montreal and Quebec cities, in May. So instead of having “the usual”, where we talk about adventures in endurance, motivation and the numerous benefits of tackling a challenge, I decided to share a bit of what I’ve learned over the past couple years.

From the Raramuri to the Hopi to the Navajo to the Cree and Northern Peoples, I spoke to these teens about the importance of sharing, the respect for water and all living things, humility, pacifism, openness to others, feminism and matriarchal societies, and the center concept of Kuira Ba, of being one.

I gave them examples of young leaders like Theland Kicknosway and spoke of their own leadership and dedication. I congratulated them on their efforts. I told them to stay aware and open to the signs life would bring along their journey. I told them the importance of having a dream, a vision, and to hold on to it.

I didn’t know if I made any sense, but I just let the words flow and I didn’t hide my emotions. It only took a few minutes after I was finished to see that the message had resonated with them, and the teachers, and the parents. It was a beautiful, powerful thing.

Our world needs healing. We, as Humans, need to get back to better, more sustainable values for the sake of our global future. Some of us, including a lot of young people, are ready to instill change and spread the word. We are many more than it seems. We need to grow the confidence to oppose the Western culture and to promote a humbler, healthier and happier lifestyle.

It's time to get back to our roots.

Time to get indigenized.




April 18, 2017

Witness



What can an ultra runner born into privilege do to participate and support in the cause of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada?

I felt that question was in many minds when I started talking about joining young Cree leader Theland Kicknosway on his journey between Ottawa and Kitigan Zibi to give a voice to the Stolen Sisters. It was probably asked around in my circles, and likely in Theland’s as well. See, at first glance, him and I don’t have much in common.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Symbolically, the journey Theland and I shared last week is a metaphor of a much broader situation in Canada, and probably the world over. Different backgrounds, different upbringings and even a different generation were all seemingly reasons for us not to have anything to share. But here’s where the beauty starts to operate.

We have much more in common than we have differences, when anyone looks past the surface. Theland, at a very young age and I’m sure thanks to the guidance of his parents, has an amazing grasp of a great truth; we are all related. Connected with the spiritual world, he is sensitive to messages, symbols and visions that can guide our lives. Open to others, he has a deep empathy for the suffering and the challenges of his fellow Humans and wishes to have an active response to show his support.

Expressed in a different way and at a later time in life, these values are part of my journey, too. I have been awakened to the importance of connection through my adventures in the running world and I have been lucky enough to be initiated to ancient cultures which hold a wealth of knowledge and wisdom our world desperately needs. I feel deeply for the people and the challenges they face, and I want to serve and support them as best I can.



So I offered to join my steps to his. We would travel a great distance together, voice demands of justice for the Indigenous Sisters who have paid with their lives the inequity of a broken system, and create a bridge between worlds too often depicted as separated, different, apart.

I have had the immense privilege of being welcomed in Theland’s world and family circle, from sharing our food to our prayers in the circle ceremonies we would hold every morning. I have shared the tobacco offerings, the smoke of the sacred sage and sweet grass, and I have been allowed to speak and share as a member of the community. We have laughed, struggled, cried, feared, hoped and endured together.


Along the way, I have been made a witness to the vibrant Native culture that happens every day in the world, and I have been generously taught in these ways by people who would have had every reason to refuse this knowledge to me. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a son of the oppressor and I do not stand for what has been done before. There are too many people out there today pretending to speak in my name, and to represent me. They don’t. My presence at Theland’s side was a physical and spiritual demonstration that I, and all of you who supported this journey, we, stand on the side of truth, justice, fairness, inclusion, empathy, kinship and connection.


We stand with Theland.








In this space, I would like to acknowledge the generous support of Mas Korima, who provided all the running food Team Theland needed for the journey, plus another living proof that actions are taken all over the world to bridge Native cultures and celebrate their knowledge.

Thank you Julie Hallé, The Dragonfly, for your unwavering support, for your dedication, for showing me the way and for being such an amazing Human being. I am honored you choose to share your life with me.

Thank you to CCC Running Club, and specifically Marc Langevin, for your amazing involvement through kind words and the organization of a spirit run in support of Theland and the cause of #MMIW.

Thank you Jacques Aubin, Jack, my friend, for your personal and logistical support, for believing, and for embodying the change our world needs.

Thank you to Enduroforce for providing its maple-based tonics which helped us stay alert and energized along the way.

Thank you to Touch, for their anti-chaffing stick, cream and lip balms which effectively protected us from the ubiquitous sand and dust.

Thank you Garmin, for the bags and hats.

Thank you Marc Séguin, Éveric Lauzière, Caribou Legs / Brad Firth, Steve Martin, Isabelle Aubouy, Noel Paine, Augusto Gamero, Kelsey Conner, Michael and Kimberly Miller, Donald Audet, Samir Znifeche, Philippe Gendreau, Norbert Blobel, Erik Buzzard, Shaun Martin, for reaching out personally to Theland, sending good wishes and thoughts and showing we are many.

Thank you Running People of the world for all the kind words, the encouragement, the photos and the shout-outs along the way.