Cheered on by my friend, Kath (pictured with me, below), I managed to present at last night's Ignite Boulder 6 without completely blowing it. In fact, I had a blast. The presenters were all uniquely impressive - I was honored to be in such company.
I gotta say that the musical entertainment, Mountain Standard Time, was phenomenally good. These boys are fine musicians and really, when is the last time you had a saxophone in a mountain band?
I just read Andrew Hyde's take on the evening and he hit on a key point. I probably did too much 'reading' from my notes during my presentation. However, I'm happy to report that I did NOT read from the slides. The audience - despite their many beers - seemed mostly literate and able to do that on their own. Either way, my presentation, "Screw Logic: A Unbelievable Look at Bizarre Beliefs", went off fine. I took a look at how standard beliefs often get turned upside down over the course of time (see: Flat Earth Society) and that nobody knows anything, especially the 'experts.'
Several of my favorite presentations included "Food Porn: Behind the Lens" (Jen Yu); "Classic Literature Through the Eyes of the Modern Chick Flick" (Cristina Sagray); "Everything I Needed to Know About Journalism I learned From 'Ghostbusters'" (Dave Burdick); "Rainbow Suspenders and Fuzzy Pink Hats" (Kaley Sutton) - about my beloved Burning Man - and "The Alternative, Alternative Energy: My million dollar idea" (Sari Levy.) This last one was about turning America's fat into energy and it was sheer brilliance. To quote: "Farms are about growing, right? At Fat Farms we should be growing more fat people!"
(Here's me with fellow presenters, Cristina Sagray and Jen Newell. We celebrated with sushi after the show.)
And I am so grateful to Andrew & Co. for putting Michael Brown as the final presenter for he would have been impossible to follow. The subject of his presentation was "Risk and Reward" and I figured we would be getting a lesson in investment and finance.
Turns out, Michael is an adventure filmmaker and had documented blind climber Erik Weihenmayer’s historic ascent as well as four other remarkable ‘firsts’ on Mount Everest. Along the way, two team members perished in an avalanche. Michael told of making this amazing 75-minute film, "Farther Than the Eye Can See", and politely asked if he could show us bits of the film. Um, yes. Please.
Michael generously shared three 2-minute clips of the most breathtaking, emotional footage - the audience was genuinely awestruck. After the joking around all evening, we were simply blown away by the depth and breadth of Erik's story and the team's endless determination. The physical challenges the crew faced are hard to imagine, their task unbelievably daunting, and they yet persevered. Watching the crew coach Erik over a ladder across a deep ice crevasse ... I was holding my breath the whole time. I can't even imagine.
I just kept thinking, "I'm so glad Erik made it!" and "I'm so glad Michael went last!"
If you get a chance to catch Ignite 7, do it. You won't be sorry.