As a long-time pro-athlete and Osprey Ambassador, I was perplexed last year with strange balance issues while skiing and riding along with odd moments of memory loss. Being the overly tough person I am, I tossed it aside and continued playing and working, chocking it up to stress from ski and bike work travel, too much exercise/training, too much “trying-to-save-the-world”, and trying to run a self-reliant homestead on the side. On June 30th, 2013, after almost burning the house down while cooking one of our piggy’s bacon, my hubby rushed me to the Emergency room to find a giant brain tumor. After many weeks of discussing death, I suddenly realized I now had yet another mountain to climb, and maybe the biggest one to date.
After surgery to remove the giant baseball HemangioPeriCytoma, saving the blood flow to my brain and my life, I luckily had time to ponder how to conquer my tumors/cancer during recovery. They wanted the standard cut/radiate/poison “treatment”, but my internet research showed a 1-3% cure rate with this approach. The radiation would also most likely give me cancer in 10-20years. I now realize how fear sets in, as I actually considered this path out of pressure, despite the crappy success rate.
That goodness for the internet and great friends, as I have learned so much about what “alternatives” are actually out there. I quickly landed at the NamasteHealthCenter.com in Durango, Colorado at a women’s cancer retreat with folks from all over the globe searching for better cancer answers. How cool that OspreyPacks.com has this right next door to their corporate headquarters!
Long story short, the amazing folks there helped me dive into my blood work and DNA – working to find out the reasons I might have gotten cancer, and why I was currently “tumor-ing”. I could now write a dissertation on this, but in short, overuse of antibiotics as a child had damaged my gut and also my DNA through methylation. My blood inflammation markers showed that my vegan diet was causing super high blood sugar (both blood glucose and HgA1C) and very high inflammation (ESR,LDH,CRP). I was doing all the things that our USDA food pyramid said to do – low-fat, lots of whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, but my blood was proof that this was not working.
Dr. Nasha Winters and Namaste showed me that cancer (and most disease) is fueled some simple things – sugars (including most fruits and grains turning into sugars), estrogen (from almost all plastics), environmental factors, and stress. All of these can damage my gut and my DNA. Good news is, they are all fixable! Even the methylated DNA!
I’m fourteen months into my Ketogenic Diet now – about 80% of my calories from fat, as cancer not only loves sugar, but it HATES FAT. I call it the one-two punch – deprive my cells of sugar and load them with fats, but good fats only! I use only homemade pastured lard and tallow, grass-fed butter/ghee, coconut oil, grass-fed raw heavy whipping cream, and unrefined/unfiltered/chem-free stonehouseoliveoil.com. Its taken me months to get used to dosing my food in these fats, but wow, what a change in my blood work. Side benefits include – great skin, no more colds or migraines, allergies almost gone, weight/fat loss, 6-pack, and no more bronchitis, yeast or bladder infections.
Every day I learn more about how this Ketogetnic diet can often prevent and conquer many diseases beyond cancer, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Epilepsy, MS, and Diabetes, while also bringing on the best health and athletic performance of one’s life. I don’t think of it as a diet anymore, as I LOVE The food, love how I feel and look, and love that my tumor is stunted and starving. Cancer may be the best thing that has ever happened to me, as it has helped my family get healthier and my diet can hopefully prevent the Alzheimers that runs in the family. More: ketogenic-diet-resource.com; Books – Keto Clarity and Grain-Brain. I’ve also started a Facebook page – Cooking to Conquer Cancer.
So right now we are busy harvesting all our food for the upcoming winter, today I was focusing on drying eggplant, zucchini and squash “noodles”, canning tomatoes, and curing peppers. The chickens are also going corn and soy free, and the cows are munching their ever-so-healthy salad bar of grasses. In many ways lifestyle is easier, as I don’t have to grow, thresh and winnow as many grains, stevia is easier to grow than raising bees, and raising saturated fats is WAY easier than even attempting olive oil!
I’m a lucky gal – no lasting damage to my memory or my body. I’m back on my bike, surfboard and skis – with a heap more balance than before, and WAY more appreciation for everything. Next I’m off to Moab next to teach my KEEN Rippin Chix Camps with OspreyPacks.com at Outerbike with Western Spirit. I’ve got a full schedule of my Steep Skiing Camps coming up this winter all over, including some of my favorites such as Whitewater, Red Mtn, Silverton, and Crystal. Time to go to bed, as sleep and stress reduction are also very important in my un-cancer-ing and new-found health.
ALISON GANNETT is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain biker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing, biking and surf camps around the globe, featuring Osprey Packs. She has starred in many movies, TV shows, and magazines receiving many awards for her work including National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Always an advocate of walking the talk, she has reduced her carbon footprint in half and has also spent half a lifetime working to make the world a better place. In 2010, she and her husband Jason bought Holy Terror Farm, beginning the next chapter of personal health and self-sustainability.
What better way to kick off 2014 than with a few jitters, chattering teeth, and a full serving of adrenaline as you carefully choose where to swing your axe next??
That’s what will be happening in the little town of Ouray, Colorado, as people from all over the country travel to Ouray to participate in one of the largest ice festivals in the nation. This will be our 10th year attending and there are MANY reasons we keep coming back!
It will all kick off on Thursday night, January 9th, with presentations and delicious beers brewed in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. (more…)
Singletracks spent some quality time checking out quality gear this year, and at Interbike in particular. Its editors came away with some great knowledge of the best cycling gear the year of 2013 has had to offer. Here’s how they put it:
The 2013 model year is quickly winding down, and all the companies at Interbike 2013 were displaying the latest and greatest products about to hit showroom floors for 2014. A couple of weeks ago we announced the Top MTB Gear of 2013, as rated by you, our members, in the mountain bike gear database.
Now it’s our turn: we’ve called on our blog team members to choose the best mountain bike gear of the year.
We’d definitely recommend reading the entire post, as it’s chock full of great gear. But we’ll hone in on one specific pick that’s naturally near and dear to us here at Osprey HQ. The Best Women’s Gear was none other than the Osprey Verve. And here’s what Singletracks says about it:
In one week in Park City we took on two different rides of 4+ hours, and having a pack that would hold 3 liters of water, several snacks, a rain jacket, and more, was crucial. The Osprey Verve was up to the task. The padded mesh shoulder straps kept the pack comfortable during even the longest ride, and being able to adjust those straps meant that during rocky downhills the pack stayed firmly in place.
Thanks for the love, Singletracks!
Once again, Osprey will be sponsoring the annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, located just around the corner from our headquarters, in one of the most scenic and intimate festival hubs located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains: Telluride Town Park.
You may be asking yourself, what makes this year so special?
Undoubtedly, every Blues & Brews is a unique experience, but this year marks the 20th Anniversary of Blues & Brews and we are ecstatic to be a part of that! This year will be the 6th year that Osprey has sponsored and vended at Blues & Brews and we are looking forward to yet another jam-packed weekend full of laughter, music and top-notch brews.
To celebrate 20 years, Osprey will be giving 20% off of our current line, which is a chance you don’t want to miss! We aren’t the only ones looking forward to celebrating 20 years of awesomeness…
“We are truly looking forward to celebrating our 20th year in Telluride. With 20 years of community support, we want to show our appreciation with this show to kick of the festival weekend in Telluride. We want to give back for all the wonderful years of fan and community support. We dedicate our success to our fans and the community of Telluride and we couldn’t have made it this long without their support.” -Steve Gumble, Festival Director
As part of the celebrations, the Festival will be having an additional day of complimentary music on Thursday, September 12th, to warm you up for the several days of blues music to follow! Check out the schedule to see the entire list of artist playing Thursday, but headlining will be Brooker T. Jones!
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Aside from the free performances on Thursday, followed by an entire day of music on Friday, we would be mindless not to mention the “Brews” part of the festival on Saturday. That’s right, Saturday is the Grand Tasting in which you get to vote for the top tastes from over 100 different micro-brews from regional breweries competing for the Blue & Brews Title! Let your taste buds run wild and free as you will be tasting anything from a classic Pale Ale or an exotic specialty beer such as a chocolate stout or green chili spice.
As always, don’t forget to stop by our booth for a coozie to keep that beer cold, to check out our new Fall lines, such as the Portal Series, or simply to receive the most epic high-five you could ever imagine.
Here is a list of some other things that will be going down at our booth as well:
• If you can’t find the pack you are looking for, no problem! A 20% discount will be extended to Jagged Edge, our Telluride retailer, who will have a bountiful stock of Osprey Packs!
• Free fitting and torso measuring by our professionals at the Osprey booth.
• Take a 3-minute event survey to win a pack! Winners will be drawn daily.
• Bola Ball Contest: Donate a couple dollars that will be going to the non-profit organization EcoAction Partner. You’ll have a chance to see how your throwing arm is and if you’re lucky, you could win either a Osprey hat, Digistow, or even a pack!
If you’ve ever gone home from OR to a partner or roommate who’s never been, it can be tough to explain just why you’re so exhausted when you return. But if you’ve ever experienced the madness, fun and fluorescent lights of this show yourself, you know that it takes about a week’s time to recover fully from the happy hours, meetings and never-ending events. Maybe you’re in the recovery phase right now; maybe you missed the show and want to know what happened. Either way, here’s just a bit of what went down at this year’s epic Outdoor Retailer show!
Day One capped off with a performance from The Infamous Stringdusters at SLC’s Depot, which kicked off their American Rivers Tour, “an epic summer music adventure stopping through, and winding down, some of American’s wildest and most beloved rivers and surrounding communities.”
Osprey’s Marketing Manager Gareth Martins shows support for the Colorado River, which supports 250,000 sustainable recreation industry jobs across the southwest. Day two’s Conservation Alliance Breakfast with Pete McBride taught us that” in 2013, American Rivers named the Colorado River the nation’s #1 most endangered river due to drought, over-allocation and climate change.” Visit www.StandUpForCoRiver.com to learn more about the campaign to save the Colorado.
As always, the end of Summer OR can only mean one thing: it’s time to start the countdown to Winter OR. Ready, go!
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The Mountain Games will be returning to Vail, Colorado this weekend from June 6th through June 9th, 2013, when professional and amateur athletes from around the world will come to Vail to participate in the nation’s largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music. The athletes will compete in nine sports events and 25 disciplines for more than $100,000 in prize money.
There will be sporting events ranging from various kayak competitions, rafting, mountain, road and slopestyle biking, world cup bouldering, fly fishing, stand-up paddling, slack lining, trail, mud and long distance running. If that isn’t enough to choose from, there will also be a big air competition for canines, as they compete for the longest measured distance into the pool.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Gear Town, where Osprey will be posted up with incredible 20 percent off sales in celebration of the Go Pro Mountain games! The packs will range from technical daypacks, to our revamped hydration line and stylish line of active everyday packs to fit your specific pack needs. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Gear Town location then head over to our retailer store, Ptarmigan Sports, located in Edwards to receive the same killer deal on our larger pack line.
Visit the Osprey booth at the Bouldering World Cup to check out all that is new for 2013, score some free daily giveaways and cheer on your favorite athlete with the Osprey crew! Speaking of giveaways, Osprey has teamed up with Ruffwear and will be doing a Day Pack for You and Your K-9 Companion! Come by either the Osprey or Ruffwear booth to enter.
On Saturday, Osprey will also have an in-booth poster signing session with Osprey athlete and Pro Mountain Biker Macky Franklin from 4-5 PM in the Gear Town booth location.
So whether you’re competing, spectating or dancing to the live music, be sure to stop by our booth to check out the various sales and giveaways going on all weekend!
It’s that time of year again — the biggest ice festival in North American is nearly here! This weekend, The Ouray Ice Festival will be back for three days of ice climbing, chatter, gear, equipment and competitions among world-class climbers. Held every January since 1996, the Ouray Ice Fest brings enthusiasts from around the world to Ouray, Colorado, with the end result being that the fest itself has become the primary fundraiser for the Ouray Ice Park.
This year’s event will be held this weekend, from January 10th through the 13th. And what’s more, we’ll be there to contribute to the festivities with a full display of all of our newest 2013 packs; free demos of Osprey Packs all day throughout the weekend, as well as free onsite professional pack fittings and daily pack giveaways. All you have to do is come by the Osprey Ice Fest booth to take a two minute event survey and you’ll be entered to win a Variant or Mutant climbing pack of your own. Adding to all of the goodness of the Ouray Ice Fest, swing by on Saturday between 2 and 3 p.m. to meet Osprey Athlete and pro climber Majka Burhardt!
The hikers have begun to descend on Damascus. We find ourselves in a world of kilted bald men with unkempt beards. The women tend to be more, shall we say, varietal. Yes, it’s another Trail Days and to say Damascus will never be the same is a misnomer, because quite evidently, it never was. Crispy Critter, Buttercup, Blue Eyes, Dead Man Walking – just a few of the folks that have stopped by and said hello today.
This is the largest trail event (probably in the world) for one of the longest trails in the world. It represents a desire that we all hold somewhere – to unplug and escape for months, to be in a place (both mentally and physically) where time does not matter. It also represents the proverbial slice of Americana, the kind of thing that can only happen in – America.
Over the next few days we’ll repair dozens and dozens of packs – Osprey and any other brand. We’ll meet more folks by trail name only and yes, we’ll see more kilts and beards – none of them on women. This is our time to literally get in the trenches, to truly learn what our customers need our packs to do. Every success and failure of our product is amplified here. What better place than the AT to learn if that pack really does what it is supposed to do?
Written by Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing
Last week, Francisco measured the square footage of our apartment.
The total? 325.36.
That’s a small space. Even in New York City, where postage-stamp sized apartments are in abundance and the people who live in them become expert at storing the stuff they think they need but probably don’t in novel configurations–from the ceiling (seriously; our neighbor hangs his bikes this way), in vertical stacks on walls (books), and in hidden recesses (Murphy bed, anyone?) — there comes a time when you have to admit that the stuff you’ve accumulated needs to be given a ruthless once-over.
We have the same stuff anyone else does: books, piles of CDs that we’ve never transferred to iTunes, stacks of paper that we’re convinced we have to keep for one reason or another.
But we also have baggage. Lots and lots of baggage.
I just did a quick inventory and here’s what I came up with:
- My daily use Baggallini bag. I’ve had this for about three years and it’s as new and sturdy as it was the day I bought it. It’s been with me to Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and plenty of points in between.
- A Diesel courier bag. This is Francisco’s, picked up at a thrift shop. He’s had it for years and the only purpose it serves now is to hold some of that paper we’re convinced we need to keep.
- A Leeds courier bag. This is also Francisco’s, company-issue gear he has to use when he leads educational tours for EF Smithsonian in New York and Puerto Rico. As I also lead tours occasionally, we probably have another one of these bags somewhere….
- A no-brand gym bag,
- A leather backpack,
- A Canon camera gear bag,
- A Kenneth Cole carry-on,
- A Baggallini carry-on,
- A North Face backpack,
- Two insulated day packs (one, a gift from a PR rep from the Marriott, another a take-away from the hospital where our daughter was born),
- A couple of small handbags, made by weavers in Oaxaca,
- A duffel for checked luggage, and
- A suitcase for checked luggage (which currently serves as winter clothing storage)
I’m not great with numbers, but that’s roughly 1 bag for every 25 square feet of our apartment.
Did I mention that most of these bags are in a state of utter disrepair? The Kenneth Cole carry on is frayed around the edges and its fake leather hand grip is cracked. The straps of the North Face backpack are ripped and could probably be sewn if either of us took the time to do so. The Diesel courier bag is stained by a permanent marker. The suitcase, though not old, has been put through its paces, especially since our last full backpack–which we normally use for flights–was manhandled by baggage workers at JFK to the point of non-use.
It’s time to clean house. Literally. To deal with our baggage- to give away what’s still usable, to recycle or upcycle what’s not, and to get some new gear.
Today, we’re measuring ourselves for new gear, and we’ll be going all Osprey–not the brand smorgasboard we’ve had to date. We’ll be putting these new packs through the paces, too, giving them heavy use in our daily treks in and around New York City, as well as trips to South Carolina, Cuba, and plenty of other places.
Bricks o’ cream cheese and tubs o’ Cool Whip… That about sums up the snowpack in Silverton, Colo. . Shameless product plug? Took the Talon 11 on a skate ski from town to Howardsville… It’s one of the best kept secrets of Silverton, and it’s FREE!