Swimming for Literacy

This summer, my husband, a close friend and I decided to try to swim from Europe to Africa to raise $100,000 for Worldreader. Worldreader is a non-profit that eradicates illiteracy by delivering a digital library to the world’s poorest people. Our thinking was this: how can educational opportunities between two continents be so vastly different if they’re so close that we can swim there?”

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The Value of Time

Tony’s note: The following post was written by my close friend, amazingly talented tech reporter and about.me Advisor Om Malik as part of our Stories about.me project. Om survived a near fatal heart attack in 2007. Annually he raises money for heart disease-related projects at UCSF and we’d like for you to consider joining us in supporting his charity: Heart to Heart for UCSF Cardiology.

For 27 years I was a slave to cigarettes. I would plan my day around smoke breaks, avoid long flights because I knew I would need a fix, and seek out new apartments based on their “smoker friendliness.” I resented snide comments about my smoking habit, because I was not in control of the habit. The devil’s weed controlled how I lived.

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What A Win Looks Like to a Firefighter

(Editors note: The following post was written by veteran Chicago Firefighter Brooks Watson as part of our Stories about.me project. If you have a personal story to share, please follow this link to submit your writing.)

Being Successful. 

A few weeks ago, my partner and I were working on the roof at a large building fire. We needed to cut open a large hole, push down the ceiling below, and take out the skylights. These are the basic tasks of any roof operation.

This particular roof was big and conditions were poor. Thick brown smoke pushed into our faces as we cut, flames began to push through the roof behind us and the wind kicked up, making it all worse. It wasn’t going well and I was getting frustrated.

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Becoming A Professional Stunt Actor

(Editors note: The following post was written by Jonny Caines as part of our Stories about.me project. If you have a personal story to share, please follow this link to submit your writing.) 

I grew up in a small town in central Saskatchewan.

The youngest of 4 boys, I was a little whipper snapper with some attitude, spunk and something to prove — mainly to my older brothers. In my attempts to grow up as fast as humanly possible I found myself trying to keep up with them. We started playing sports at a young age, and often visited our grandparents’ farm in Manitoba to do battle with make-shift wooden sword and shield.

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In addition to sports, I also developed a special interest in activities like running, climbing and jumping (especially on back-yard trampolines). When not playing sports or moving around like a monkey — I took to school plays and church musicals to express myself through performance arts.

Capoeira and Beyond

At 13, I was taken out of my comfort zone and into the unknown: Peterborough, Ontario. Soon after moving I was introduced to the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, known to some as “break-dance fighting”. Capoeira incorporated my dreams of being a dancer, acrobat and martial artist all at once.

After high school, I went on to study Art Fundamentals at Sheridan College and Graphic Design/Classical Animation at Seneca@York. Realizing that I didn’t want to focus on visual arts anymore; I soon returned to my love affair with the art of movement. I gravitated to Parkour/Free-Running and martial arts “Tricking”. Around that time I also began performing in Capoeira shows along with my instructor and mentor; Mark Ross.

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Going Pro

Connecting through the internet and the Toronto (martial arts) Tricking community;  I took part in many “gatherings” over the years.  At these Tricking gatherings I was able to meet with fellow martial artists, Free-runners, Trickers and like-minded performing artists.

From there, I slowly worked my way into acting and stuntwork for TV/Film via martial art and acrobatic performances (live shows) with my stunt team: TEAM 2X.

Check out Jonny’s page for more video of him in action!

How I Became a Horror Journalist

(Editors note: The following post was written by Andrea Subissati as part of our new Stories about.me project. If you have a personal story to share, please follow this link to submit your writing.)
 

I never sat down and decided I wanted to be a horror journalist.

My journey in horror started out like everyone else in the biz; as a fan. I loved horror movies and was fascinated by them, and my education in sociology really nurtured that. I wrote my masters thesis In 2007 on the social relevance of the zombie craze, and I received an offer to publish it as a book in 2010.

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