21 days ago

(sound on). One of my favorite new songs - Warrior by indigenous singer songwriter @rayezaragoza (Akimel O’odham) now on Spotify and iTunes as part of her Live at Rockwood EP. I feel extremely privileged to have been sent a demo of this track a few months ago. I fell in love with it immediately and we are highlighting it and a bunch of other songs by Raye in the upcoming feature length documentary @gatherfilm (on the decimation and now resurgence of Native American food systems). Follow @gatherfilm for behind the scenes shots of the most amazing natural food systems anywhere. And follow Raye!! 🎶🎶🎶🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 📷: @prlxcreative

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25 days ago

Best break from NYC I could ever imagine. 3-4 hour snowshoe and ski treks each day, fasted - on zero calories. And no calories in the session (2500-2600 calories expended at altitude). On the @renan_ozturk and @taylorfreesolo plan as they train for an Everest shoot this spring. Fun to tag along for a few days. 📷 @renan_ozturk at Deer Valley Ski Resort

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27 days ago

Broke out the rusty cooking muscles and whipped up some Indian food at @renan_ozturk and @taylorfreesolo ‘s place. Clockwise from bottom left: Brussels sprout coconut curry, roasted spiced beets, purple cauliflower with tandoori crust, carrot and spiced date relish, vegan Pakistani ground “beef” curry, and sweet potato dal. Not pictured- Taylor’s incredible spiced coconut mousse. 📷: @renan_ozturk at Summit Park, Utah

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1 month ago

I’m going to take a moment of your time to pat myself on the damn back. We used a chunk of our film’s modest initial revenue to thank the Kalahari Bushmen in our film for their participation. We bought them a used 4x4 to traverse the Kalahari and register Bushmen to vote in the 2019 Botswanan elections. The Bushmen are hopeful that for the first time in the nation’s history, they’ll have a seat at the table. Thanks to all y’all who bought a ticket. This contribution to the Bushmen is your achievement too. @3100film is up in the US and Canada on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. ✊🏽 📷: @forestwoodward at Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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2 months ago

Super short last post of the year. Nothing brought me more joy than to bring @3100film to New York at the end of a long journey around the country (and then LA after). Far too many running greats turned out for me to list everyone. But let’s just say we had more fun in New York than anywhere. Did a 33 mile run in honor of Ted Corbitt with Ashprihanal from 3100, adding to his more than 55,000 miles run on the streets of New York – that’s like 10 years of 100 mile weeks and he doesn’t even live in the US. Also did a pizza marathon and had a blowout premiere in Queens followed by a sold-out week of shows in the city. Thank you to everyone for making this year so special and important for me. I hope I can return the favors in 2019 or beyond. 💜💜🙏🏽🙏🏽 . If you haven’t seen the movie by now, what are you waiting for? 😜 Amazon iTunes Google Play. #runandbecome // many thanks to all the great podcasts I got to be in in 2018 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 @theamshakeout @runified @rambling_runner @fastestknowntime @mariofraioli @wearesuperman @spartanuppodcast @warriormindcoach @sealfit @gunksrunner @touchingthetrail thank you!!!!!

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2018 Recap 8…. Almost to end of collecting memories. . "Whether you’re a runner or someone looking to transform your life, inspiration can be found if you have the courage to look within. A film like 3100: Run and Become is the perfect starting point.” . . Billy Mills wrote this. BILLY MILLS! Oglala Lakota legend; 10000m gold medalist in the 64 Olympics; hero to zillions. . I wrote a few posts back that while 3100 is clearly not a Native American film, its sensibility might be? I would *never* in a zillion years claim any ability to tell Native stories. In fact, the indigenous stories in 3100 were developed by our characters. I was just the filmmaker. To that effect, no group claimed the film more powerfully than Native Americans. . Case in point – we were allowed to premiere in Santa Fe as part of a 2 day celebration of the vaunted Native running NGO @wings_of_america. Billy Mills and Onondagan Faith Keeper (Holy Man) Oren Lyons traveled to SFe for that occasion and were kind enough to host our premiere. The audience for that was upward of 95% Native. . We then screened for a few weeks in ABQ, followed by PHX and Flagstaff, with a screening thrown in on the White Mountain Apache Rez. . And it was downhill from there. . We were blessed with the presence of so many running greats and personalities – too many to mention here but notables include Henry Rono @pattispeaks227 @clare_gallagher_runs @krissymoehl @mikewardian @timothyallenolson @fastkate @noah_droddy @bbjamin15 @williamleer @hillygoat_climbs @1_ccurley @catberad @bromka @pinkfeathers @aybegay @stephrothstein @kellyn_taylor @sfaubs @alicewright139 @danishani @runwidkeel @racin__grayson @coachbenrosario1 @llcooljennings @ultrarunnerchic @justin__m__303 @boulderrunner . . And my favorite runners @quinnthenavajo and Shaun Martin (Diné). . And who am I? I’m no running great. And I’m not a Native filmmaker but somehow both worlds showed incredible kindness to me and to the film. Things that should never have happened did –  I’m probably the least deserving fellow to be on @richroll’s podcast (film made his year end recap).Too many to thank but I hope you all know who you are 🙏🏽.

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2018 Recap 6 … hoping not to lose some memories … … We knew we made a good film. CEOs of running companies were effusive and clear that a movie like @3100film was long overdue… … And yet despite my team having made a half dozen award-winning movies, we couldn’t get into a major festival to save our lives. A friend who is a programmer at a top tier fest gave me a hint when he/she said “The film provokes interesting questions about faith.” … … And there we had it – I long knew the lack of space in progressive culture for faith, which is seen as a sign of weakness. Think about it – there’s an entire genre of content about people who have placed their faith misguidedly – from Wild Wild Country to The Path to all the films exploring “faith gone wild” (Holy Hell, Going Clear, etc)… … Despite our film being one of the only bigger budget films on running, even @mountainfilm wouldn’t take us – and they took a handful of other running films… … Of course, our movie could’ve sucked, but our 86% Rotten Tomatoes score says otherwise… … So what was it? Not sure, but as with everything on this film, things turned out for the best and taught me I needed to have even more faith. … We were invited to have a premiere at a small festival in Sedona @illuminatefilmfestival one dedicated to conscious cinema – movies can transform. But that’s not it entirely… … Having our premiere in Sedona meant that our main Native co-stars from the Navajo Nation could easily attend. The Navajo had allowed us rare access into the spirituality of their running practice and no other location could have been more fitting… … And facts bore themselves out. Despite the film being largely about European runners coming to do the 3100 Mile Race, Native Americans supported this film like no other group. Later, when we screened theatrically in Flagstaff, Navajo moms came to us and tearfully told us this was the first “Navajo Superhero” movie their kids had seen on the same screens they watched Iron Man, Ant Man and others. … Those moments were absolutely priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world   #keepthefaith @wings_of_america @quinnthenavajo @yazziemartin at Sedona, Arizona

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2018 Recap 5 … hoping not to lose some memories … April/May … “Colonizers call our land ‘reservations’ because once their world burns to the ground, our land will be the only thing left. We’re keeping it pure and healthy because that’s what we’re taught to do. But we’re actually reserving it for them to take later, I think. That’s why they call it a reservation.”… . @sammygensaw sits on a lawn clumping and drying seaweed on native ferns. 23 years old and a surrogate older brother to a dozen other Yurok boys and girls who call themselves the @ancestral_guard, Sammy doesn’t have the luxury of enjoying his youth… … “Our ancestors said that when the salmon go, our people will too,” adds @jonlukegensaw . “And we’re seeing that because of the dam on the Klamath River, because of overfishing, and now because of climate change, the salmon aren’t coming back in the numbers they used to.”… … “This isn’t magic,” adds Sammy. “This prophecy is coming true in the most real way. We used to spend all day on the river fishing. We would sell some of it to tourists to pay for our electricity bills and we would eat the rest. When the fish stopped running, we couldn’t pay our bills. Then we had to rely on gas stations for our dinner. And people my generation lost purpose, got into drugs and are now in prison. We don’t have the luxury to relax. We are trying desperately to survive.” … We have had the privilege to spend a few weeks with the @ancestral_guard documenting the work they’re doing to maintain Yurok culture among youth and teaching kids to fight the very real pressures of the outside world – to survive as a generation til the dam is taken down in a few years and the salmon hopefully start thriving once more… ... drones by @renan_ozturk and @daharbfilm … ... On location for @gatherfilm with @petergensaw @zechariah_gabel @uriahcheng @lindsaymccovey @riseupranch @weesh_com @tanya_meillier @chzamag @frau_mit_katze @jenbuffett @fndi303 @taylorfreesolo @siixuutesna @sterlinharjo @coastymathanuuma at Yurok Tribe

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2018 recap – post 4. April. … “There were once 60 million buffalo roaming North America. Imagine the sound of those hooves,” shared Fred DuBray of the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation.... ... “Mighty herds roamed the entire continent and almost every ecosystem was organized around the buffalo. When the settlers killed the buffalo to exterminate us and when they replaced buffalo with cattle, well, they sealed their own fate.” … “I wasn’t successful in bringing back the herds. When I was younger I imagined that we could bring back hundreds of thousands of buffalo from the 23 that remained at the turn of the last century. But our herds are small. That’s why I’m glad that my children @elsiedubray and @beaudubray are interested.” … Based on a tip (literally a mention by a friend of a friend), we traveled to the Cheyenne River Sioux Rez to meet young Elsie who, at the age of 17 had already cemented her future. She had place internationally in the Intel Science Fair not for creating an app or finding a star or something seemingly impractical. She focused her energy on proving the superiority of bison to cattle with the goal of changing federal policy, dominated by the ultra-destructive cattle industry… … Bison don’t release methane. Bison don’t need hormones or vitamins. Bison can survive in temperatures that exterminate cattle herds. Bison don’t eat the prairie grass to their roots. Bison have been in North America for millions of years and regulate plant, insect and avian life. When the bison were slaughtered and the Great Plains plowed under for wheat and corn, the world lost its THIRD most important carbon sink… (@thresholdpodcast) … “Things are never going to go back to the way they were,” posited Elsie. “But maybe we can make things a little better for our people here. That’s my goal – science and activism can go together.” … Elsie is now a freshman at Stanford. Give her a follow to keep up with her (and to see some incredible footage of bison from her backyard in South Dakota). … Shot for @gatherfilm with @renan_ozturk @tanya_meillier @sterlinharjo @daharbfilm @chzamag @shaandiin @fndi303 @the11thhourproject @medwinroberts @fredericksdubray @jenbuffett at Cheyenne River Indian Reservation

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2018 Recap #3 … Trying to remember my year … (March)... ... “You were the first indigenous nation to be contacted by the Colonizers,” ponders a young Yurok man @sammygensaw while Danielle Hill @backyahdbeauty of the Mashpee-Wampanoag Tribe blinks once in assent, her heavy brown eyes holding the space for Sammy to continue… … “And my tribe was the last, at the edge of the California coast, deep in the redwood forests. But the Colonizers did the same thing to both of us – they destroyed our crops, our foods, our trees and our waters.”… … We sit in a traditional longhouse (nush wetu) on the Rhode Island shore, cold rain lashing at the thatched exterior. A small smokeless fire softly burns. … … This is the history of America between the lines – always present, never acknowledged. Sammy and Danielle and other Natives, for whom this unspoken reality is their identity, assented to be a part of an upcoming film I’m finishing now called Gather (@gatherfilm). I can’t think of an appropriate adjective to describe their participation – generous, magnanimous, kind, these words are all too superficial… … When someone not only opens their present but their past – to reveal the trauma, pain and anguish that define their ancestry and chain their loved ones to a tenuous reality, you just shut up, listen and let their story unfold… ... When Sammy finishes, Danielle exhales slowly and then inexplicably smiles… … “And yet,” she says, “your people, my people - we are all still here…” ... ... “Yes we are,” answers Sammy. “Yes we are.” ... 📷 @taylorfreesolo with @jonlukegensaw @ancestral_guard @renan_ozturk @tanya_meillier @graham.deneen @fndi303 @jenbuffett @the11thhourproject @sterlinharjo @chzamag @daharbfilm at Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Museum

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2 months ago

2018 # 2 … Trying to remember 2018 … … March - #SacredStridesForHealing. “I was up on that ridge overlooking Bears Ears and I heard a shot. Something pierced my thigh and as my leg crumbled, I realized they were shooting at me.” … … I sit by a campfire near Bluff, Utah, listening to a Navajo Elder describe scene-by-scene, battle-by-battle, the fight of indigenous tribes to maintain access to the sacred Bears Ears National Monument. Surrounded by violence in all its forms, the elders fought and won – until Trump was elected and somehow thought it right and just to reverse the course of sanity and comity… … I somehow made it onto a small team of Navajo and Hopi runners which ran from Flagstaff thru Monument Valley to meet runners on legs from the Pueblos, Zuni and Ute Mountain Ute Nations to gather here in Bluff before a final consolidated leg to Bears Ears… … I had run for peace before. I had run for self-transcendence. But I had never run to expunge pain like one does venom – to not simply heal, but to find the root source of trauma by laying oneself bare, yanking that pain out like a tooth and leaving the raw wound to heal or, God forbid, to fester. … But here I was, with a group of young Natives outwardly hoping to reconnect to sacred lands, but each with a purpose of his and her own – to understand the historical and personal journeys that led to them having to fight for lands their ancestors stewarded for 10,000 years and to understand their place in a world that wished their people weren’t still here… … I tried my best to be invisible, to be present and to listen – fully cognizant of my own “otherness” in this sacred space for healing. I did my part, running as many miles as I could each day to lighten the load for the team, but in all honesty, I was surrounded outwardly at all moments by sheer beauty. And that made it even harder to reconcile the breakdowns, meltdowns and shared tears that others were experiencing and the incredible triumph everyone felt when the run stopped and our bare feet sank into the sands of Bears Ears, hearts open to the love and laughter of life… … It was a coming home – bridging a gap of years, decades and lifetimes. at Red Mesa, Arizona

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2 months ago

2018 Recap 1... .... I’m jotting down a series of remembrances from 2018 inspired by a chat I had recently with Dustin Martin @quinnthenavajo of @wings_of_america. He referenced a couple runs we did that, on first recall, happened in 2015 or 2016. I realized shortly thereafter that they actually happened in March – of 2018. I either had a busy year or my brain is melting down. This series is an attempt to conclude which is more accurate … … January. I finished 2017 in New Mexico deciding wisely not to run a workout with the Wings of America National Squad. I asked Dustin what pace the kids would do their mile repeats in. He said 5:10-5:15. Fun, I thought, before I realized we were at 5500 feet in Albuquerque. And thus I ended 2017 with air in my lungs… … In September 2017 I had started production on @gatherfilm (Native American food systems + genocide + rebirth), literally 12 hours after completely finishing @3100film. Not smart, really, but enthusiasm (and blind luck) seemed to guide the project… … Fast forward (finally) to January of 2018 where this post was meant to begin. We had since also started a journalism project to cover Native American food issues by hiring Native photographers and journalists. As a side project, we also committed to doing a couple photo workshops with Native Kids to build the next gen of Native photogs. @taylorfreesolo used her considerable social media might to “gather” a few dozen used digital cameras to donate to kiddos on the White Mountain Apache Rez (Arizona). And she put together a formidable crew of professional outdoor photographers to share some skills (and tons of gear)… … We had former ED of the Native Am. Journalists Assn @kim_baca1 and Sundance fellow @shaandiin and an SUV whose total IG following was in the mid millions - @chrisburkard, @forestwoodward, @renan_ozturk @lsingh @gretacaruso and @taylorfreesolo… … We spent an incredible day on the People’s Farm with co-stars of the upcoming film @gatherfilm - @apachefarmer and @nephi_craig - and a heap of young WM and San Carlos Apache youth – helping the kids tell (and thus control) the stories of their people. @quinnthenavajo joined us there too. … And thus began 2018. at Ndée Bikíyaa, The Peoples' Farm

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3100 origins post 6. @3100film available on @iTunes now - drops all over the interwebs 12/12… … Elephants chased us out of our camp the night before. Jumanda and the Bushman villagers carve out a patch of sand for our crew. Early the next morning word arrives that the ranger patrol has passed… … Gaolo grabs spears and recruits 5 able youth hunters and we’re off… ... There’s no time to walk 12 miles to the first savannah. We drive. Gaolo walks thru a spider’s web of markings and tracks to discern that possibilities for a hunt there are scant. We fire up the trucks and drive 20 miles more – all of which would’ve traditionally been done on foot. … Nowadays, however, the Bushmen face the threat of execution if they’re caught hunting. And hunting isn’t a pastime. They’re are hunting to feed the village… … Gaolo spots a herd of kudu elk and we disembark, grab our gear and set off on what could easily be a 16 hour expedition. A couple hours in, however, the kudu sense our presence and sprint wildly away. Gaolo and the youth are sullen. They stop, light a fire and then light hand-rolled tobacco joints. The film crew rests despondently. We have missed our only chance to film a hunt… … But suddenly Gaolo’s pupils dilate and he begins a slow jog. We see a small antelope leap from behind a bush and begin a run for its life as Gaolo rapidly accelerates. He takes a different route for his sprint than the antelope though. The antelope hits a briar patch and swerves back toward Gaolo’s trajectory. Gaolo literally tackles the animal… …. This is all over in 45 seconds. Gaolo runs so incredibly fast that despite our sprints, Gaolo’s figure disappears into the horizon… … When we catch him, he beckons for a spear, takes the blunt end and breaks the windpipe of the animal… … The villagers will feast that night. 📷 @forestwoodward w: @omarmullick @tanya_meillier @quinnthenavajo

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3100 origins /making of - post 5. @3100film hits the Fibreoptics and Wifis on 12/12… … “Meet us at the tree,” Jumanda exclaims for the 3rd or 4th time, not understanding why this might not be a precise enough direction for the crew and I, who sit in vehicles 2 hours away… … We spent the night before camped out, eating a meal of canned beans and steaks purchased in town. I had presented a sling shot to Gaolo, the hunter, who came to the campfire with a couple handfuls of newly caught songbirds to roast… … The next morning, under the bright sun, Gaolo and J. headed southeast a full 2 hours before the rest of us were to leave. We couldn’t be seen together, even if only as 2 dots on the horizon… … The radio crackled as J. gave us instructions on where to meet him to travel to remote Bushmen villages from which we would stage our hunt. As our crew became more exasperated in our doubt, @tanya_meillier exclaimed, “I think that’s it.”… … On the horizon a massive specimen stood, dwarfing everything for miles. As we came closer, we indeed saw J.’s truck and he and Gaolo sitting on the grass. He smiled at us and said “You made it. Let’s go.”… … Two hours later we were setting up camp just north of one of the more isolated areas in the Kalahari… tbc... 📷 @forestwoodward at Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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3100 Origins post 4. @3100film hits digital platforms 12/12… … “If rangers see us hunting, they will shoot us on site,” whispers Jumanda as we speak in a tourist café. It might not be the brightest place to meet. A few tables over, all of the local tour operators are gathered, discussing the government’s total ban on outside film crews…. … “These foreign film crews lie on their applications and we get penalized,” complains one operator. My team smirks for we too are guilty – in the country to film a bogus travel show when in fact J. is going to take us deep into forbidden territory… … “My friend Gaolo is a great hunter,” adds J. “But he has been banned from living in the Kalahari Desert where our people have lived for thousands of years. In the resettlement camp, he has nothing but a bottle of alcohol. There is nothing for him there. He will come and take us on a hunt. Remember, the government policy is ‘shoot and kill’. If they see us hunting, they will shoot us and ask questions after.”… … He isn’t joking. In an attempt to completely destroy ancestral knowledge and the Bushmen’s hope of returning to their old ways, the govt has banned hunting… … The base-camp town, Maun, is small and gossip travels fast about this film crew that keeps to itself and wants no assistance from locals. Furthermore we have to get a government permit for J. to be our guide. He is on dozens of govt watchlists as a Bushman activist. We spend a couple nervous days before we’re adequately geared-up for 3 weeks in the desert… … The Kalahari is a foreboding place. We are warned that if we break down, it could likely be weeks before we see another vehicle. There are no water sources if we run out, much less gas stations… … Meanwhile, Gaolo is on a bus from the resettlement camp to meet us in Maun. He arrives and we immediately embark in a makeshift caravan of Toyotas, keeping a few miles between us and J. lest people think we’re traveling together… … Our crew make it thru the checkpoints and wait nervously as the Bushmen are stopped and questioned. They’re finally released and we throttle it into the Kalahari, to disappear from prying eyes. 📷 @forestwoodward

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3100 post 3. @3100film goes on Digital 12/12… … July 2015. @survivalinternational is one of the most vaunted NGOs in the world. They’ve taken on the hardest fights. Their employees’ identities are closely guarded but I’m able to reach out to the director Stephen Corry. On a Skype call I mention my desire to film a persistence hunt with the Bushmen of the Kalahari who in 1997 were forcibly removed from their homeland at the behest of mining companies. Survival Intl took up their fight, won a landmark court case and was subsequently banned from the country… … Hunting, however, is still illegal and Stephen expresses great reservations that I’ll be able to convince any Bushmen to let me film a hunt, which are still held surreptitiously. These hunts also can take 48 hours of chasing game on foot. But, if anyone can help you, he says, it’s an activist named Jumanda…. … Are the Bushmen worried about being filmed, I ask Jumanda. J. says "No. We have nothing to fight for than our ancestral ways. We want the world to know our plight and we are ready to die." I express concerns but J. says "We need teams like yours to come here to share our story”… … There is no way the government would let us enter the country should they learn our intentions. But we do need a permit to film in the Kalahari. And we don’t want the burden of having a government wildlife guide. So we can’t claim to be shooting a special on giraffes. I tell the permit office that we’re filming a reality show on my parents’ honeymoon in Botswana in ’72. My parents were in Africa then and drove thru Central Africa. I send photos of my parents in a Land Rover. They were nowhere near Botswana, but old photos faxed to the Ministry are convincing… … J. and Corry mention should the govt catch us filming in Bushmen villages, much less a hunt, our crew would face an uncertain fate. But the Kalahari is gigantic and we would have to be extremely unlucky to be caught. And the Bushmen are ultra-savvy. Follow their lead and we’ll be all right… … Our crew heads to Botswana within days of getting our permit, amongst the last before a total ban on filming. 📷 @forestwoodward at Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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3100 origins -post 2 – the film hits @itunes, @amazon, Google Play 12/12... “What do birds do when the sun rises?” a Navajo teacher asks his young students. … After a moment of hesitation, the kids posit, “They sing!” … “What do flowers do?” the Teacher questions, his voice rising with enthusiasm. … “They open!” shout the children, feeding off this energy. … “What do Navajo people do when the sun rises?” I feel like I’m in a church. … The kids are losing their minds and scream “They run!” … A few months before, my producers and I were sitting in a small office in Santa Fe waiting for a tall British man named Will to end a phone call as a young Navajo man filed paperwork…. … “What can I do for you,” bellowed Will… … I explained the premise of our movie: the 3100 + ancestral running and Will cut me off. “I know Sri Chinmoy. I’ve meditated with him dozens of times.” I stare blankly at him. Will explains. “I spent my 20s in New York City and my best friend was a student of Sri Chinmoy and brought me to dozens of meditations at the UN. In fact that friend gave this organization its first major grant.”.. … As it happens, that friend’s wife lived one block away from me in Queens. And his son and I came of age together in NYC as well. I just had never known of the connection to this Native Running organization, @wings_of_america … … The young Navajo man, @quinnthenavajo chimes in. “If you want to know about the spiritual side of Navajo running, you need to meet Shaun Martin.”… … And, so the next morning we drive to the Navajo reservation. Along the way, Dustin asks me about other films I had made. I mention Food Chains with Eva Longoria. As it happens, Dustin and his roommate had randomly chosen to watch it a few nights before not knowing I had directed it… … And when we meet Shaun (A teacher and champion ultra runner) and tell him about the 3100, he has heard of it, understands the spiritual element of the race and exclaims how no filmmaker had yet to portray Navajo running authentically. And if we were truly committed to the spiritual aspects, he would show us sides of Navajo running no outsiders have been allowed to document. at Chinle, Arizona

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