Hi there,
My name is Sjoerd,
and this summer I’ll be your outdoor guide on Real Men Rock the Alps.

Freissinières, our location in the Alps,
has become my second home over the last decade.
I’m proud to be able to welcome you here.


Why do I return to the mountains every year?

All these years I’ve been going to the Alps, and it feels like a kind of pilgrimage.
In essence it’s my way of connecting to the rough, unpolished,
beautiful, pure nature.

This direct connection with nature gives me energy and inspires me.
Most importantly, it connects me with myself
in a way I just can’t find at home in the Netherlands.

Meeting people here with the same passion and urge
is like meeting people you already know somehow.


The following words sum it all up for me:

‘Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve,

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they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.

I go to them as humans go to worship.

From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and,

with an unusual acuity, am allowed to experience the present moment.

My vision cleared, my strength renewed.

In the mountains I celebrate creation.

On each journey I am viagra cialis coupon http://canadapharmacybestnorx.com/ reborn.’

(Words on the Anatoli Boukreev memorial at the Annapurna Basecamp)


Back Home
I’m excited to go to the Alps again.
Back to the mountains.
Are you ready to join us on this adventure?

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All the best,
Sjoerd

Sjoerd

Yes, we went to the Alps, and yes, we rocked it:
We were eight men, for seven days, off the grid.
Rising with the early morning sunshine.
Without the usual distractions. Just us, and the Alps.

We climbed rocks, kayaked down rivers, hiked up a mountain peak
and meditated in the first rays of dawn.

We swam in ice cold glacier water each morning,
and learned to relax in it’s intensity.


One of the most memorable moments for me: 

We had been hiking for a few days, from 1100m in the valley,
to the peak of the mountain at 3100m and back again.

We had slept under the stars at 2400m,
and taken our morning swim in the freezing mountain lake.

After coming down the slopes, and walking in silence for a couple of hours,
we reached an amazing place in nature.
We had taken in the beauty, the sounds, and the many colored sights
of the mountains.

Feet touching the ground, stillness within, we reached an incredible waterfall:
full of power and life energy.
On the mountain slope, looking out over the valley, the sun shining upon us,
we stood next to this rumbling force of nature.

After a silent Qi Gong practice, we decided to take our morning shower here.
A group of men, naked in the warm sunshine,
ice cold water pouring down on us, nothing but nature around…
Back to our roots…

Nothing was needed but our physical body
and the ground we stood upon: total simplicity.

This was by far one of the best showers I ever took,
and such an invigorating and alive moment on our trip.

After this, the only thing I wanted was to keep walking in silence
and experience the beauty all around me:
water dripping from the rocks, little plants and flowers
in all their colored radiance, dappled sunshine through the trees…

This is why I wanted to Rock the Alps
I wrote a blog before about it before: This is it.
It’s nothing complicated, it is actually very simple.

We might use a lot of different practices and exercises,
meditations and activities, but in the end I believe it’s all about this:
being fully present in the moment.

Experiencing the aliveness of THIS, right now.
I mean, what else is there?

The deeper practice of being Real
This Alps week, as part of the Real Men Project,
has taught us to allow more of what life brings.

By taking on those challenges. By jumping in that cold water, and staying in.
By tackling that fear of heights.
By showing yourself, even though it feels fucking vulnerable.
By staying with it, whatever it is.

Without resisting, we learn to instead stay open.

This nourishes a deep presence in us,
in which we can remain open and alive in every situation.

And of course, on this path we stumble and fall, we fuck up.
And we get back up. We are in no way perfect.
And we don’t have to be.

We support, mirror, and learn from each other.
We teach each other.
This brotherhood of Real Men is not about competition or proving yourself,
it’s about becoming clear.
It helps us to see what’s truly important for us.
It helps us to make the choices that really matter.

Roald

P.S. Thanks for reading!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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It is an art to be fully present, here and now.
Because if you stop and think about it:

How often do you spend your time in thoughts about things?

How much time do you live  “in” your smartphone,
computer screen or television?

How much of your day goes by,
thinking about the past and fussing about the future?

All these moments we might think that we’re present,
but we’re actually spending time in a virtual world.
A world made of thoughts.

What’s happening right now

Right now, in this very moment, blood flows through your body.
Your lungs are expanding and contracting, air is flowing in and out.

Your body is warm, about 37 degrees, and most of
your physical organism is in a state of flow and relaxation.
Yes, ok… But can you feel it?

Does reading these words make you more aware?
Maybe you suddenly feel your breath,
or become aware of your heart beating in your chest.

There is a continuous aliveness in us, it is what we are.
We are alive, in each and every moment.
But how often do we actually feel this?

Tricked by the mind

Our thoughts are tricky things. They tell us that the warmth,
relaxation and flow in our body isn’t worth our time.
That this aliveness is boring.

“There is a next moment we need to get to. Quickly!”

We’ve become so used to ignoring our physical sensations,
that we’ve started missing out on life.

Instead of being fully aware, we hunt for the next gadget,
the next beautiful woman,
or the next whatever it is that we crave for in life.

Why? Because we believe that when we get that next thing,
we’ll feel happy, fulfilled, better.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

But reaching for the next moment is just a detour,
which will eventually lead us back to the present.
Which is all there is. Here. Now.

If you truly feel all the sensations
happening inside your body,
it gives a sense of incredible wellbeing.

You’ll feel like a cat purring: totally at ease, nowhere to go.
This wellbeing is always here.
It’s is what I call embodied presence.

Foundations

And this is one of the things we focus on with our work.
It’s about touching home within yourself.

Being close to your inner experience
makes for a deeper connection with others as well.

It makes it easier to lead a life
that’s aligned with who you are and what you believe in.

You don’t have to work hard for it.
It’s already here.

 

Over to you

Why not take two minutes to try it out?
Start with a few full deep breaths,
and then just feel which sensations are present.

Don’t underestimate them.
Your mind might be quick to dismiss the experience.
Be sure to catch it, and allow yourself to slow down.

If you do this regularly, well,
you’ll have to find out for yourself…

 

Thanks for reading!
Feel free to share your experience
in the comments below
Roald

 

 

 

 

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