All posts by storyuntold

Aaron Williams: “It’s pretty hard to pry yourself away from [a forest fire]”



Aaron Williams remembers the first forest fire that left him awestruck. The author of Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir, Williams has spent ten seasons fighting blazes across the vast forests of Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, and Idaho — a run that puts him well beyond most firefighters who spend two or three seasons in the … Continue reading Aaron Williams: “It’s pretty hard to pry yourself away from [a forest fire]”


Marissa Korda: “Loneliness is human and that’s okay”



Marissa Korda has spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be lonely. The creator of The Loneliness Project — billed as “a digital space to cultivate compassion” — Korda has received over a thousand stories from around the world about the experience of loneliness. It all started as a passion project … Continue reading Marissa Korda: “Loneliness is human and that’s okay”


Ryan Robinson: “If you fail enough times, it starts to look like success”



The first time Ryan Robinson set foot on a slackline, he swore he’d never do it again. An Ironman competitor and rock climber who grew up near Sacramento, California, he ventured onto a line at his local climbing gym, waiting until everyone had left. “I didn’t want anyone to see me do it and fail,” … Continue reading Ryan Robinson: “If you fail enough times, it starts to look like success”


Travis Gerrits: “There’s so much more to an individual than their diagnosis”



When it comes to highs and lows, Travis Gerrits is something of an expert. One of the top freestyle skiers in Canada, he is also part of a rising tide in sports: athletes using their platform to raise awareness about mental health. For Gerrits, the issue took on greater significance after being diagnosed with bipolar … Continue reading Travis Gerrits: “There’s so much more to an individual than their diagnosis”


One List, One Life: “We’ve got to enjoy every little [moment] we’ve got”



What would you do if you found out you had a year left to live? Since September of 2017, Chris Betancourt has been facing that question in earnest. The Carmichael, California-based 20-year-old had just started his first year of college, intent on becoming a police officer, when he got the news: His cancer — chronic … Continue reading One List, One Life: “We’ve got to enjoy every little [moment] we’ve got”


Kevin Vallely: “The Arctic is melting twice as fast as anywhere on Earth”



Kevin Vallely remembers well when he first felt the call of the Arctic. As a child growing up in Montreal, the architect and adventurer’s father would regale him with stories of working as a radio operator in northern Labrador. “It was just a brutal, harsh place, yet strangely enticing and magnificent as well,” says Vallely. … Continue reading Kevin Vallely: “The Arctic is melting twice as fast as anywhere on Earth”


Chris Urquhart: “All travellers are freaks, really”



Few have captured the experience of life on the road as Chris Urquhart has — not the family vacation kind, but the dumpster-diving, punk house-squatting kind. At age 22, Urquhart, the author of Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America’s Nomads, set out to follow young, often homeless, teen and twenty-something travellers across the United States. … Continue reading Chris Urquhart: “All travellers are freaks, really”


Mikael Lindnord: “Arthur has changed everything for me”



Few stories are as timeless as a man and his dog. For Mikael Lindnord and his mongrel, Arthur, the story is one for the ages. Few could have predicted the circumstances that would bring them together: a chance encounter during the 2014 Adventure Racing World Championship in the mountainous jungles of Ecuador. An extreme endurance … Continue reading Mikael Lindnord: “Arthur has changed everything for me”


Eric Drozd: “[We] need curious people to ask the right questions”



Mention the name Eric Drozd in Waterloo Region, and you’re bound to get a reaction. For close to three years, the Mississauga native hosted the Region’s biggest talk radio show on 570 News, drawing callers from across Southwestern Ontario. At 28 years old, Drozd stepped into the host’s chair and carved a lane as a … Continue reading Eric Drozd: “[We] need curious people to ask the right questions”


Keagan Girdlestone: “My chance to live was pretty much zero”



They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle. South Africa’s Keagan Girdlestone is living proof. At 19 years of age in 2016, the Pretoria native was rising fast in the world of cycling, already the youngest ever champion in the history of New Zealand’s Le Race, and a former under-16 national champion in … Continue reading Keagan Girdlestone: “My chance to live was pretty much zero”