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A message of fitness from on high
James Mills of Expedition Denali, the first team of black climbers to attempt to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley.
June 19th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

A message of fitness from on high

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – Right now, there's a group of people tackling the highest mountain in North America – Mount McKinley in Alaska, also known as Mount Denali.

Expedition Denali is made-up of nine members, ranging in age from 18-56, coming from varied professional and career backgrounds. A week and a half into their climb, the group is set to hit the summit very soon. One other note about the group – all of its members are African-American. The team is attempting to become the first group of black men and women to stand atop North America's highest mountain – 20,156 feet high

The makeup of the expedition was by design. It was organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School, with an aim to stir young people, in particuar minorities, to see the value of outdoor recreation and preservtion. James Mills is part of the effort, an African-American who's been an avid outdoor athlete most of his life:

           [1:36] "Our goal is to let people of color, especially young people, know that it's cool to spend time outdoors in nature. It's fun to spend time outdoors in nature."

James Mills is also a freelance journalist. The climb is for his effort The Joy Trip Project, and he's documenting it for National Geographic.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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Filed under: Culture • Health • Nature • Soundwaves • Sports
Would you pay for pain?
A car accident at age 16 left Michael Mills (left) paralyzed from the waist down. But he joined dozens of other men and women from all walks of life for the Go Ruck Challenge in Atlanta in late May.
June 7th, 2013
05:00 PM ET

Would you pay for pain?

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - A lot of people that show up at a bar at one in the morning are probably wrapping up an evening of drinks with friends or a date that's gone well enough to last that long.

But if you were one of the several dozen folks who rolled into The Independent in Midtown Atlanta on the Friday before Memorial Day, your night was just getting started, and drinks were not on the menu.

These brave (or crazy) men and women had paid nearly $100 bucks to stay up all night and do some of the most grueling manual labor of their lives. Oh, and they would be yelled at the whole time. This is Go Ruck.

There are tons of obstacle races out there, but Go Ruck is not a race. There are no winners. In fact, you're punished if you surpass your team.

Go Ruck is U.S. Army Special Forces training for the everyman. It's push-ups and crabwalks, swimming and simulated operations. And all of it is done wearing a backpack stuffed with 55 pounds of weights.

In fact, that backpack is what started it all. It's called the GR-1 and it was created by a former Green Beret turned entrepreneur named Jason McCarthy. He says it was inspired by the ones he used in combat:

[1:23] "Here we had this bag, right? And we spent a lot of time on it. A couple years. But yet no one wanted to buy it."

Inspired by the exploding trend of obstacle races and the sense of teamwork he felt from his service, he started Go Ruck as essentially a marketing campaign for the backpacks. And it exploded. Since the first Go Ruck challenge in 2010 more than 12,000 people have participated in countries across the world.

So why do people pay for pain? Jason says it's all about learning that you're stronger than you think.

[6:37] "I think that when you show people what they're capable of, I think it's kind of like a drug. You see the world in a different place and you say this isn't that hard. Other stuff that you're doing, it's not that hard. And this is true of life as well. So, the popularity is just based on people seeing a better side of themselves and humanity."

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.


Filed under: Behavior • Health • Soundwaves • Sports • Stories
Drawing the line between being sick and being human
May 17th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

Drawing the line between being sick and being human

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LibbyLewisCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – It used to be, if you were gay, you were considered mentally ill.

It’s a good example of how the lines are drawn between what we decide is illness, and what we decide is just being human.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Health • Soundwaves • Stories
Trauma and the mind
The Cleveland, Ohio house where three women, who had disappeared ten years ago, were found alive on May 7, 2013.
May 10th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Trauma and the mind

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

(CNN) - This week all eyes were on Cleveland, Ohio as three women held captive for ten years emerged.

Amid the considerable joy there were also concerns. These women are physically out of danger but what about their minds? Experts say their experience must  have been quite traumatic.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Health • Soundwaves • Stories
No limits for amputee doctor
April 26th, 2013
11:22 AM ET

CNN Profiles: After Boston, you will dance again

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Dr. Sanjay Gupta was talking about the signature injury of the Boston Massacre last night on CNN: the limb wounds that have led to amputations.

He explained how some survivors still face a choice in the coming days and weeks over whether to try to save a limb, or let it go forever.

It can be, Dr. Gupta said, a choice between form and function.

There are actually some cases where one can survive with a badly damaged leg but would actually increase their mobility and the functionality of that leg by having it amputated and replacing it with a high quality prosthesis (many of which are not, by the way, covered by insurance.)

Form or function?

Our guest on this edition of CNN Profiles had to make such a choice.

His name is Dr. Jeff Cain. He is chief of family medicine at Denver Children's Hospital. FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • CNN Profiles • Health • Voices
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