Monday, May 17, 2010

I love Martin Fish Man Strel

Many of you may already know about Martin Strel, but by living in my tiny self imposed cocoon, I had not... 

Not until this weekend that is.  

I spent the weekend with some very good, long time friends.  In addition to a lovely, healing reunion with them and their son, I also got to work with a most incredible traditional healer (Shaman) that I've wanted to work with for years.  And to top it all off, I got  watch a little cable.  Saturday afternoon was our ceremony and that evening, afterward, I was so full of energy, I could not sleep.  My friend and I watched the Green Planet, on the Discovery Channel, and there  we got sucked into the documentary, Big River Man.  This is the documentary about Martin's famous Amazon swim.

In 2007, Martin swam from Peru to freaking BRAZIL!!!  The FULL LENGTH of the AMAZON!   I was stunned.  He swam 3375 miles from Atalaya, Peru to Belem, Brazil i in 66 days! He did a lot of it drunk, hungover, and the last bit he was also battling parasites in his brain.  We missed the beginning part of the documentary, so we couldn't understand what this guy's motivation for such a treacherous insane feat.  Apparently, he is calling attention to saving our waters and rain forests.  His attitude and habits and mind set are drastically inverse in the most fundamental ways from the typical athlete.  He is over weight, does not listen to his doctors, swims off without warning, and has been known to imbibe regularly during his record breaking swims!  The rebel in me adores him for that, and the caring individual me is sad for that.  But regardless of what I think or feel, he is an outrageously lovable character who's single minded goal has done more to bring attention to his passion of saving our fellow trees and sister rivers and lakes and oceans than anything I can remember.

I got me a new hero.


Ms. Moon said...

Dang. I have never heard of him either! And I actually have the Discovery Channel. I will look for him.
He sounds amazing.

Petit fleur said...

Yea, his story is a rather mind blowing one. He spent most of his childhood in a barn on his parents property to avoid his drunken abusive father. In the documentary, they briefly describe how Martin, running from his father, jumped in the river and swam to escape. His father ran along side waiting for Martin to tire. He didn't. He kept on swimming and has been ever since. As sue would say, pretty cosmic.

Rebecca said...

"I also got to work with a most incredible traditional healer" (please explain what a traditional healer is)

parasites in his brain??!! What do you do for that? Antibiotics?

All This Trouble... said...

I read your post earlier then stood up to get the phone, stepped on a piece of glass, passed out, came to, husband treated and released me to feel free to comment on your blog.

I love Martin Strel!!!! He is not a pussy like me. He doesn't pass out. He swims and swims and swims. It's on my Netflix but I didn't think the documentary was out yet. Netflix promised to notify me!

Petit fleur said...


Welcome! Sorry about your foot. Yikes. You are not a pussy!

The Doc. is on the channel I mentioned, and I think it can be purchased... Not sure if it is available on NF yet though.

Petit fleur said...

Hey Rebecca,

Jade Wahoo is a medicine man of Mongolian lineage. He is a Shaman.

I'm not sure what they did about the parasites. He may well have drowned the little suckers in booze!

Seriously, he looked like he was in shock for a while, quite non responsive and stuck in the "4th dimension". That's what someone called it in the documentary. I don't know how he pulled out. I will research that as I'm curious myself.
Talk soon,

Danielle said...

very impressive after all..but still i hav eto say..swimming with the river isnt really hard...when i was a kid i often swamm through the river on my grandparents property throught the forest intoi the next town..which is about 3 miles away...when you swimm with the water you can do that very quickly...err..and yes i know i was weird grandmother always flipped out because of this riverswimming..well i did it only one summer long...

Petit fleur said...

Hey Danielle,

I think that this is a bit different... The Amazon is disgustingly polluted and is chock full of predators and those crazy spike fish things that like to swim into your willie hole, and bacteria of all sorts. Hell, they guy was swimming past dead bodies!

Check out his website. He rocks.

And I don't think you're weird. You were just being a boy!