35 an inspiring short by Fitz Cahall


Few films successfully convey the true spirit of the ecstatic existence. A new short by Fitz Cahall reveals much of the mystery behind the idea that at the heart of a life well lived is joy and the serious work of play.

Called simply 35 the movie depicts the birthday challenge of climber Derek Craig. In celebration of his natal anniversary he attempts 35 pitches of hard desert rock climbing from dawn until well after sundown. As he ticks off each ascent to mark the years of his life he narrates the motivation that inspires not the passage of time, the minutes of each day but the ecstasy in every waking moment.image

“When I reach that final minute on that final day I won’t think about shitty bosses or what happened on Facebook,” he says in the film. “I’ll remember riding my bike on the city streets at night, gravel roads that stretch on forever and all the highs and lows of family. Standing in the middle of icy rivers wondering what it’s like to be fish and making pretty girls laugh. And friends of course friends. I try to collect moments. I step back and look at the movie of my life because it’s easy to miss the good stuff, the magic when it happens. I try really hard to realize it when it’s amazing. And even when it’s not.”

35 is an elegant reminder of what each of us can look forward to in life if only we take the time to truly live. Rather than making lists of things we might do on a distant someday Craig insists that we choose instead to recount those many things we’ve done to seek and enjoy happiness.

“I think it all adds up somewhere and when it does you’re not just doing something, you’re being something,” he says. “And what I want to be is happy, inspired and excited.”

While other films might profess a working knowledge of how best to avoid the hum-drum drudgeries of the work-a-day life 35 offers an illustrated guide. Provided sage advice for finding your bliss viewers will realize they need look no further than the very next moment.

35 from ARC’TERYX on Vimeo.

The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support of sponsors Patagonia, Rayovac and the New Belgium Brewing Company

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.