KetanTanna profiles Jason Lewis, a man who has led an amazing life and now devotes his life to the world of Â environment and inspiring children.
Jason Lewis is a man extraordinaire. The 47 year old from Yorkshire in England dons many hats, that of an explorer, an author and a speaker and formerly that of a part time musician who wore Viking hats in the evenings at his music gigs, dodged rotten tomatoesâ€™ and eggs thrown by a jeering audiences and during the day time undertook contract cleaning business in London. The Viking hats music singer avatar and the carÂ contract cleanerÂ persona have since long gone and has given way to a man who has many firsts to his credit- the first person to circumnavigate the globe by human power, the first person to cross North America on inline skates (1996), the first to cross the Pacific Ocean by pedal power (2000).
Together with his friend Stevie Smith, Lewis also crossed Atlantic from mainland Europe to North America by human power in 1994.Â Incidentally his boat was called Moksh or salvation. Jason was hailed as the last great first for circumnavigationâ€, by the London Sunday Times. Naturally, he has innumerable experiences along the way -13 years and 40,505 mile journeys. to be precise.
After the explorer face, he then turned an author andÂ Â wrote The Expedition trilogy; Dark Waters, The Seed Buried Deep and To The Brink. He could have made half a million pounds writing his experiences. But a big publisher wanted the book in a jiffy and assigned a ghost author to quickly dish it out. The ghost writer sat with him for a day or two and the outcome of the session so disturbed JasonÂ that he just gave up the idea and decided to write himself. Fortunately, the books sold very well and won many prestigious awards.
As for half a million PoundsÂ that he rejected in the process, Jason has no regrets. â€œI would have never been able to sleep properly if I had sold myself to that publisherâ€, he says, as a matter-of-fact. For now, he stays with his partner, Tammie Stevens and two adorable pets, a dog named Lazarus and a cat named Mau. The cat has a damaged vertebra and cannot walk properly but when Jason or Tammie areÂ home at their rented house in Colorado, Mau makes a song and dance in welcoming them with unbridled pleasure, forgetting that his vertebra has been damaged.
Jason has taken cue from Mau and says that the cat is an inspiration for him. â€œMau refuses to recognize that he has a damaged body and gives all to life with unbridled feelings and joyâ€, smiles Jason softly, perhaps remembering that not long back he too had a massive accident in Colorado, suffering compounded fractures to both his legs. He was advised amputation of left leg (below the knee and after extensive rehabilitation including metal; rods in each tibia, he managed to start walking.
This kind of life has inspired and helped Jason to become an accomplished speaker and motivator who travels the world motivating people and through X360, a nonprofit organization, he and his team use adventure both as an educational tool and empowering children across the globe. Over 850 schools have had the fortune of hearing Jason and his team and tens of thousands of students have participated and benefited from this programme.
Jasonâ€™s passion for the last few yearsâ€™ is environment sustainability and how school children and citizens can avoid further environment degradation.
Tammie StevensÂ who works with an animal shelter in Colarado also champions the cause of self sustainability without degrading the environment. Schools and institutions such as Govardhan Eco Village at Wada in Thane (www.govardhannursery.com ) has inspired them a lot.
Tammie and Jason can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org