Calvin Bond is a photographer, writer, and wanderer. He runs the adventure blog www.sporkandflask.com, and wrote the book “ACHILLES: A Meditation on Purpose & Inspirational Living”. Read more to see why we chose him as our #MCM this week.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
I live for adventure. I've thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the John Muir Trail; I've lived out of the trunk of my Corolla for months at a time; I've road-tripped over 25,000 miles in the last 18 months; I've endured 10 hour adventure races and 40 mile hikes; I've traversed the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in one day; I've seen 32 of the 59 National Parks and (27 in the last 18 months). I live for these moments. I try to preserve and share them through my photography and writing.
2. What motivates you?
Wanderlust. If I’m not out traveling, I’m usually planning my next trip or hustling to save up for it. Coffee is a good motivator too.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
My Mom. Undoubtedly the most impactful person in my life. She’s such an incredible woman – kind, incredibly smart, and absolutely hilarious. My Dad passed away when I was 7, and she raised 3 kids on her own. She is amazing.
4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?
Hah. Well, it’s been an interesting ride. I’ve drawn out a little map (below), but here’s a quick rundown. I graduated from Georgia Tech in 2011 with a degree in Civil Engineering. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail after graduating, then worked for a commercial construction company for 2 years. After realizing that construction was not my passion in life, I left that job and set out to find out my passions.
I thru-hiked the John Muir Trail then spent 6 months working a handful of odd jobs. Last February, I set out on an unplanned month-long roadtrip, which set forth a year and a half of travels. Since then I’ve not stayed in any one place for more than 5 months at a time. I’ve worked as a photographer at a ski resort in Aspen, as a photo booth attendant in Atlanta, and as a writer in L.A..
5. What's your future plan? Your goals?
I want to continue traveling and adventuring while improving my photography, videography, and writing abilities. Whatever allows me to do that works for me. One major goal I have is to see all the U.S. National Parks by the time I’m 30. I’ve seen 32 total (27 in the last 18 months) and I have 27 to go, with 30 months left.
6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Life is short. Our days are finite and they could come to an end at any moment. Find what you enjoy most - what you love, what you live for - and pursue the hell out of that. Go after it. Work your butt off for it. Fight for what you really care about. At the end of your days, you won’t look back regretting moments when you were fighting for your dreams.
7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
So I wrote a book and I’m donating all profits to someone I’ve never met before. Travis “Achilles” Williams was a Motivational Fitness Icon who was tragically killed in an accident in March 2015. Though his time was limited, his feats were not. He co-founded Team Fitness, a premier personal-training brand in the Southeast; he co-founded The A-to-Z Project, a charity, and helped multitudes struggling worldwide; and he helped raise a daughter, Azarria, passing on his adventurous spirit, teaching her how to live with purpose.
I wrote a biography of Achilles and I'm donating all profits to a college trust fund for his daughter, Azarria. The book is a celebration of his legacy. An engaging reflection on how life is supposed to be lived, it is a compilation of Achilles’ works, accented with exclusive interviews, celebrating a life of passion and adventure.
The book is an all-out inspirational roller coaster that is guaranteed to change lives worldwide. It really makes you reconsider life, its brevity, and its purpose. By the end there will be a fire of inspiration burning within you.
A Kickstarter campaign runs until 9/16 to fundraise for the bulk publishing and distribution of the book and a link is below. Don’t miss the chance to snag a copy!
8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
Depends on your version of cool. Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail was cool. I officiated the wedding of some friends, so it was pretty cool to be a part of their special day. One time I ate 12 snickers in 1 hour, on a bet (note: DON’T DO THAT). Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in one day was pretty cool too.
Check Calvin's blog post about it HERE.
9. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about.
Definitely check out the Achilles video if you haven’t yet! I’ve put over 1000 hours of labor into the project because I know this book will make an impact, both on Azarria and on anyone who reads it. Here are a few more resources:
If you would like to reach out to Calvin Bond for mentorship/networking opportunities, you can reach him HERE.