10 Essential Questions: Todd Curtis

Meet Todd Curtis, a paramedic and guide for National Geographic, who also works for Remote Medical International where he finds the opportunity to influence the next generation of outdoors to be a privilege.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
March 04, 2016

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to ....

Name: Todd Curtis
Hometown: Cooperstown, NY
Member Since: December 2015
Occupation: Remote Paramedic and Guide for National Geographic and instructor for Remote Medical International
Favorite Activities: Mountaineering, climbing (rock & ice), sea kayaking, skiing, camping, hiking, backpacking, photography, and travel

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I have been keeping an eye on The Mountaineers for several years because I believe in what they do and have loved the Pacific Northwest since an Outward Bound trip here when I was 16. I didn't join previously because I was rarely in the area and couldn't see a justification for the cost. With my job at Remote Medical International based here in Seattle, I am able to spend more time in this area and participate in the many activities The Mountaineers offer. I taught a WFA class for RMI and The Mountaineers in Seattle, and look forward to a long time relationship both as a member and an instructor.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I enjoy the outdoors in many forms. The majority of the year, 6-9 months, is spent working there in a professional capacity. The opportunity to experience the outdoors with like minded individuals in a non-professional capacity just adds to the enjoyment.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

Teaching the Wilderness First Aid course to the youth group was a true pleasure. The opportunity to influence the next generation of outdoors people is a privilege.

Who/What inspires you?

My students inspire me with their enthusiasm and wonderment. I am blessed to teach people who truly want to learn, in a field were it's easy for people to see a direct correlation between what they are learning and their real world. One group I taught was able to save a pregnant woman in labor a week after my class when she went into cardiac arrest. It doesn't get any more fulfilling than that.

I am also inspired and challenged by a close group of friends around me. Their life experiences, intellectual curiosity, resilience, and desire to explore new places and things pushes me to be a better person. The fact that I get to do all this in places like Seattle, Alaska, Africa, Mongolia, etc. just makes it so much better.

What does adventure mean to you?

Life in all of its sticky, messy, and challenging ways. I like to say when I am going on a trip that the adventure begins when I step on a plane to leave home and ends when I return to the place I am currently calling home, everything in between is part of the adventure.

When I am actively seeking "adventure" I look for activities that I enjoy in places or seasons I've never been to. Engaging in those activities with my friends makes the experience more pleasurable.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Other: The sunrise highlights the beginning of a new day of possibilities, while sunset adds beauty to the reflection of what you accomplished and experienced that day.
Smile or game face? Other: I feel like other is my default. I try to live my life optimistically, tempered with the reality I see in my work, so I can't turn down a smile. But being in the zone with your game face on is incredibly rewarding.
What's your happy place? Being in the outdoors with someone I care about. It can be sitting on a beach in Everglades National Park, having lunch atop a mountain outside Seattle after a nice hike, or walking through a market in a city or country I've never been to.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Chai tea latte and a locally based meal. Part of experiencing a culture for me is eating locally sourced food.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be?  Ice climbing. The ability to read a waterfall and pick a route, place screws, and dance up the ice is a gift that only experience brings.

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