Adventurer, mountain guide and climber Jeff Evans bringing his ‘no limits’ attitude to Naples

Erik Weihenmayer, Jeff Evans and Aaron 'Ike' Isaacson of the team 'No Limits' treks across Morocco's Lake Bin el Ouidane on the 'Expedition Impossible' show on ABC. Evans will be speaking in Naples next week to share his experiences as an adventurer and mountain guide.

Photo by Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

Erik Weihenmayer, Jeff Evans and Aaron "Ike" Isaacson of the team "No Limits" treks across Morocco's Lake Bin el Ouidane on the "Expedition Impossible" show on ABC. Evans will be speaking in Naples next week to share his experiences as an adventurer and mountain guide. Photo by Gilles Mingasson/ABC via Getty Images

Don’t call Jeff Evans a reality TV star. Sure, his team, named “No Limits,” came in second on ABC’s hit show “Expedition Impossible” last year, but the show certainly hasn’t defined who Evans is.

And it’s not that he eschews being a star because he’s a somewhat scruffy, adrenaline junkie who prefers Gore-Tex to Gucci and a mountain summit to a red carpet.

The reason Evans doesn’t consider himself a reality TV star has more to do with his life philosophy than anything else. For the mountain guide and climber, it’s not about the summits you reach, instead it’s about all the time spent working to reach them.

Next weekend, Evans will be here in Naples giving two lectures about his highs and his lows and, perhaps most importantly, the time spent in between.

“When I came back from Everest, everybody only wanted to hear about Everest. So now, since the show was such a hit, everybody wants to hear about the show,” says Evans.

But it’s with good reason that everyone wants to hear about it. Evans’ teammate for the race was blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. Weihenmayer and Evans have been climbing partners for almost 20 years, summiting the “seven summits” (the highest mountain on each continent) and many other mountains together. But the challenges each episode of the show presented required many activities that were downright dangerous for someone without vision.

What made for some tremendous ratings for ABC, made for sweaty palms and sleepless nights for Evans.

“There were a couple of moments where things could have gone really wrong, where the consequences would have been really severe. Horseback riding sticks out in my mind for one. These were not calm, American, do-what-you-want-them-to-do horses, these were full-on, non-gelded Arabian stallions. Every time I knew there was a horseback riding challenge coming up, I really wouldn’t sleep the night before.”

But the show also had some amazing moments, where Weihenmayer’s “no limits” attitude really shined.

“There was this really great moment, and there’s a great photo from it, where we basically had to jump off a cliff into water. It was pretty powerful stuff where I tell Eric what we’ve got to do and we just grab hands and jump off it. It just showcased what trust really is.”

And being a guide you can trust is a big part of what Evans talks about in his lectures. Evans has been presenting at corporate functions and school events for years now, and he insists that though he’s been to some pretty epic places, the presentations are not simply slide-shows of “cool stuff Jeff’s done.”

“The presentations are less about Jeff gallivanting around the world, and more about how adventure teaches us to move forward. And I tailor my presentations depending on whom I’m talking to. Obviously, I can’t get in front of a room of venture capitalists and talk about the importance of taking risks.”

For his talks in Naples — he’s giving two, one on Saturday, March 10, which is open to the public and one the following Monday at Naples High School — he’ll also meld the topic to match his audience. For the students, Evans will be talking about the importance of putting the right people on your rope team.

“I was a punk in high school. I was in jail three times before I was 18. It wasn’t until I found climbing and started hanging out with the right people that I got my life on the right track. Who you surround yourself with is important, both on the mountain and in life.”

But despite being a self-proclaimed punk, Evans really has come out on top. Evans has been featured numerous times in the media and he’s in high demand for speaking engagements, with a calendar that’s booked solid for months in advance. Plus, he has a new documentary called “High Ground” which premiered at the Boulder International Film Festival just last week. And he’s been asked by ABC to come up with a possible second reality television show concept.

But he won’t tell you which of these achievements best defines him. Because for Evans, it’s not about just about what you’ve done, it’s about what happened along the route you took to get there.

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If you go:

What: Jeff Evans, presented by the Wellfit Institute

When: March 10 from 4:30 - 10:30 p.m.

Where: Vineyards Country Club, 400 Vineyards Blvd., Naples

Details: For registration info, visit www.wellfitinstitute.com

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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