Camelback Culture is excited to focus this Community Spotlight Blog on native son, Paul Porras; born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ. Known to many as the “Ginger Roller” (his roller blading antics are legendary and well worth viewing on his social media feeds), he now opts to share with the world as “PurelyPresentPaul”
A three sport athlete, Paul has never shied from hard work or the limelight; excelling in football, basketball and track at Saguaro High School. After graduating in 2009, his football talents earned him an athletic scholarship to Rice University in Houston, TX! Then in 2016, his abilities carried him all the way to Japan, to play professionally. And as is the way with life, after a difficult twist of fate, he was brought closer together with his girlfriend Mandelynn Moses; who he credits with allowing him to see there is “more to life than football.”
The Phoenix Valley holds a special place in Paul’s heart, but nothing quite so much as Camelback Mountain. He recalls his first hike to the summit in his Junior year of High School. “It was pretty wild” he says with a smile, his friend was in full body paint from an art show. This moment was a catalyst for even more fun and self expression while hiking with friends, or just living each day! “This is my magic mountain,” he declares “the sunrises are the most beautiful… the people are phenomenal… you make the best connections.” Well said Paul. But he wasn’t done, telling us “everyday I go there I feel like I’m at DisneyLand!” A feeling shared by anyone who has had a chance to participate in one of his summit dance videos.
Despite this love of his original home, Paul and Mandelynn decided last year to take a leap and become Location Independent. Beginning their epic global journey by spending four months on a small island in Belize, Caye Caulker. While there, they volunteered at the local Elementary School; an “eyeopening” and “amazing experience.” Looking for a way to make the biggest impact they could, the couple decided to take on the lifetime costs of educating one of the local children, now just eight years old. “Educating our kids creates the biggest ripple” through their Community. They will be hosting future charity fundraisers, like his Hike Dance Yoga Extravaganza, to assist with this goal.
Eager to expand their world experience, they spent the next two months soaking up the culture of Guatemala. Paul smiles talking about the pleasant climate, ancient Mayan history and simpler lifestyle. “You really understand less is more when you travel out of the country.” And travel they will! Concluding their Central American experience for the moment, they will spend the next seven months in SouthEast Asia, starting this past week in Manila in the Philippines. Then on to Bali, Indonesia, to work and experience the months following.
Prior to embarking on this next leg of their journey, Paul and Mandelynn did take some time to return to Arizona and for a visit with Camelback Culture! On April 6th, Paul hosted his second annual Hike Dance Yoga Extravaganza on Camelback Mountain. An event he describes as being about: “coming together as a community; hiking together; seeing a beautiful sunrise; dancing and celebrating life; and reconnecting with the universe, with our community and with a higher source.“ He feels combining hiking, dancing and yoga brings together the mind, body and spirit connections for the participants. Anyone who has made the rise knows hiking Camelback Mountain requires a mental push to make it. For Paul, the dancing on the summit allows for a fun physical release, which he follows with group yoga (led this year by Yogi Brian, @namaste_AF) to settle the energy and ground your spirit back to Earth.
The Hike Dance Yoga Extravaganza isn’t simply about having a good time together— this is a charity fundraising event. All the proceeds from the suggested donation and raffle tickets go toward schooling their educational beneficiary. With his gregarious personality, Paul has no problem finding community supporters and would like to thank the many event sponsors this year, including: CamelbackCulture.com, Namaste AF, Maestro’s Classic Beard Care, Bodcor, Dr. James Mallory DMD, Jamin Van Dillen beatsalchemy.com, Mandelynn Moses mandelynnmoses.com and Skye Lucking Art. We are sure all the sponsors are happy to be involved with such a fabulous event with a higher purpose. A perfect example of the Community and Culture of Camelback!
So what does Camelback Culture mean to Paul? “Community!” he answers emphatically, “the celebration of life… individuality… fully expressing yourself… really just being authentically and unapologetically you.” We totally agree and are so thankful for Paul’s presence in our local and global community. He was one of the first people to support us and wear our Super Camelback design; proving his point about the great connections made on Camelback. Camelback Culture is “near and dear” to his heart, and he is dear to ours.
Did you miss the Hike Dance Yoga Extravaganza this year? Don’t fret! Paul will be rockin’ again, on the summit, in April 2020, to have more fun, raise more money and continue making an impact. He invites all from ages 8 to 80+; whether you’ve hiked it once or three hundred times in a year, all are welcome.
If you want to experience Paul and Mandelynn’s vibes before then, they will be hosting a retreat in Bali on October 1, 2019, “Be Bold. Be You. Be Love.” A safe space to dive deep into evaluating your life and mind, body, spirit connection. The aim of the retreat is to assist you in bringing out your full and authentic self expression to allow you to grow as leader and influencer.
Follow Paul on social media, details below:
CamelbackCulture thanks Paul Porras for his support from the beginning and his excellent inspirational vibe in the community! Check back by for future Camelback Culture Community Spotlight Blog posts and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more Culture - Clothes - Community
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