Alexandra Flavia Marcu is my daughter. I educated her the way every mammal does with its cub. I tried to teach her everything that I knew or I could do. A mammal would teach its cub how to hunt, how to hide, who to hunt and when to hide in order to give its baby as many skills as possible for a better chance of surviving.
I am a mammal so this is what I tried to do with my cub.
I taught her how to walk on the mountains, how to breathe properly, how to climb a tree and how to ski. And I told her that she should be able to go from stable cleaning to a fancy restaurant for dinner without any problems. That she has to know how to perform in every situation and never to panic. And that she has to wear a smile on every situation, regardless of how difficult it is.
I took her with me wherever I went from the moment she was able to walk. To the seaside, on the hills and gradually on top of the mountains.
I spoke French to her from the minute she opened her eyes and English once I realized French was incrusted for life in her head. And I never forced her to do anything. We were just doing things together.
And she grew up. By now she was 12 years old. I was nurturing dreams of climbing high mountains like Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro for a little while already but it never crossed my mind that I could actually go there with her.
One day I began noticing news about teenagers that managed to climb different mountains. And I kept noticing till one day it hit me. Why shouldn’t I do this with my daughter too? Why not?
Because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?
I talked to her about this and she looked enthusiastic. She had read too Jules Verne’s books, and she was eager to learn and try as much as she could.
Thing is we had no idea about how to start. We knew mountains but not high mountains. We knew nothing about crampons, ice axes, ropes and the like. But we kept on dreaming. And one day Alexandra spotted a mobile home registered in France and as she was trained to attack every foreigner in sight in order to keep practicing the two foreign languages she was speaking she invited them to our house for a café.
Four days later when they left we were good friends. And one year later, after plenty of visits in France and Romania when they asked me: “Dan, what can we do for you now?”, because it was their turn and they felt they were in debt to me after accommodating 20 French kids and leading them in the Romanian mountains, I said without blinking: “Mont Blanc!”
They were mountain people, lived in the middle of the Alps, had the means and the experience for doing this. And they helped.
So, here we are, some months later after a lot of training and mountain climbing practicing on top of Mont Blanc. With my daughter, 12 years old, and on the day of my birth celebration. Cool, man, cool!
After this successful climb we realized that it was time for us to start dreaming big.
The Seven Volcanoes Circuit.
Kilimanjaro, Pico de Orizaba, Elbrus, Damavand, Giluwe, Ocho de Salado and Sidley. Think about this.
This is big.
Armed with the fame acquired after Mont Blanc we decided to submit projects to the local Romanian authorities for taking the city and the county flags on top of this mountains. By a 12 years old girl.
And the gate, the ironed gate opened wide. The authorities realized what a fantastic image this thing can create, what a great reputation this achievement can spill over our city and county.
And so it began. Kili and Pico and Elbrus and Damavand and soon Giluwe.
A girl that was never trained for climbing these mountains but for life. A girl that finds time also for playing, dancing, skiing and wining contests at French and Geography. Because Alexandra was never trained to become a professional athlete, she was trained to become a well developed human being, a person able to use her own head, reasoning and judgment.
I think it would be appropriate to say: Thank you, my God. A thing that I learned from my daughter. Because lately I noticed that I began learning things from her. Little by little she grew to became my teacher. In trying to become a better person, a more tolerant one. A person willing to give and to step forth in helping the man next to it.
This is the short version of how we become tied to the Seven Volcanoes Circuit. The short story of the evolution of a family. Because there is a woman too involved. There is always one. And do not think that is easy for her to see what I do with her baby. But she learned to evolve too. To put her faith in God, and follow us. Last time she come up to 4200m. And we were so proud of her.
Please have a look at the trailer of a documentary soon to be released.
PRESS PLAY to watch now: