FURTHER. FASTER. FOREVER.
Photographer Brenton Salo opens the door to a moving visual story of artist, athlete and inspiration, Aaron Edge.
Brenton Salo is a freelance photographer based in Portland, Oregon who began taking photos while on a trip to rural Finland at the age of 16. Seventeen years later, Brenton is still photographing anything, everything, and everyone around him—using both film and digital mediums to execute visual stories for both commercial business and personal narrative work. His true passion and strength lies in documenting others using medium format and 35mm black and white film.
One of the most recent visual stories which Brenton has beautifully documented, is great friend and co-founder of FURTHER FASTER FOREVER organization, Aaron Edge. Both Portland residents, Brenton and Aaron met in the fall of 2000 and bonded over a love of punk rock and a DYI approach to art and life. In the past 13 years, Brenton and Aaron have lived together, played in countless bands together, and created art projects together and have become best of friends.
Aaron started cycling in Seattle in 2007, first on fixed gear bicycles and eventually road bikes. Cycling became the first healthy thing Aaron had done in his adult life; so eventually playing music on the road took a back seat and traveling the roads on a two-wheeled device took a priority in his life. Aaron soon began to ride 100 mile centuries in the Pacific Northwest, and also became an avid runner—rarely running less than 10-13 miles at a time. Aaron developed an incredible drive to push himself further in his athletic endeavors, and would scribble Further Faster Forever on his handle bars to remind himself that he could go that extra mile.
Little did Aaron know that one day that mantra would start a global movement to motivate and inspire athletes to go beyond their limits. Aaron, a print designer by profession, not only created the mantra “FURTHER FASTER FOREVER” but designed the logo that has adorned thousands upon thousands of pictures on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter and affiliated with hashtag #FurtherFasterForever (and abbreviated F3 for short)
The heart and soul of this organization is the idea of building a global community of endurance athletes who inspire and challenge one another. People coming together around a common love: whether it is running, cycling, swimming or a combination of all three, FurtherFasterForever is a group of people around the globe whom inspire and challenge us everyday.
Recently, Aaron began feeling tingling and numbness in his hands and feet. He blew it off after thinking it was just fatigue from a long bike ride or run. But it got progressively worse….and worse. He went to the doctor and after a battery of tests he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on March 6th of 2013. Aaron became absolutely crushed and went from being the healthiest person (of his age) whom he knew, to the unhealthiest person (of ANY age) that he knew. Life was on hold. He became seriously depressed and with many dark thoughts; he shut out friends and family, even his wife at times. Aaron became unproductive, not creative, unable to work, in severe pain both physically and emotionally.
Brenton soon after caught up with Aaron at his apartment in NW Portland. He had not been out of bed, except to go to the doctor, in a few weeks. Brenton says, “it was tough to hold back tears as I watched one of my closest friend lay in bed with numb feet and hands that feel like they’re on fire while he longed to be outside on his bike or behind a drum kit where he belongs. But for now we patiently wait and support during his recovery.”
Aaron has since let more family and friends in. But, during this whole experience, he credits the most supportive people, aside from his wife, have been runners and cyclists in the F3 community (people whom he has never met in person). In Aaron’s own words, “The support from the F3 community reminded me that there are selfless people around the globe who care for other humans that share a similar goal. That goal is betterment, be it health or mood or otherwise. My wife kept me alive, straight up. F3 folks kept me in their hearts. I can’t thank everyone enough, that of course now includes my family and friends too. I am still quite negative and devastated about all of this, but knowing that people care about me does make it so much easier.”
Brenton had the opportunity to photograph Aaron this past weekend showing his positive progress in getting back on his bicycle:
For more information on Aaron’s condition and/or purchase an F3 t-shirt which directly contributes to Aaron’s medical bills and supports the Further Faster Forever campaign, please visit: http://furtherfasterforever.com/blog/aaron-edge/
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