He is a two-time Masters World Champion Tandem surfer and cofounder and ambassador of the International Tandem Surfing Association for serious competitors, as well as the founder of The BearsWave.com Tandem Expression Teams for those who simply want to enjoy the beauty and art of tandem. He is a cast member on Fuel TV’sClean Break series is the subject of the film project The Bear — Going Deep, and host weekly 90 minute entertaining podcast on BearsWave.com. Bear has surfed on four continents and even more oceans. He is acknowledged as having revived the ancient art of tandem surfing and he won Duke OceanFest Masters World Tandem Surfing Title in 2007 and 2008.
Bear has twice run with the bulls in Pamplona, once on the bloodiest day in its history. He is a licensed pilot and he skydives. He holds the very rare ninja black belt. Bear is a licensed in scuba and enjoys being a well-rounded waterman—sailing, spearfishing, distance paddling and surfing his outrigger canoe. He paddled his surf board out to the dangerous waves of Teahopu’u in Tahiti on a huge forty-foot day that came to be known as Bloody Sunday, the bloodiest day in the history of Surfing. Bear paddled his surfboard across twenty eight miles of treacherous open ocean between Moloka’i and O’ahu. He has pedaled his bicycle across the United States from San Diego, California, to Jacksonville, Florida.
Bear lives on the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii. Bear is the proud parent to Fawn, Jeremiah, Shane and Joshua.
PETE: Bear, before we get to your new book Deep Adventure: The Way of Heroic Virtue let’s talk a little about your ministry, Deep Adventure Ministries. You have a website, www.deepadventureministries.com, and an EWTN Radio show among other things. Can you tell us a little about your work and what inspired you to write your latest book Deep Adventure?
BEAR WOZNICK: Several years ago, I was praying with a friend and about the ministry, and I had this image come to my mind of a guy in a heavy duty black pick-up truck driving through a gravel area and because it had so much power but no wait in the bed of the truck it was spinning its wheels and spitting up gravel. The thought came to me that, that is the state of a lot of men these days. They have all this, what we call mana in Hawaii, but without any weightiness of purpose they were just spinning their wheels.
A few days later I had just gotten out of the water surfing with another friend and we are in this gravel parking lot and I see a black pick-up truck come rolling through but it has one of those heavy boxes in the back full of tools and it is not spitting up gravel. He rolled passed us, checked out the surf and then turned to leave. As he rolled back out of the parking lot, he rolled down his back window and a wild bob cat stuck its head out the back and I thought that is it. God’s purpose for our life is a wild adventure and so we developed our creed. “The most radical thing you can do in life is abandon ourselves to the wild adventure of God’s will.” And this goes for both men and women.
But I realized people needed that weight in the back of their truck. They need something to give them solid traction. This book does this. It defines the virtues, with real life adventurous stories that explore them and inspires and challenges people to get gritty and go for it.
I want to emphasize again that this book is for both men and women. But it has a particular ability to reach men that would not pick up a book like this normally.
PETE: In my own work and my involvement in a local That Man Is You group, I see that male Catholics are marginalized in this society. Frankly it’s a crisis. How did we get here and how can your book help?
BEAR WOZNICK: I love that group, in fact, when I lived in the islands full time, I helped get them started in our Diocese. I think we got here basically due to the sexual revolution and the deterioration of marriage. When men found out they could have sex and not make babies when women started taking the pill, and when abortion became the quick fix, men no longer had the sense they would have to step up and man up and they could have their cake and eat it too and frankly women let them get away with it.
Women then stepped up with the basic attitude of whatever a man can do, I can do better and men were happy to just let them do the heavy lifting. As divorce grew rampant more and more young men were raised in homes with no father or worse where the women felt betrayed by men and so her son looked at himself as an enemy even to his mom and lost his sense of self.
There is no one in our society in more danger today then young men. Society tells them to be nice, that to stand up for moral absolutes is to be a hater and he has learned to just turn the other check until he just keeps turning in circles. There is a time and a place for man to look deep inside himself and stop hiding from and doubting his masculinity. This book puts both men and women on this path.
With this crisis of masculinity, so many young women don’t even know what a real man is any more. This book challenges them to virtue and shows them also what a virtuous man is.
John Paul II wrote in “Love and Responsibility” about the three different kinds of love and painted a picture of the “Virtuous Love.” Grabbing this book and using it like a compass and a road map, can help people find their direction and gain traction in the virtuous life.
We try to be part of the solution too, with our EWTN “Deep Adventure Radio” show, or Deep Adventure Quest Retreats and EWTN just aired the TV pilot of our Reality show called “Deep Adventure” We are currently in production on next season’s ten episode reality show: “The Long Ride Home.” Seven guys on Harleys rolling thunder through the Big Bend Country of Texas while pursuing the Interior Life of prayer in practice and also dialoguing about it.
PETE: Obviously your book goes into great detail about this but if you had to name a few, what recommendations do you have for men to lead a life filled with heroic virtues?
BEAR WOZNICK: PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. I challenge men to one hour of prayer a day. We have the Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, the Rosary and so many sacred books to meditate on. If you say you are a Catholic and you are not spending an hour a day in prayer, frankly you are a poser. I pray every sunrise and sunset and through the day. The morning is maybe only 20 -30 minutes, but I find my sweet spot with God, I often find my marching orders for the day and God seems to put arrows in my quiver in my meditating on his word that I end up needing later in the day. During the day I pray the rosary. I go to war. I am always praying a novena. I complete one and the next day start another as I pray for a particular person or situation. At night I spend my time of prayer and then read.
I confess that I never watch the news unless there is something significant, I need to know, because I can be part of the solution. I would much rather pray.
It is hard to spend ten minutes a day in prayer and even harder to spend 20 minutes a day. But once you spend 21 minutes you are going to want to spend 30 and once you spend thirty you won’t be satisfied with an hour.
PRAY PRAY PRAY
PETE: What resources do you use to stay on course with your faith as a man in today’s society?
BEAR WOZNICK: Part of my daily prayer, is meditating on two pages of the Catholic Catechism each day. EWTN and her family of contributors are a great resource and I am obtaining my Masters Degree online from Franciscan University.
PETE: Time for my signature ending question. This is a blog about books. What books are currently on your bookshelf to read?
BEAR WOZNICK: You are in trouble for asking this. I believe that Leaders are Readers and I have a ferocious appetite. I listen on the audio books app when working out and just completed listening to the writings of St Patrick and currently listening to the Fall of the Roman Empire. On Audible I am re-listening to Catholicism by Barron.
I am ploughing through my summer reading stack now. I tend to read several books at the same time, but the following books I have just completed this month or will complete by month end. There are a few others but they are on the book shelf in the next room and I am too lazy to go see.
The General Directory for Catechesis
St Patrick’s Summer – Marigold Hunt
Yes or No – Peter Kreeft
Phenomenolgy of the Human Person – Robert Sokolowski
The Protestant’s Dilema – Devin Rose
Catholicism and Fundamentalism – The Attack on Romanism – Keating
Light on Dark Passages of Scripture – Mark Giszczak
Men and Women and the Mystery of Love – Edward Sri
Seven Lies About Catholic History – Diane Moczar
What Catholics Really Believe – Keating
I have another stack ready for next month. Including Hahn’s new book on the Creed, a re-read of Ralph Martin’s “The Fulfillment of All Desire” and my friend Gary Zimack’s book on Finding a Friend in Jesus.