He cannot be described in words. You can only talk about him in colours.
I met Mango Peeler - I don't really remember his real name - for the first time almost 5 years ago. We immediately clicked, and would jam out ideas on movement, athletics, art, clothing and philosophy over the course of several coffee sessions. In these conversations, there were no real borders between topics as if they were part of the same continuum and just different points along the spectrum. I enjoyed the way his mind was unfettered and free to move forward, backward and into other dimensions. These were some of my favourite discussions.
I lost touch with him for a couple of years. He kind of disappeared, only leaving behind a few screen prints of Muhammad Ali and Jungle Lions behind. These can still be found hanging at the Academy to this day.
Then one night I was running with the Parkdale Roadrunners, and I saw Mango again, in the place I would least expect to find him. He was a little leaner, his hair was 2 or 3 different colours, but it was still somehow less wild. And there was a new focus and sharpness to him.
In the time since we last hung out a lot of stuff had happened. He had some interesting jobs. He made some even more interesting artwork. And he found running. Serious running.
Mango does not do anything without passion. In his peak training, he will run over 100 Miles a week and has become one of the fastest runners in the crew. He also documents his training in a beautifully composed & illustrated journal that once again blurs the lines between athletics & art.
I met Mango in his art studio above an auto garage in the west end of Toronto. We started recording our conversation just after he had finished a long day or work and had a couple of free hours before his late night track workout.
He caught me up on the details and missing pieces of the last few years. And his insights on the creative process and training philosophy made me pump my fists a few times during this discussion.
This was one of my favourite podcasts. And there's a really great power ballad about a third of way through.