Santa brought Dan and I snowshoes this year and boy do we love them! Today we took them out for a quick spin on Mt. Evans and it was just beyond beautiful. As we were hiking along, my thoughts got to floating, as they often do when I am trudging up along a path. The theme that emerged was simple: I love doing this!, and I am so thankful! Thankful that I am able!, and thankful for the many mentors that got me to this point.
When I first moved to Colorado, I was attracted to the many outdoor activities, but also overwhelmed by all that I did not know and completely intimidated, mostly due to my tendency towards comparison and difficulty with being a novice. Thankfully, I had friends that mentored me along the way:
- Kevin: you got me out on hiking trail before I even knew that I wanted to be. Thank you for your presence and for teaching me that in order to stay warm at night, I needed to keep my arms inside the sleeping bag.
- Lynne: you went walking, hiking, running, and skiing with me when I was recovering from cancer and beyond. Thank you for your belief, encouragement, and steady friendship. And for laughing through it all.
- Addy: you knew that my biggest hurdle is my fear of being cold!, so you taught me about good gear and then stuck me in the deep end with winter hut trips and snowboarding in frigid temps. You are a gifted guide and the antidote to unhealthy competition that plagues outdoor enthusiasts.
- Dan: you take care of things and take care of me; often tying my boots when I am exhausted or on the verge of giving up. You are patient and kind, even when frustrated. And you always bring really good snacks (and beverages) - so key. Being outdoors with you is a deep joy and especially fulfilling.
Today I thought of all of you with gratitude and big doses of warm nostalgia. (Especially you, Dan, because I was looking uphill at your backside!!!).