When I initially started writing this blog I was a broken woman beginning to lace the eyelets back together with each painful step I took up this rugged mountainous terrain called life. I had a strength and swagger that I didn’t have before. I survived something substantial and I needed a stage. I didn’t plan on having an audience, nor did I care if anyone was in attendance. It was purely therapy for me. Since, I have gained an audience of warriors. I unknowingly synthesized a tribe of individuals from all over the world by doing nothing other than speaking from my healing heart. I was in the darkness, going through the ruts. All I did was keep moving forward.
I transformed from a broken woman to a grateful woman. I spend each day in a state of awe. Every day has been scary. Every day has been blissfully joyful. Everyday has been filled with the unknown for what my future holds. I share the feast and acknowledge the famine. I have been willing to lose everything if that meant I found myself. This allowed me to experience every day, every moment, every experience as a grant to live life to the fullest.
The tribe I now belong to has brought about treasures I never imagined existed. The direction my life has taken once those steps forward led me out of the ruts – I stumbled into the most peaceful gardens I have ever felt. I like to call the it the present- it is a gift and you only have it today. The thing that get’s me the most about this- it starts over with every sunrise. Each day is an endless bounty of the present.
I began this new process in life by observing. I realized I thrive on weakness. My own weakness, the weakness of others. I use this method to find a way to be useful- to matter- to bring meaning to any situation I am in. This takes a tremendous amount of bravery. It requires a responsibility that many aren’t willing to adhere to. You create a structure in a place that has a weakness. When you aren’t there to support your cause you are missed. This is what I was missing in life. I needed to matter. I started that by sharing my art- communicating my feelings through my words. I took the leap. My soul was rewarded with freedom. The freedom I have been gifted has allowed me to open myself up for some really mind blowing proposals.
“The High One” Denali aka Mt. McKinley in Alaska at 20,237
The tribe I belong to is riddled with some insanely amazing people. Many of who have become my collaborators, guides, fellow athletes, mountaineers, alpinists and experts I only read about before I took my leap.
A particularly special group out of the United Kingdom has been spreading some very inspirational positivity in the form of adventure. Literally they are ON FIRE. I have been following their preparation for their upcoming attempt at winning the Snow Leopard Award. The Snow Leopard Award was a Soviet mountaineering award, which is still recognized in the Commonwealth of Independent States. To receive it, you must summit all 5 peaks of 7000m and above located in the former Soviet Union. On completing all five summits you receive one of these very rare awards. They added a 6th summit to this impressive list. They are also tying it to some very wonderful causes and raising money to support them.
During the building stages of their journey I was asked to write a guest post on any subject I wanted to. I did some research and immediately connected with one of their causes. The Cardiff YMCA. I wrote this post for them: The Nurturing of A Young Adventurer
It was chosen to be the first guest blog post that kicked off this journey and the launch of their website. What a seriously amazing honor.
If that wasn’t enough to make my heart skip a beat they offered me something that made my heart pump fiercely and it is still beating uncontrollably thinking about it. They want to do a celebration climb upon completion of the Snow Leopard Expedition and called in a few friends to join them. I was one of those very fortunate climbers. What I currently know and am able to share is this:
We will be a team of 9 unique and totally amazing climbers; 4 British 2 Dutch and 3 Americans.. one of them being ME. Mountaineering extraordinaire Mansel Kersey from On Fire Adventure is our team organizer and has lined up a overly impressive list of sponsors that I can’t reveal just yet but I will say this, everything from Anchorage to the summit and back, all logistics, equipment, food, fees, permits and media will all be covered by our sponsors. This leaves myself and the rest of the team including a fantastic fellow adventure junkie, climber and blogger I know Landon Faulkner from Utah to begin our mental and physical training for this incredible opportunity.
Image courtesy of Denali Park Tours
How have I been handling this news?? I freak out. I tell people. I start to get comfortable with the idea. This will scare me until I am off the mountain. The trick to this… I do something everyday that scares me.
If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough -Kristine Stevens
I have been diligently working with a business partner on creating a stage for those who are looking to share their bold journeys. It is a way to pay forward what was given to us.
There will be more on this in the next month. The launch date on this project is slated for July, I am beyond excited to tell you all about what we are up to once it is completed. I have learned so much in the art of patience with this project. As we all know well, art takes time, with this project it takes two. Two women forming an assemblage of bold women who know they matter? Well.. there is no doubt that will take some time.
Next month I will be celebrating my one year anniversary of my Mt. Kilimanjaro summit by climbing to the tallest point in the contiguous USA via Mt. Whitney trail at 14,505 feet over a 2 day ascent. What a way to celebrate! I will be sharing along the way on my media channels along with the follow up trip report. This will be just one of the MANY training expeditions to help prepare me for what lies ahead on “The High One”.
During my reassessment of life I had really no idea what I was going to do for short term work, actual work that paid with money that is. I had a few months of money saved up to pay bills. I downsized many luxuries and realized I didn’t need any of them. I majorly scaled back on any kind of spending habits I had. I was willing to do whatever I needed to. One place I knew needed some short term assistance was my husband and his growing business. He started a locally owned beverage catering and bartending company in the metropolitan Phoenix area about 6 years ago. He has grown this business by leaps and bounds – we were both experiencing the pains associated with this kind of earned success.
I wasn’t sure if it would take a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year to get him where he needed to be. He was in dire need of what I now like to call a systems engineer. The other term we like to use is warehouse lackey! I stepped in and found enough work to give myself a full time position with his company. I take care of all the staging, movement, transport and organization for the events. We had 70 events in March alone. That is literally TONS of beverages being moved around a large metropolis! The lifting, moving, pushing and pulling of these tons of beverages has been really helping me build my physical strength and it is exactly the kind of strength I will need to perform on Denali.
I also have been reliving the good ole college glory days by getting behind the bar again! He has some really incredible clients from all walks of life and the people I have been able to meet during the events I tend bar at has been so refreshing for my soul. It is fascinating to stand behind a bar again, have a bar’s eye view of these different celebratory events and have people talk to you with no agenda other than offering a drink, smile and sharing some genuine conversation.
We had some initial kinks to work out in the beginning but as always we make an incredible team. I will continue to procure this position until my other projects begin to take more of my time. Then we will be at a place where we can hire our first official full time employee. In the meantime I have been keeping a journal of my time behind the bar and will at some point share really interesting observations and connections I have made along the way. My grateful heart pounds on.
What I am asking from you in these proposals is simply this:
Keep sharing the inspiration. You are my tribe and I ask you to keep the positivity and support to help us continue to conquer all the weaknesses we share. Spread the good vibes like seeds of love throughout our strong community. Fight the good fight. See you at the top.
The right moment…
You might be waiting for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little…
The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.
Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. Whenever.
As long as whenever is now.
– Seth Godin