Footprints

(from June 29, 2011)
In wilderness mountaineering breaking trail is one of the more arduous tasks- wallowing in deep snow is tiring, you don’t know where the crevasses are, navigation is difficult, and your energy drains quickly. Teammates share this labor, accepting the risk of hazards, easing the load on their teammates, walking as an example for the others to follow. Living with 5 guys on a mountainside for a few weeks, the examples (and trails broken) of my teammates have been hugely rewarding. For some reason though, being out here has also amplified my appreciation for a number of remarkable women that I’ve been privileged to have in my life- teammates perhaps in the grander adventure of life. My life has been significantly and positively enriched by these teammates, the trail they have broken for me has shown up strongly out here. Maybe because women are simply different from men, or because they do things differently, or because in general women inspire (or require) more humility from men- much as mountians do- the examples deserve note. Funny what stands out in an all male environment. A few of their footprints:
-Cin, flatly rejecting the limits placed before her.
-Margaret, demonstrating outstanding generosity and outward expression of love.
-Kelly, having it all and not being complacent.
-Mackenzie, leaping into adversity and making the best of it.
-Emily, finding creativity in unlikely places.
-Courtney, knowing when and how to let it go.
-Erica, leading by example first and foremost.
Some of these women I have known a long time, some I don’t have the privilege of knowing well enough. All of their paths stand out clearly. To all of you, thank you. Your footprints make finding my way a great deal easier.

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