Ski Trip Gone Crazy

Pan. of slope

Well since I am hoping for warmer weather I should get my snow post done. This winter I had the opportunity to spend in total a week on the snowy mountains of Pennsylvania skiing. Let me first say I have not been skiing in years so it was very interesting to be back out on the slopes.

The first trip I spent with my family and the second was a weekend trip with my older sister. Both trips however were memorable and still make me laugh. But lets start with the first trip.

It was late February when we went and was supposed to be a trip spent with my brother before his deployment but unfortunately he could not make it. However, the trip was a successful one I must say. I maybe fell twice and trust me they were rather embarrassing falls at the end of the slope when it should not even be possible for one to fall but alas…..I did.

I spent most of the trip with my sister which was more than I could have ever asked for. We spent the a night out at the resort pub and actually managed to get a Snow Cat ride from one of the workers which I must say was rather awesome. He eventually even drove us back up to the condo we were staying at on the top of the mountain.

Ride on the Snow Cat

Ride on the Snow Cat

The whole trip was smooth sailing with me doing pretty well, okay maybe decent on the slopes until the very last day skiing. On this day, I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes. I know I am pretty adventurous in my normal day-to-day life but skiing I could be classified as the cautious one. Well I got the nerve up to follow my sister down a side path which led to another slope. Let me also add my sister is the one who is normally cautious in her day-to-day life but apparently becomes a dare-devil on the slopes. It was at this time I quickly regretted taking a wild chance on being adventurous on the slopes.

Why, you may ask? Because it was nothing but a steep decent on a narrow and highly icy patch of trail which ran straight through the woods. Saying I had any control of my body, let alone my skis would be a lie because I did not. All I could do was yell for my sister to move out of my way and hope that I would not go off the path and crash into what I knew would be my horrible end. Speeding out of control on an icy trail was not what I expected to find when following my sister. Thankful the what seemed like a lifetime horrid event ended within about 50 seconds with me bent over trying to catch my breath and calm myself down. My sister laughing and trying to ask if I am okay but all I can manage to say is “I think I almost just die.” Which only made her laugh harder.

After the shock of what I just experienced passed I quickly realized how hilarious the look on my face probably was and started to chuckle myself. Needless to say I took a chance, which I do not think I shall be repeating next year on the slopes, that gave me a memory of a lifetime. The rest of the day was not nearly exciting or thrilling or dangerous but at the end of the trip I came out with a better appreciation of those who make skiing or snowboarding a career or a release for something adventurous. I also left with a better relationship with my sister which is the best thing about the whole entire trip. Not only did we get to spend a long weekend together and share my horribly terrifying event but we got to laugh and get to know each other again (because we have lived so far apart for a while). Leading the my first ski trip of the year to be amazing!

I will post the second trip tomorrow!

First Ski TripFirst Ski Trip

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Warmer Days Please Come!

Day Hike 3/27/14

The cold weather finally broke at least for today creating a good day to set out on a hike. I had planned to do a large hike but instead spent most of the early afternoon driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. While driving I realized I was not the only one out to enjoy the semi warm weather because I was greeted by several deer on the side of the road as I was drove by.

Once I realized the Blue Ridge Parkway had not fully recovered from the snow the area received on Tuesday I decided to head back towards my home and do a short hike instead. I decided on one of the greenways which are plentiful in the area. Once I arrived I took only the basics considering I was only planning on being out on the trails for about an hour. Although, the one hour quickly turned into three as I got caught up in being outdoors and enjoying the sunny day.

The first few minutes into the trail ways were easy which enabled me to enjoy the roaring of the river near by. But after making my way to the intersection of a few trail heads I was quickly reminded of how long I had been away from the steep incline of a mountain trail. As the pathway rapidly ascended I was re-acquainted by the crisp air which burns your lungs as you increase your pace and the uneasiness of the rocks below my feet. All the while, I had a huge grin on my face because I was starting to feel truly alive once again.

Once I reached the top of the small mountain I was greeted with a large meadow which I promptly decided I would enjoy for a little while. It was nice to lay down in the openness of the meadow and just listen to the wind flowing gently through the trees behind me.

After spending a while in the meadow I started to make my way down to another trail which rested at the bottom to wind my way back toward my car. I took delight in being able to get back to the thing I love, as well as, being able to clear my head for a while. Plus it was nice being the only one on the trails today.

Instead of the quick hike I planned to take I ended up hike approximately 5 miles on the different winding trails. I almost forgotten what it felt like to be out there and I am glad I got the chance to feel whole again today. Now, if only the weather would keep getting warmer so I can do the larger and longer hikes once more!

Day Hike 3/27/14Day Hike 3/27/14

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To find peace again

I find it a tad ironic when my life feels like it is slipping out of control or changing to rapidly for me to comprehend that the thing which calms me is being out in nature. Nature, a place which cannot  be controlled by my hands. A place which can change rapidly at times. Nature is something which I find peace and feel like I can finally breathe without any limitations.

It is the one things which can change but still remains constant. The place I know I can be free. Free from all the troubles, thoughts, pressures, and heart aches. It is the one place I know I am small but still important. The place I can feel so raw in but yet at the same time feel so beautiful. Nature, is where my heart longs to be every minute of every day, especially this week.

I sit in my classes learning about policies and poverty but all I can do is stare out the window wishing to be on the mountains which hover above the buildings in my view. With every gust of wind which makes the windows creek and the branches howl, I think of how much I want to be standing in an open meadow letting the wind swirl around me. Or with every rain drop how I want to be finding shelter under the canopy of the trees.

Funny, how we all have a certain thing which can make us feel whole again. Most find it within another person or a pet. Some of us find it in a sport, a talent, or a hobby. Others within the pages of a book. And then there are those like me….who find it in being in the deepest parts of nature that we can go. Away from the comforts of every day living. Away from all the busy streets or halls or buildings. We find it in the natural world. In the forests, mountains, rivers, meadows, plains, valleys, lakes, oceans, and deserts.

Oh, how I long to be on the mountains right now.

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The call I never expected

The beginning of 2014…..where do I even start? All I can say is the first month of this new year which is supposed to be the month of change or the month to start off a good year. Well for me, it has been the exact opposite. Yes, there has been change but not the kind of change I was looking for or really expecting. Now, this post is extremely different from the other post I have up but I just had to get it all out.

My “New Year” started out great by spending time with friends remembering the triumphs of the past year and celebrating the many new beginnings we were about to embark on with open arms. Everything seemed to be going the way one would expect the start of a new year to go that was until I got a call from my doctor.

I had found out on a few days after the start of 2014 that I had an abnormal lump which needed to be biopsied. This happens to be something a twenty-two year old never even thinks about hearing from their doctor. But there I was in total shock and if I am being honest I did not hear the next few words coming through to me on the other end of the line. After getting all the details of the next steps we needed to take I hung up the phone and just sat in my living room chair.

It took a few moments for what I was just told to sink in and then a little bit of panic set in as I retold what the doctor had said to my mother. Now, I spent the next few days leading up to my next appointment by basically ignoring it all together or chalking it up to be something minor or nothing at all.

The actual day of my appointment I was far from the previous feeling of not worrying. My worry mode was on full blast. The whole appointment itself seemed so surreal to me. Once again I was sitting there thinking how I never thought this would be happening to me. Not at the age I am. At twenty-two I still felt a little invincible and care free. I no longer feel that way.

After the biopsy was complete and the appointment ending with another talk about what they had done, what to expect for the next few days, when I should know the results, and the possibilities of what could happen next. Once again I sat in a chair shocked at what I was hearing. I wasn’t hearing this could be nothing but instead I was hearing as long as well stay on top of things with regular check ups we can prevent you from getting cancer.

Yep, the big C word as some would like to call it. I have an increased possibility of getting cancer in general and a likelihood if I decide to not go to check ups. I left the appointment feeling worried but honestly a little of relief because now I knew I could prevent it. I had something I could do and I am going to do it.

I still have not heard back about the results of the biopsy telling me whether or not we got all of the lump or if more will have to be done. I would be lying if I said I was not worried or stressing out about the call or the situation in general because honestly I am extremely worried. But even though I am worried I am trying to stay positive.

I know I have a way of preventing the disease and I plan to never get it. I also know I have the opportunity to stay ahead of it which a lot of people do not get. I cannot sit here and say I have it the worst because I do not. I give so much love and awe to those who are currently fighting for their lives. It just makes you realize how precious life can be.

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Something about the rain.

There is just something about rain which I find comforting and amazing. I know most people dread cloudy rainy days because it keeps them from being able to go outside. Well as for me…I really do not dread rainy days.

I think there is something funny, refreshing, and youthful in being caught in a down pour trying to run for cover in order to keep from looking like you jumped into the shower with all your clothes on. Come to think of it I do not know if I have ever seen anyone who I have not seen smiling after being caught in the rain.

I think it is also very calming to hear the rain hitting the roof and dancing across the windows of a home. As if nature is trying to play you a lullaby in order to make all of your troubles fade away. And for me the rain does just that. It makes my troubles disappear even if just for a second.

I also think the rain helps to wash not only the pollen or dirt off your car but the worries you have been carrying around. At least for me it seems too. As if the rain is washing away the things I have been holding in for so long. Plus, it might be the one time a tear can fall from your face and no one would ever know.

Lastly, the rain helps to rebuild and breathe life into everything around us. Our world thrives because of the rain. Not only does the rain help nature to grow and thrive but it also provides us with freshwater. Which is something truly amazing if you really think about it.

So, next time you are stuck inside because the rain decided to make an appearance I hope you take some form of joy or comfort from it and not disappointment. I hope you take the time to listen to its lullaby or let it wash away your troubles. Maybe even use it as an excuse to read the book you have been meaning to start or even start planning a trip or hike you have been longing to take. Or just maybe if you are in need of a smile, laugh, or to feel youthful for a while you will leave the umbrella in the car or house and just get caught in the rain.

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Setting Out On The Trail

Hiking Day

To me there are very few things better than the feeling of lacing up a pair of boots, throwing on a backpack full of gear, and setting out on the trail. Every time I go I get this feeling of excitement, joy, longing, and an overwhelming feeling of peace. It as if I am going home after being away for a very long time.

The trail to me is a place where I am never judged but I am always challenged. It is the place where I can go to escape from society and everything that comes with it. Being on a narrow path surround with nothing but nature is bliss to me. Nature is the place where I never have to hide; the place where I can truly be free.

No pressure besides the from the weight of my pack. No expectations placed upon me other than reaching the top. No worries or troubles that I have to face other than the ones which you can face on the trail. No trying to help others through their problems and no weight of the world on my shoulders.

I can fully breathe and have my mind cleared of all my thoughts other than the ones of amazement and joy from being in nature. The place where I feel truly alive. The world fades away and time seems to stand still when I am out there. It’s as if I am witnessing the most magical thing in the world and nothing else matters. It is where I can constantly find myself.

Even now just writing about it I can smile and feel a warmth within me. I believe we all have our places in the world. Parts of us scattered across the globe which make our souls feel complete. Places where we are meant to be and thrive. And maybe that is what life is about….finding these pieces which enrich our souls and give us a sense of belonging and love whether they are in a place, an activity, or a person.

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30 Day Challenge

I think we all reach a point in our lives where we think we might have lost ourselves or noticed maybe we are not who we thought we would be. I know I have more than once and I like to think I am constantly finding myself. Yes, I know who I am but just like the earth I change over time. Sometimes drastically like a brush fire which engulfs the plains and sometimes slowly but surely like the erosion of mountains due to the rain.

Well, recently I got to a point in my life where I knew who I was but the person I saw staring back in the mirror was not the person I knew I was. I know people say this all the time but I really did not see the person who I thought I was. Instead, I saw a changed self one which seemed to be lacking in spark or just not fully there. I knew at that moment I needed to find myself again. Just like the grass on the plains after a fire I had to regrow or re-establish myself. To shed the person I did not recognize and find the person I knew I was deep down inside.

Now, I took several steps to finding myself again but one step I took and still currently completing was a 30 day challenge which is a journal/free write (a page long or more) on the topic of the day. It has helped me to express my views or my past memories on certain things in life. It has also helped me to figure out what my views really are without fear of judgement. A way to put my views down and get to know myself once again.

So maybe you are trying to find yourself or rediscover the person you are or how you have changed. Maybe you are just looking for something to do as a break from the hustle and bustle of like. If so I encourage you to start a 30 day challenge and it can be any one you want! I found mine while stumbling around online.

Here is the 30 day challenge I am currently doing:

Day 01: Your current relationship, and if single discuss how single life is.

Day 02: Where would you like to be in 10 years.

Day 03: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Day 04: Your views on religion.

Day 05: A time you thought about ending your life.

Day 06: Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

Day 07: Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Day 08: A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.

Day 09: How you hope your future will be like.

Day 10: Discuss your first love and first kiss.

Day 11: Put your iPod (or music device) on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.

Day 12: Bullet your whole day.

Day 13: Somewhere you would like to move or visit.

Day 14: Your earliest memory.

Day 15: Your favorite quotes.

Day 16: Your views on mainstream music.

Day 17: Your highs and lows of this past year.

Day 18: Your beliefs.

Day 19: Disrespecting your parents.

Day 20: How important you think education is.

Day 21: One of your favorite shows.

Day 22: How have you changed in the past 2 years?

Day 23: A moment which took your breath away.

Day 24: Your favorite movie and what it’s about.

Day 25: Someone who fascinates you and why.

Day 26: What kind of person attracts you.

Day 27: A problem that you have had.

Day 28: Something you miss.

Day 29: Goals for the next 30 days.

Day 30: Your highs and lows of this past month (or 30 days).

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