Today as I was going through a box of old office supplies as I prepare for a new job, I came across this wonderful photo. Way back in 1995, I was nursing a broken heart after breaking up with my college boyfriend. My co-workers on the Specialty Sales team were my lifeline to feeling normal again. A very active bunch, a group of them were climbing mountains every weekend, coming into the office on Mondays with sunburned noses, sore bodies, and great stories to tell. I wondered how I could ever join them on something that was totally out of my comfort zone.
Encouraged by Martha Waldron and the other climbers on our team, I joined a basic climbing class that spring and found that with a lot of hard work and time, I, too, could be a mountaineer. It was exhilarating, and pushed me past my heartache and into understanding that I was capable of things beyond my expectations.
Together, we climbed many local mountains. This photo is at the summit of Mount Adams (summer 1996?) - we are proudly sporting the "We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee" banner that adorned our foodservice customer accounts back in those days.
Thank you to Ed Clarke, Doug Koob, Karl Braun, Kendra Gustafson, Kevin Orth, Martha Waldron (not pictured) and the other adventurers for pushing me past my limits. I still hold on to how I felt when I summited my first peak, and what it meant to have people surrounding and encouraging me each step of the way.