The first time I ever went rock climbing, I cried. It wasn't the last time I'd cry on a rock face, but it was the only time I'd ever do it with the intention of never climbing again.
Sitting at the top of a rock face, Ponderosa Pine forests spread at my feet, a distant view of the Methow River, and beyond that, the snow-capped peaks of the North Cascades, it's hard to remember that I'm in the midst of a global pandemic. As I belay my 15-year-old daughter up the climb I just led, I remind myself. School moved to remote learning on the first day of spring. I've been doing my job from home since mid-March. I go grocery shopping once every week or 10 days, and other than that, have little in-person interaction with anyone outside of my immediate family. In the state and the nation around us, people are dying from COVID19. Yet we are rock climbing. And loving it.
When I was 28, I got hired as a Program Director with Outward Bound: a job that would change my life in many ways, not the least of which was by gifting me a friendship with a woman whose sense of adventure determined the character of my own.