My return to Stratton in early June coincided with the end of the SMS school year. The school campus is packed with school kids and teachers for much of the year, so the campus looks like a ghost town when and when school ends. Unfortunately this means saying goodbye to lots of our friends on staff. I have gotten to know these two senior staffers really well over the past several years, and it was tough to see them headed up to Maine for the summer. Luckily for me, I think they’ll be back this fall.
I turned 22 the other day. Historically 22 has been a pretty useless birthday, but thanks to Annie Hart, I discovered that because of the one and only Taylor Swift it may be the most important birthday of all.
My teammates did what they always do and threw out an unbelievable birthday spread. Last year it was some crazy type of midwestern (or at least what easterners and westerners think is midwestern) buffet, but this year they stepped it up with a gourmet hot dog bar. Now I know that the phrase “gourmet hot dog bar” may sound like an oxymoron, basically a really silly thing made up by people who eat largely on a budget, but you’d be wrong. Because until you have tasted 5 different types of hot dogs on 4 types of buns with Simi Hamilton’s special Cheez-it based topping, you have not lived.
It is worth mentioning that my beautiful teammate Erika gave me a rack of ribs for my birthday. Let me repeat that. She got me a RACK of RIBS. Now while that may seem like a silly gift from an outside perspective, the specificity and thought that goes into finding a rack of ribs is a pretty amazing testament to the closeness of our team, and it makes me smile.
The last week has been pretty rainy, which has lead to a few unwanted visitors in the running shoes we leave on our porch (in order to stop the toxic stink from entering the house.)
Despite the summer rains of Vermont, the last few weeks have mostly a lot of fun, and even been somewhat revelatory. Last Sunday as we drug ourselves out the door into the middle of the woods for a 3 hour run in a downpour, I realized that despite the lunacy of what we were doing, we were having a lot of fun. After a lot of thought, I think I have an idea of why.
Skiers (and really people in general) are at our very best, and we complain the least, when we are fully engaged in the work or training that we do. We find that engagement through our own inner drives and also through the support of others. That engagement gives meaning to our off days and comfort to our daily naps. It basically makes everything else in life worthwhile.
On this team we all work to help each other find that engagement in our work; to find the worthwhile bits of every day. And lately I have felt really lucky to be part of it.