Okay, this happened in June, but it is still a good story with excellent visuals, so here we go.
When my friend Cynthia Schidner invited me to the first ever Wild Wonder Women of the Wrangells Bad Ass Hero Camp, I was the first to say yes.
I know, it is a mouthful, but eventually it rolls off the tongue.
What is the Wild Wonder Women of the Wrangells Bad Ass Hero Camp? It is a retreat—yoga, hiking, journaling, eating, connecting, and slowing down—in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
I signed up, paid my deposit, and put it on my calendar.
Then May happened, and I got incredibly sick. I took antibiotics for the first time in 20 years.
I began to waver. In hindsight, I see now that I was afraid of doing something I had never done before. And because I was weaker than my normal self, I really feared failure. Could I really do yoga every morning, hike every afternoon, and be present with a group of women who don’t quilt?
I began making excuses to myself and Cynthia. ALL kinds of excuses, that if I recounted them, I would look quite foolish, so I will not.
It didn’t help when I discovered that all the other participants were friends. It is hard to show up and be the unknown when everyone else is known and then do yoga in front of them. This is Meg McKinney our amazing yoga instructor.
If only it were a quilting retreat! I would shine. That is my zone. Instead I might be the worst. Nobody likes that feeling.
But this wasn’t a competition. It was a retreat, a recharge, a release. I needed to do what I tell my students to do. I needed to check my ego at the door.
And I did it.
I showed up and was fully present with my new hiking friends.
As the photos show. It was amazing.
We did yoga every morning.
We ate delicious home cooked meals TOGETHER.
We hiked the amazing wilderness of the Wrangells.
We shared stories about family and friends, exercise, and nutrition.
And I know now that I might not be really fast, or super strong, or extra limber, but I am capable. I can do it.
I can retreat.
Beautiful! I moved from Alaska 4 years ago. I still miss the awe inspiring beauty that surrounds almost every vista. Reading your blog helps take me “home”. Thank you
Pam- the cold gets to me, but I don’t think I could ever leave Alaska. I am glad my photos bring back good memories.
When you know it’s scary and you do it anyway, you’re a superhero!
Thank you Jeannie!
This looks like an amazing experience! Will you do it again?
Sue- I have already signed a contract to teach during next year’s retreat, but YES if I can I will do it again.
How wonderful that you allowed yourself this opportunity. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Marla! See you soon in derby country!
Two stars for bravery – – first for going and showing up, and second for sharing honestly. Thank you – – beautiful photos. I could almost breathe the fresh mountain air.
Thank you Julie! Alaska is easy to photograph!
Looks fabulous. I imagine there is something really ‘liberating’ and relaxing about NOT having to be the one in charge, or the one that is supposed to be the expert. Savor.
Susan, It is good perspective for me. I learned a LOT.
Loved it. Fabulous scenery, photography, risk taking and fun in your own backyard that is endlessly wondrous, fragrant, encouraging and different. You stretched yourself and know the new friends are forever. How positive to be outside when inside becons so strongly at the fabric tables. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Carole. I do believe I will see Micah and Nicole tomorrow!
Congrats. Know that feeling of doing something new with new people-you did it!
I hope you are enjoying the views during residency!
I’m so glad you went and had a wonderful time. Isn’t it nice to NOT be in charge?
Ann, YES. It is great to follow especially when in new territory.
Alaska is so gorgeous
I know! I will never tire of the views up here.
The hardest step is the first step and you did it. Congratulations!
Thank you Michele!
Go you!!! Glad that you had such a great time. Those pictures are fabulous! I am envious of you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for stitching together these photos and insights. I feel grateful that our lives are merging at long last.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for stitching together these photos and insights. Thank you for being the first to say yes. I’m thankful that our lives are finally merging. Can’t wait to spend time with you in Valdez and McCarthy.
I am looking forward to it too! And lucky me, I get to hang out with your mom in Berkeley next month!
OMG GIRL !!! You are so talented and I am glad you told EGO BaBYE at the door!! I am so happy I got to hang with my MOVIE StaH Retreat SisitaH !! We all got to stitch away at the beautiful mountains and rocks and dust and bugs and heat and sky and and yoga ” we are family ” I can’t wait to see you again <3 Thank YOU for the beautiful write up and photos .
Nani- You are the best. Thank you!
Why thank you Nani! Happiness!