Life Changing Moments

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When we establish human connections within the context of shared experience we create community wherever we go.”Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls:

As a follow-up to the writings of the past two days about how our life stories come together through the associations we make with others, once again I am reminded that we really are never alone. Here is how it happened:

gym uniformsI am connected with an on-line group of people who grew up in the town and area that I did. Someone posted a picture of a vault box used in gymnastics. An onslaught of postings followed of individual memories of junior high and high school gym classes during the 50’s and 60s.

Comments about the vault box echoed my sentiments exactly. Many said “taking showers in a non-private environment was so humiliating because we were at a vulnerable age when bodies were changing and teens were so sensitive about how they looked to others.” Others stated their distain for the gym uniforms because they were “dorky.” Others mentioned individual sports that they detested or were no good at. Some said “they loved gymnastics and the vault box but hated running laps on the track or in relay races.  That’s when they felt so inadequate.”

Junior high and high school gym class held such strong memories for me that I even devoted an entire chapter to it in my memoir. I had a life-changing moment in the gym in the Towsontown Junior High School, that will never be forgotten.

Do you have any moments in your life that changed the direction of your life forever? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

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Rock Solid Performance

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“Come on Dad! We’re going rock climbing!” My husband looked at my son and didn’t argue. He is always up for an athletic adventure.

“I’m coming too!” I said.

It was the day after Christmas. My son and his gal wanted to treat my husband to a new experience. Off we went to Stone Age Climbing Gym. After the three got suited up with harnesses, rope, chalk bags, belay and rappeling equipment we four stood looking straight up at the wall my husband was about to tackle. As he began his ascent, the man on belay (my son) yelled out instructions. “Go, Dad, go!” Terry look another step up.

“You are doing well!” Marc said with a grin on his face, after his father began to progress further. “Are you weary?”

“A little, mostly my forearms,” my husband yelled down.

“Then let go! I have you,” our son yelled out. I sat behind him on a bench watching my husband dangle from the rope, forty feet up in the air. In order to take a load off his legs, arms and hands he had to surrender himself from the challenge for a few minutes.  After a short break, Terry continued climbing.

“Reach higher, you are almost to the top!” Marc yelled up about 20 minutes later.

Marc turned to me and said “Mom, I’m really impressed. Dad is doing as well on his first attempt as young guys my age. There seems to be no fear of heights or falling!” It was interesting to see the role reversal between father and son. My husband has spent a lifetime coaching athletes.

Terry’s first attempt at a rock climbing experience was a great success. When I asked him if he’d like to repeat it, he said, “Only if I am with Marc.  There is a level of trust and faith in others involved in it.”

“I could see that,” I said, as I thought about my husband dangling from the rope only anchored by my son.

terry rock climbing

Trust

Come on back tomorrow, I will be sharing my own new adventure into the New Year. I’m a little apprehensive because I am not quite sure what to expect from myself. But, I’m entering this new experience with a positive outlook.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Vintage Ski Family

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Stretch pants – the garment that made skiing a spectator sport.  ~ Author Unknown

IMG_20150526_111915_634I was greeted by sweet Sophie, a stunning cocker spaniel, when I walked into Mountain Traditions. With her smatterings of white and black markings, she reminded me of a container of Oreo cookie ice cream. I’m such a softie when it comes to dogs. I heard her say she wanted to come home with me, I swear I did.  But her owner, Kenton Stratton wouldn’t let her. He said she likes greeting customers too much and she would miss it.

So, I stayed awhile and visited with Sophie and enjoyed the nice variety of vintage ski images in the store which took me back to my childhood days of skiing with my family. Seeing the wooden posters was almost as good as a trip through a ski history museum, such as The Tred of Pioneers here in Steamboat or the ski history museum in Vail or the Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe. I love seeing the old ski fashions and ski equipment displayed. It’s fun stuff.

If you are a baby boomer who grew up skiing with your mom and dad and your siblings like I did, you’ll relate to these images. They make great gifts!

I am grateful that I was able to get permission from Kenton Stratton to take these photographs to share with you. Take a trip down memory lane through these vintage ski images or better yet, go visit Sophie at Mountain Traditions in her new location in the Lower Courtyard of Old Town Square, 635 Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs, CO. Take a dog biscuit with you, Kenton says Sophie is always hungry!

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Want some of these vintage placards to decorate the walls of your ski house or chalet but it’s too far to travel? Visit the website. http://www.mountaintraditions.com/

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So, family – when are you coming out to Steamboat? 

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

Creative Economy

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“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” ~ Arnold J Toynbee

For the new generation of college graduates, employment and making a living has a very different approach to it. Business is not the same as it was even ten years ago. For many, the traditional 9 to 5 type jobs have deemed to be archaic. Flex-time and working remotely has changed the way many people labor and spend their free hours.

As a growing creative economy takes off, young adults are finding more fulfilling ways of making a living which includes the development of new types of media and communications.

There is a new site called Crux Collective http://www.cruxcollective.com which officially launched last week. It’s “mission is to educate, inspire, and encourage traditional and non-traditional exploration of the outdoors.”

If you are a skier, snowboarder or technie who is interested in the development of equipment used by competitors and to save lives in avalanches, check out this video footage. You’ll be surprised at the new generation of  gear that’s coming to the marketplace for outdoors enthusiasts.http://bit.ly/1xgCJXq

I look forward to following http://www.cruxcollective.com. It brings together a big variety of interesting stories from around the world thanks to the gift of new technologies.

working remotelyThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Circle of Life

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“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme”  ― Jacqueline Carey

Hoola HoopOn Saturday evening, my husband and I went to a free concert at Howelson Hill in Steamboat. It was just one of several offered throughout the summer.

As I sat and listened to the band and watched the crowd, I was reminded of a 1950s fad. There were a handful of girls and grown women  hula hooping to the music! Those ladies were good! They kept the hoop spinning as it revolved around their necks and waists and then when they dropped down to their knees, in a kneeling position, they kept it going. As they stood again, they keep the hoop revolving around their ankles. Never once touching the plastic circle.

Wow- quite different than the hula hoops skills I had. And talk about a workout and being creative with a simple circle- some of the moves, I can’t even find the words to explain it!

Isn’t it funny how fads, like fashions, come and go and come back around again through the ages? Hula hoops provided many hours of fulfilling fun for me, my sister and our girlfriends.

This is just another bit of nostalgia from the gift we humans are given – a lifetime full of memories!

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Her publication is now also available in audio book for your reading pleasure. Click on this link for more information on the audio book, the paperback and the e-book.http://amzn.to/1nDmKTu

Dedication of a Student

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There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. Theres no such thing in life as in between. ~ Pat Riley 

Tanner Visnick

Several evenings last week my husband and I were occupied with “art events” and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Tuesday, we attended the senior voice recital of  a student named Tanner Visnick. My husband knew  Tanner only through his athletic abilities, and was astounded by his musical talents.  Tanner is also a telemark skier who is good enough to compete with the Europeans at a high level, and he is only a high school senior.

The musical compositions he chose for the evening included classical (sung in his native language as well as German and Italian) and show tunes. A mix of the serious and entertaining, his diversity of interests in music was showcased. Ave Maria, Bella Notte and An die Musik were a few of the classical tunes that he handled with great finesse. Then onto some musical theatre tunes such as Mr Cellophane (from Chicago), On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables), Ending with “Thankful,” which has been performed and recorded by Josh Groban on one of his many albums.

Tanner’s commitment and dedication to academics, sport and music has been admirable. Surprisingly, Tanner has his sites set on science as his major field of study next year. Thus, the “The Scientist” was included in the line up of compositions.

I hope when he goes on to college, he’s not finished with his telemark skiing and his music. He’s put too much work into it. But something tells me he will able to continue to handle almost anything that comes his way. He already at a young age, understands the commitment it takes to excel in any field.

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Photo compliments of Jeannie Visnick

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will digging up more young artistic talent when I tell you about the second senior recital I attended last week that was held at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/1kd4g61, presented by the Houston Music Studiohttp://bit.ly/1tY5Yxo .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Big and Small Successes

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Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. -Gail Devers quotes

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention on All Things Fulfilling the upcoming Olympics and the athletes who are fulfilling their dreams by representing their countries in Sochi next week. We are “hometown proud” here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “Ski TownUSA”® holds the record of having sent more winter athletes over the course of Olympic history than any other city in the U.S. (I believe 76 athletes not including 5 in this year’s games).

On Saturday, our local athletes were given a send off celebration by fellow residents who will be avidly watching all the Olympians from participating countries. Brother and sister Taylor and Arielle Gold (snowboarders), brothers Taylor and Brian Fletcher (nordic combined) and Todd Lodwick (ski jumping) will be participating from this city. This will be Lodwick’s sixth Olympic games. The evening of the gala there were fireworks, photos and even a flash mob dance to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. Here is a video clip of the community practicing the flash dance at last year’s Winter Carnival. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhdRmI3u278. The town of Steamboat Springs has Olympic spirit in everything they do!

marching band on skis in steamboatAn athlete who finally reaches the goal of obtaining a coveted spot on an Olympic team represents the same elevation of spirit that comes to every individual who has ever worked hard to reach their objectives – whether it is reaching the top of a corporate ladder, the inventor who receives a patent, the “creative” who after years of practice and learning makes his work public, the struggling child who finally realizes that when they have given all they’ve got there is great personal reward in their efforts or the spiritual counselor who has led an individual to see “what faith has to do with it.”  Dreams are fulfilled.

God speed to all the athletes, their coaches and parents who will be traveling to Sochi! May you have a safe and joy-filled experience. We wrap our arms around you in pride, for you represent us Americans, one and all.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.