It has been among the greatest pleasures in the world to experience feelings of accomplishment. Most of the time the joy comes from someone else’s success. Discovery of a personal limit and learning that there is room for “more” is a satisfying thing to witness. The past year has brought on so many of those very experiences. The 63 year old “DR KB” hit the 100 session mark. Letting go of fear… so many fears and unknowns, he counted his first 100 and looked back at #1. His disbelief in the things he feared at #1 vs #100 is astounding. His life has been changed forever, as well as every other person who choses to see and hear the joy in this mans heart and soul. I am forever thankful for the time you gave me and the group for the 100 as well as the next 100.
Speaking of next… It was that time of year when Project Athena launches another group of people into a world of the complete and total unknown… The depth and beauty of the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim hike is an experience unlike any other you could ever take… especially when lead by the Project Athena Foundation team. This foundation helps Survivors live an adventurous dream as part of their recovery. You can read more about this foundation at www.projectathena.org
The Grand Canyon becomes so much more than a giant hole with red rocks, vistas and bluffs, ever changing views from every turn, the Colorado River’s running water, Mules, camp sights, photo ops… the list goes on and on…These might be the things you witness on the way there, South Rim Bright Angel Trail to the North Rim’s North Kaibab Trail. (The demanding hike requires ample training, proof of which must be submitted to PAF prior to starting the endeavor)…Its the things that you experience among the PAF group while traversing the canyon that become the true discovery. Who are you? What are you made of? Why did you do this? Where will this experience bring you WHEN you finish?… the biggest question … Can I make it back?
The beauty of the Group experience is the support. PAF has “trail angels” should any “God or Goddess” need help. Help is the only thing that happens from each adventurer on every step from South to North and the return. Every step is one that they have never taken, often out of fear, doubt, or unworthiness. After 12 hours of hiking, the things you start to really notice like: heat, dust and dirt, mule “scent”, blisters, cramps, hunger, thirst, fatigue, foot pain that didn’t come from a fancy pair of fancy shoes, chafing, monkey butt and peeing trail side and not caring who comes by…the PAF Hike is loaded with nothing but LOVE for you from each and every pair of boots, water bottles, pb-n-j’s, mint oreos, grapes, salt pills, tow-lines and of course “greenies.” Its the understanding of the Grand Accomplishment to sign up, train and show up that crushes the fear and the doubt. Its making the hard decision to make the return trip because you think you can’t not. Its making the right choice because ONE WAY was enough (for now). Its the trust in the leadership and the bonds of true friendship that make every painful step worthy of the PAF LOVE.
I am so happy to be a part of the amazing team and the experience of everyone who makes the journey. The joy i feel fills me up to the brim when i am at my lowest point away from the woman of my dreams. I can assure you that, I will always leave it all out there when it comes to PHITGROUP, PAF and my wife to be Ashley.