9.09.2016

"I think this is the longest I have ever been outside....?" Camping with the players

I happened to be in Jay's office when he decided to take the team camping during fall camp.  I was SO excited!  What a fun opportunity for these kids to do something different.  I love everything that camping is.  Being outside, the beautiful change of scenery, the crisp air, mountains, streams, the crackling fire, games, no cell service ;) just. everything.

The team went up to Causey reservoir Monday August 22 stayed 1 night in tents returning back to O-town the next day.  The team was able to paddle board on the lake, cliff jump, hike and swim all before dinner and the guest speaker.  

View of Causey Reservoir from the rzr ride I took 3 of the players on.
they were laughing most of the time, there may have been a little crying lol... :)
I had been so excited for this but when the day came I was not feeling well.  It had been 5 days since my first chemo treatment, I was exhausted and I just hurt.

The kids were prepping for the first day of school the following morning so Ashtyn decided to stay home to do all her first day preparations, Jacob had been swimming all day and was dehydrated so I sent him to bed and Allie was still asleep from her much needed nap.  Reluctantly I loaded up Alayna in Emily's car and we drove the 25 minutes up to the camp site.  I immediately felt glad I was there.

I plopped down in a camp chair and listened to the boys as they were coming back from the lake.  "Where are the showers?"  "What!?!? There are no showers?!?"
The chatter was so entertaining. My favorite was said in exasperation, "This is the LONGEST I have ever been outside!"  I sat there and just giggled. (They still had at least 18 more hours to go)  I could tell some of the boys were getting a little bored and restless waiting for the others to come back from the lake. So I offered to take them for a ride on the rzr.  We loaded up the first 3 to jump in, cranked up the radio and peeled out of the camp.  We went around the reservoir and found a few places to climb in and out of.

The most amazing part was how quickly  
I went from feeling weak and tired to feeling
a rush of adrenaline and filled with life.






When we returned to camp we ate dinner and listened to a fantastic guest speaker, Tim Border (click here for his inspiring Ted Talk) 





Tim Border was the first professor I had as I returned to on campus courses. Returning to the class for the first time in over 16 years was nerve-racking for me, I was the old lady with 4 kids trying to keep up with all these young bucks including some of Jay's players.  The first time I was called on to answer a question I think my face was a red as a tomato.  But in a few hours a week Tim Border gave me the most incredible insight and more importantly the confidence I needed to have a successful return to the college campus.  I would rave to Jay about every class and how well he could engage the students each and every day.  As you can imagine, I was so incredibly excited when Jay told me Tim was going to speak to the team.  Looking back, I wished I would have had video set up to record the whole thing!

He had great quotes and great stories.  One of my favorite quotes was from the USA olympic gymnasts.  
...till you CAN'T get it wrong.

The other part was his acronym VIP Vision, Insight, Personal Accountability

video

After the speaker the broke into 2 teams, offense vs defense and played capture the flag.  It was starting to get late but I wanted to stay and watch them play for a little while. It was as if the clock had turned back time and 80 18 year olds to 20 something boys now seemed to me like fun loving elementary school age boys running and playing as if nothing else mattered.  The energy I gleaned from the short 20 minutes filled me with strength and vitality that took the exhaustion and pain away.  I drove home filled with joy and ready to face more of this crazy cancer life. 

I hope I will always let the life and spirit of those around me fill me with vitality and joy. I also hope and pray that I can do the same for all those around me.

After I left Jay told me how they returned to the fire pit area, played cards, roasted marshmallows, starbursts and had an experience I hope they will never forget. 

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