There have been twelve days since the last day of school….an off-season of another variety. On that last day, Wags had us pull our chairs into a circle and read out loud to one another what we intended to do with our summer vacation that would further our efforts to become Outdoor Leaders. He said that by telling each other our goals, we were making a commitment to accomplish them. It was then that I read my list of four commitments, which, as it turns out, will have very little to do with the thing that I will actually do during this summer break.
I told the class of my effort to start a business (Appalachian Outdoor Adventures) with Kyle, my Kung Fu classmate. We have met once a week for several weeks to explore what it will take to turn our imagination into reality. There are permits to obtain, insurance required, a website to create, logistics to navigate. And all we really want to do is hike. It is a slow process for sure.
Then there are several books I committed to read: Deep Survival – Who lives. Who Dies, and Why (Laurence Gonzales), Frames of Mind – the Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner and The Nighttime Novelist (Joseph Bates); the latter of the three culminating in the creation of a fictional short story…. next on my list of things to do during summer vacation.
Top of my list, however, as I read them off one by one to my classmates, was that I would meet with Paul, the Outdoor Leadership Program Manager and my School Advisor, to finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
When I sat down in Paul’s office six days ago, that is exactly what he asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We talked about several options and finally discovered the answer, which led to a plan.
So it is that there have been twelve days in this summer vacation and I have not added one new word to my short story of the fascinating life of Sara Ysabella; not one book has been read from my list of three.
What I have accomplished is to put myself back into school…. this summer, I will become a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT), which will allow me to eventually teach Wilderness Emergency Medicine.
There have been new books to read in preparation for the class, professional liability insurance to buy, waivers to sign and tests to take before the 12 hours of clinical rotations at the local hospital emergency room or ambulance service. I have spent an inordinate amount of time at the local Health Services Center trying to track down a record of my childhood immunizations. I have begged my mother to scavenge the keepsake box and I have called my high school records department – all futile attempts. Nonetheless, immunizations must be brought up to date – in other words, this Friday I’ll get a shot for everything under the planet.
My husband has researched the internet module of my treadmill extensively in hopes of simulating my favorite runs during the three weeks of class when I will trapse down to the garage at 5am.
The off-season running schedule has been thoughtfully reviewed and races selected to correspond with modified training from mid-June to early July.
If life is the ultimate run, this is most certainly my off-season. There are times we need to rest, recover and times to re-charge our batteries. Then we must focus our energy toward building a strong base that will provide the foundation for success in the next stage of life.
In sports, we call this off-season base building. In life, we call this reinventing ourselves.