|My favorite skating thing to do is probably spirals like this one. Now I'm working on doing them on edges (on a curve) and going backwards.|
|Such a simple little thing but it took so much work to get there. "Pass" on my Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Adult Test. Now I'm working on the Bronze and the first two ice dances.|
|My fabulous mentor Meghan, teaching me how to pitch this and several other tents.|
|Jon, showing off his impromptu climbing skills in Southern Utah during last March's rock climbing and hiking trip. We're headed there again in March 2016.|
This means that rock climbing is staying on the list, and I am hoping to get better in three areas before I hit fifty. First, I'd like to be climbing at a higher level generally. Right now 5.8-grade top rope climbs are where I'm at, and it would be great to be solidly in 5.9 range before the year is over. I also want to get better in setting up anchors and being more competent with gear outdoors. And finally, I want to work on lead climbing and at least try using trad (traditional) gear once before the year is out.
4. Becoming a Better Person. Sure, but how? Actually I already figured out a path on this one, I just need to be more systematic in doing it. One part has already been started. About four months ago I started an on-line Be Better Book Club. We've read two books so far (Pema Choudron's Start Where You Are and Brene Brown's Rising Strong). It's time to reinvigorate the club, so if anyone reading this wants in, let me know. Next up in David Brook's The Road to Character. Second part is volunteering: at least once a month, with a focus on giving back to the parts of my community I appreciate or have contributed to my own growth and development. Some of the things on that list include helping out on a trail maintenance day (since I love hiking), or a Crag Vermont work day (to thank the community for creating Bolton climbing area) and being a cheerleader/drink giver at a fun run (and being especially enthusiastic to the slower ranks running, the group in which I always belong). And finally, I am blatantly ripping off an idea from my friend Ginger. She told me that when she turned fifty she wrote a list of fifty people who had been important in her life and sent thank you letters to all of them over the yer. Talk about an exercise in gratitude! I love it, and I plan to do it.
So, there it. I have my marching orders, and between now and December 10, 2016 to see how far I get. Anyone who also wants to work on ice skating; adventuring outdoors; rock climbing; or being a better person is more than welcome. In 2010 one of the best parts of the year was all the people who taught me new things or explored them together with me. My plan is to blog at least once a month about how things are going and the plans for the next month. I hope lots of my friends and family will be part of the journey with me.