Hi friends. I haven't been much of a Sparker lately, but things are going really well and I figured I should touch base via blog.
Last weekend I got back from my ten day trip to Massachusetts where I was "mom-sitting" so that my brother and his family could go on a ski vacation. Mom went to live with them in December, and at 88 she is still adjusting. I had a bit of a scare halfway through the trip when I thought she may have had a TIA (mini stroke), and her doctor has me send her to the ER via ambulance. They admitted her and did a gazillion tests. It turned out to be exhaustion instead - a little too much work with her personal training who had been putting her through the paces three times a week to build her strength. We cut that back to twice a week, and I suggested that the PT cut back the intensity too. That seemed to do the trick.
February has marked the beginning of my big focus on this summer's backpacking trip with scouts. I am in charge of a group of 207 people who are going out to Philmont Scout Ranch, and I am responsible for all the administration, training, and logistical details. The 207 people are divided into 18 crews, and this summer I'm the lead advisor to one of the crews, so it's like a dual role. I'm everybody's "boss" for the big picture, but I'm also focusing on my own crew of twelve - ten scouts and two adults. Lots of training memos, equipment checks, emails, etc. etc. etc.
This weekend my crew is going to New Jersey to a scout camp where we will do a challenge course on Saturday morning, allowing the kids to build teamwork and practice leadership. This is important because it allows them, and me, to evaluate the potential crew leader which they'll elect next month. That boy will be the real person in charge in our crew on the trip in July, while I am in the background keeping an eye on "health and safety" with my second adult advisor. No one has done this trip before except me, so it will be fun to experience it through their fresh perspective. We will be on the trail for eleven days and ten nights, and do around 70-75 miles, mixed in with a lot of fun backcountry programs. We'll be hiking in the mountains at fairly high altitude (7000-11,000 feet above sea level). It's really hot during the day and really cold at night.
I love this stuff and it has taken my focus off Sparking, but I'm enjoying my continuing good health and fitness. Usually when I make these trips, I'm worrying about ramping up my exercise program and losing weight, but this year I don't have to worry about those things because I'm already there! It is a great feeling.
After I get back from the weekend, I head out to Naples, Florida for several days for work. So I will likely be a ghost for most of next week too. I am here in spirit though! I think of you all often!!