Trust Exercises

Sometimes you just gotta get out of town and hack your way up a frozen waterfall. The maple-colored mushroom of ice loomed above my head. Snow piled atop my helmet, pelted my face, and coated the thick Northern Minnesota forest. I had just hiked up a short 60-degree incline to reach the vertical wall of …

Read More

[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]nce a year, there’s a drag show at a small whitewater rafting outfit in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Cantrell Ultimate Rafting, which everyone just calls Cantrell’s, is a family-owned business that gives guided tours to church groups and Boy Scouts and curious travelers looking to brave the rapids of the New River. The site boasts …

Read More

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” Sara said while we walked. The sun beat on us, taking my sweat and making me red. I told her that the only Bible verse …

Read More

Urban Dictionary defines “dirtbag” as “a person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle…dirtbags are seeking to spend all of their moments pursuing their lifestyle.” While I’ve never been unemployed, I do seek to spend all of …

Read More

I was 10 the first time I saw snow. We lived in southern California, and one Saturday morning drove two hours from the outdoor malls just to pull off a mountain highway and gaze wondrously at an icy patch on the asphalt just big enough for a few snowballs. Now beneath my plane there is …

Read More

When I first met Whitney Parnell, CEO & Co-founder of the rising nonprofit, Service Never Sleeps (SNS), it was about three in the morning and I’d lost most of the feeling in my toes from the great polar vortex that had overtaken Washington, D.C. Whitney offered me a ride home after I’d participated in the city’s …

Read More

“Wait!” I shout as my head smacks below the surface of the pool. I flail around for a few minutes, trying to remember where to have my hands on the paddle and when to snap my hips. I eventually forget and the lady teaching me uses her body weight and arms to roll the kayak …

Read More

I was a curious kid. I climbed trees. I explored the creeks near my home. I rollerbladed on trails paralleling the Pacific Ocean. As a kid, the world was this big, beautiful place to explore, and I dove into all of its wonder without question. Then something happened as adolescence kicked in. Society started to …

Read More

Inside the silver billycan — a cooking pot that is deeper than it is wide and cheaper than it is sturdy — a small mountain of lentils is bubbling and spluttering, gently tapping at the underside of a closed lid. They are plump and steamy and make a squelching sound as though they are wading through …

Read More

A student of mine died this year and then I traveled to this place called Tana Toraja to see a pig get set on fire and after that I got a voicemail from my mother about looking death in the face. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll start with the pig. My husband and …

Read More