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How it All Began

It's funny to look into the past and wonder how you arrived at today. Mentally visiting the self you were 6 years ago, that person never would've guessed what life would look like now. I certainly had no idea that when "yours truly" was 29 year old and going through my second divorce, that I would ever find love again. Especially, not in a country bar in Phoenix, Arizona.

Though we were both nurses and later worked together, Andrew and I actually met through a mutual friend country-swing dancing. Andrew is an excellent dancer, and it surprises me to this day how easy it was for my broken heart to turn to mush while twirling around the dance floor.

After quite literally sweeping me off my feet, Andrew invited me to tag along at his weekly sailboat race because "it would be a little windy and they could use the extra weight on the boat". Completely lost in the foreign world that was sailing, I was thrilled to have the wind in my hair and the warm phoenix sun on my face. Aside from providing my habitus to support our efforts to victory, my only job was to pull this line of rope when they told me to "blow the traveler". Of course, when everyone began yelling at me to do so, I could not remember which of the many ropes was the traveler.

Like a peacock with his feathers on display, Andrew showed off his colorful, adventurous heart.

We snowboarded through the thick pines in Flagstaff, skied down foggy peaks in the Tetons , slept under the stars in the Grand Canyon, and danced to Chris Stapleton until the soles of my boots wore through. Not even a year in, we were even able to tramp through the magic of New Zealand. We hiked the Milford and Routeburn Tracks through beautiful, lush mountains, where I learned that sandals with sock are extra fashionable because the sandflies can't eat you through the wool. But even my blistered, itchy feet couldn't dampen the awe we felt watching hanging Glaciers Calve off the alpine cliffs of Mount Cook. Mile after mile the broken pieces of my heart began healing in this man's wild hands.

We craved the dirt and the sun and a starry sky. The more miles we put on our shoes, the more confident I felt in my own skin, and the farther I wanted to go. We were dreamers, are still dreamers I should say, and had started training for a summer summit of Mount Rainier when we decided we wanted someone with whom to share our dreams. "After this trip" we kept saying, but then we'd be enticed by another exciting adventure to add onto the calendar. "Mount Rainier in July, then an Ironman in October, and then this baby adventure." But in May, no sooner had we paid the steep non-refundable entry fees for the Louisville Ironman, two pink lines told us we'd have a change of plans. Little did we know this would be our greatest adventure yet.

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