Cast of Characters

Josh

One word: machine. For Josh a day out usually involves huge distances, huge elevations or both. Whether climbing, backpacking, flyfishing, snowboarding or mountain biking, he is determined to make the most out of each outing, and is happy in all outdoor pursuits.

He loves alpine starts, big days, Snickers bars and a good strong cup of black coffee.

This is the man against all others in Sierra’s life will be judged. From her first steps to her first climb to her first summit, he has been a constant pillar of strength, endurance, commitment, courage and confidence.

Josh loves quietly yet fiercely, and with all of the patience and persistence of the stars. If you look closely, you can see it there in his eyes-the truth and goodness of a pure soul. He has a heart of fire-not the destructive kind that can burn up spirits and destroy people, but the quiet, steady blazing kind that puts out light and heat and draws others in to warm their souls.

He is a good man.

And my goodness, he keeps me in adventures.

“You provide the rhythm, babe, and I’ll provide the soul.” – Over the Rhine

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Sierra

Sierra. My goodness. Josh and I made this.

Sierra is a swimmer, a ski racer, a powerlifter-an athlete. Watching her complete in her various activities is witnessing firsthand those rare, perfect moments when you are seeing someone doing what they were born to do. She was born to be a champion.

This girl is the perfect likeness of what people can be-of what people shouldbe. Her soul is older than her years and it shines out of her like a beacon for others who cannot help but be drawn into her heart for its light. She is caring, considerate, and kind in a world where simple kindness has somehow become complicated and infrequent. She is good for the simple reasoning that people should be good. She is kind because people should be kind. She makes us all pause and see the world through her beautiful, caring eyes.

Sierra loves animals.

She was running by ten months. She started skiing at eighteen months, yoga at two years, bouldering at two years and rock climbing by age four. She built and typed her own resume and secured an “internship” at our local rec center at age six. This is our real life.

Her best friends are all boys, and they are the sweetest, kindest kids I have ever met. They are loyal and dedicated and strong, and I know they would do anything, absolutely anything, for her.

She. Eats. Constantly.

Sierra will spend a full eight hours a day swimming. Every day. Before Sierra, I never knew that bathing suits could melt from extended exposure to chlorine. She is allergic to chlorine.

She had her first summit at ten.

Sierra was born with biceps and a six pack. I’ve never seen legs like hers on a kid before. She might be a superhero. I tried to get her to wear my cape but she declined.

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Laura

I am a dedicated backpacker who likes to cover a lot of miles in a small amount of time. I run, I ski and I bike. I always have a book. I always have the means to write.

I absolutely believe that life is too short to spend it doing things you don’t enjoy, which is pretty much why I don’t vacuum.

Potatoes are basically the most perfect food on the planet. I mean, fries, chips, baked, mashed, scalloped…it’s like the other vegetables aren’t even trying.

I hate weddings.

I wear Chuck Taylors nearly everyday, but especially when I’m expected to dress up (like if I have to go to a stupid wedding).

Here’s what I think: courage and compassion are not mutually exclusive concepts; humanity and humor aren’t either. Everyone has something beautiful to give. Just a little bit of love and laughter can rid a person of bitterness and hatred by simply letting the light of life shine inside the dark places of a closed soul. Throw back your head and laugh today. Dazzle someone with your great big smile. Open wide the doors of your heart and strive to be better, not bitter, about your life.

I look just like my dad, whom I call Daddy Badger for absolutely no other reason that that it’s funny. Also like my dad, I laugh loudly and with my whole body.

I totally own a shiny red cape. It glistens in the sun. Sometimes I wear it while I vacuum. But Josh and Sierra won’t let me wear it to weddings.

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