Posts Tagged ‘jesuit volunteer corps’

As alluded to in previous posts, this past weekend I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, for a reunion with six other amazing women who entered my life when we lived together as our first year out of college.  We were more than housemates, we were community members; and we all worked as volunteers at various Sacramento nonprofits as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  One of the enduring gifts from my year of service is that our circle of friendship remains unbroken over 10 years later. We call ourselves (with laughter) the Sacto Seven.

The first few years it was easy to regularly pull the Sacto Seven in to a central orbit, as we’d convene in majority at weddings, or one-on-one during various trips.  But, once most of us were married, settled into our jobs, neck-deep in mortgages, and knee-deep in children, it became harder to get together.  And so, we made a pact: every two years, we’d reunite. Silverthorn, CO; Spring Lake, NJ; and this year, SLC.

We try to balance between downtime for talking, laughter and rest, and active time, where we all get out of the house and do something together.  In the past we’ve gone white water rafting (a bust as it hailed upon us) and a day at the beach (fun but some of us were distracted by children and cranky husbands).  This year, with just five of us making it to SLC, we decided to go skiing.  Downhill skiing. (Originally, I’d voted for snowshoeing.) That’s right, uncoordinated me went skiing. All of us had been on skis before, but really only two qualified as skiers.  So, the other three of us took a lesson, which even though it sucked up the middle of my day, ended up being a great idea.


That’s TV on the far left looking relaxed (bored, even?) and me on the right, as I head towards the “SLOW” sign on the bunny slope.

TV has been skiing since she was a toddler, and so I borrowed her extra ski pants and got my first tips from her. AC is pan-athletic, with a love for most things that require fitness and can be done outdoors — she’s been tele-skiing for at least a year now. BF and JM have both skied recently, but I was definitely pulling up the rear since my last time on skis was 10th grade. It’s been a while since I’ve been so out of my comfort zone, and without these women, would never have gotten on the slopes. (See why I love them so?)

Certainly, I fell a few times.  I have a bruise (of which I am proud).  Taking the lesson helped me see a similarities in skiing and running, in two small yet significant ways. I enjoyed getting practical instruction on which I could concentrate (it felt like being coached); and I caught a glimpse of that mind/body connection (which is both a letting go of and a pinpointing of thought) I get on my best runs.

At the end of the day, we convened on the deck of the lodge to share our tales from the slopes and to continue our meandering catch-up conversation.  We toasted beers & beverages to each other and to our friendship–a friendship that’s a safe place for us to step out of our comfort zones.


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