On April 1st, 1998 I rolled into Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in trepidation and excitement—in a van full of friends--eager to make a new life. I'd just left Florida, where my 5 friends would be driving back to after spring break, after leaving me in a new town, all by my lonesome, with very little but what was on my back.
For the next 24 years, I'd celebrate this anniversary as my "entry date" into this legendary town—Ski Town USA—the home of the most winter Olympians, the oldest Winter Carnival, and a long 7-month winter that was like no winter I'd ever experienced. Mountains like I'd never experienced. And people like I'd never met before — free, lively, music-loving, athletic, healthy, vibrant, and entrepreneurial. It was the smallest town I'd ever lived in, and it was home for me from ages 24 to 47. So in simplicity, it's where I was molded into an adult; where I matured.
I find it hard to pass this milestone—April Fool's Day—without thinking about Steamboat and how it's been a place of so much growth and development for me—where I built three businesses, helped 2 nonprofits take off, worked in several capacities that formulated who I am, and where I built friendships that will last a lifetime.
While I'm so happy (perhaps happier than I've ever been) to be in Tennessee forming our new life (see last week's Sage here if you're new to our group!), I think April 1st will always be a day of reflection and gratitude for me to give to Steamboat, a place that will always feel like "home," and that we'll always go back to each winter for some fun, friendship revisits, and reflection.
For without gratitude, there is no peace.
Thank you, Ski Town, you've made me who I am today,
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