Strong Bonds: Part 1

Gina and Janet in the Rocky Mountains This is part one of a two part series describing the strong bond that Warriors to Summits teammates Janet and Gina have established over the course of the program. A big part of the No Barriers Warriors philosophy is shaped by the idea of building a rope team.  Janet and Gina are a good example of how that rope team continues well after the program concludes.  This is Gina’s perspective:

One of my greatest gifts participating in the No Barriers Warriors Program was making some great new friends. One of which, coincidentally, is from the same state and happens to be the only other female participant on the team. My tent mate, teammate, and pee-behind-a-tree-lookout: Janet Gonzales. I don’t know how I’d have done on this expedition adventure without her, but surly she has made the journey more rewarding to say the least.

We shared some incredibly tough and challenging times together on many a training and of course, Gannett Peak. Every night Janet would remind me of how many days we had to go sleeping in the tent, smelling funky, and going to the bathroom outside. We vowed early on, that when this was over we were going to have some classic “girl-time” and planned everything from spa days, to ski trips, apple picking, dinner and a show in NYC, and snowmobiling! Anything really, as long as we weren’t using a bucket to poop or banned from wearing deodorant. Ewwww….

image6So far, we’ve gone to the Zac Brown Concert together, with both my husband and 11 year old son (who gladly escorted Janet as her “date” for her extra ticket!) and apple picking here upstate. Janet spent the weekend and met my whole gaggle of children, the animals here on my farm, and ate food we produced right here for both dinner and breakfast the next day. We had a great time! Next, I am planning a trip to see her in the city so we can catch a show or we’ve joked about crashing the Today show looking for a make-over. Not sure what they’d do to us, but sounds like an adventure, so I’m in!

I have to say, staying in touch with teammates is challenging because of our geographic diversity, but Janet and I really lucked out. We plan to stay in touch and remain friends as long as we can and she is the best souvenir of one of the most memorable and challenging experiences I’ve had in quite some time. While I can’t put her in my pocket (although she is quite small…haha!), her friendship is felt closely in my heart and she’s never really that far away. I will carry the camaraderie and friendship we share everywhere I go.