Strong Bonds: Part II

This is the second installment of a two part blog series about how Warriors to Summits participants, Gina and Janet, found sisterhood through their summit. Strong Bonds: Part I can be found here.

On the morning of November 13, 2015, I woke up feeling rushed, overwhelmed and with an incredible sense of disorganization. In my dream, people were waiting on me while I decided whether to bring my personal pillow or an inflatable one. I was going through my pack over and over again while I made sure I had all the necessary camping gear, layers, wipes, snacks, etc.

Sound familiar?

Then the dream took me to where all I saw were boots, initially shuffling through the dirt, rocks and grass, until we reached the water. The sun was delivering its breathtaking warmth. I couldn’t see the faces but I sensed peace, unity and happiness. We were all together.

Gina and Janet stand posed, leaning on walking sticks, in the middle of a grass field with the mountains in the background.

I’m still not sure how we were all selected for this program but what I do know with certainty is that we were an experiment of personalities that became intrinsically perfect. I knew nothing of Gina, other than we were both residing in New York. She was always hot and I was forever cold. So I wasted no time in explaining that I was from the Caribbean and that anything below 75 degrees meant having a sweater close by.

I looked forward to our nightly tent conversations where we talked about high and lows, the frustrations and the funnies, and where we braided each other’s hair. I can honestly say l enjoyed making my tent mate, now my friend, smile and laugh, whether it be by counting how many “wake up’s” we had left, singing the Frozen theme song, or by sharing my belief that in love and friendship we give of our strength to those we love when they feel weak.

Sure, we were very different, but we had plenty in common. Our weaknesses and strengths complemented one another. On a daily basis, Gina and I would scout for what would be the “almost perfect” potty location for us. You see, in addition to my exacerbated fear of heights, I had issues with certain critters. So while I looked out for better terrain, lessening the possibility of her tripping during those late nights under the stars, she made sure my spot was almost critter free.

Gina and Janet pose for a selfie inside a stadium while watching the Zach Brown Band.

Our journey to Gannett Peak came to an end and yet, we still remain close. I visited her family and pets and enjoyed a day out in northern New York, with the tastiest meal prepared by her incredible husband.

Now Gina is on her way to NYC and we have dinner and a show to enjoy tonight – a New York City adventure to say the least!

I’m so, so grateful for our newfound friendship, Gina. You have been a gift and I look forward to many more adventures!

Thank you, No Barriers for putting together this group of incredible personalities. We have grown and learned from one another. We have become what you hoped for. We are brothers and sisters, a family, and a strong rope that became Team Gannett Peak.