This past week may go down as one of the best ever.
I started off the week finishing up my final days at the fly shop for the summer. It's sad to leave, but I learned so much and appreciate my coworkers and the regulars so much. There was brisket and Mark's on Wednesday, which sent me into a food coma for a few days.
Thursday was my birthday, which sometimes is hard for me. It's hard growing up. It's hard having a birthday so close to the start of school, you almost always have something more important and pressing to do than relax. I spent the morning and afternoon cleaning the house in Livingston and moving my stuff back to Bozeman. After we unloaded all my various items into the apartment in Bozeman, I got to spend the evening with my family. This year though, the fam hooked it up and blew me away with the thoughtfulness of their gifts. Avery got me an amazing sheepskin rug I've had my eyes on and a string of fairy lights for my apartment. David almost gave me a heart attack and gave me a pair of Pharell William "Human Race" NMDs he scored in San Francisco (for those of you unfamiliar with sneaker culture, these are some of the rarest and most expensive sneakers out right now). My mom and Jamie gifted me some new ice (earrings) and some much-needed household appliances. The best part of the whole night though was sitting around the dining room table and drawing with everyone. David broke out his sketch book and we all bonded over drawing blind contours of mom. Quality time with the whole family is rare and getting rarer these days. The hour or so spent drawing was definitely the best part.
Friday I spent with the SFC crew at Catapalooza watching ski movies and talking to incoming freshman about Jesus and skiing. I am excited to see where this year takes us. I think the group has such good potential and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this season. I also went out to see my dad and Erin for a quick visit, which is always nice since I do not see them as much.
Saturday I had a powerlifting meet. I was super nervous for the meet since I had hardly trained all summer and generally was not in love with the idea of being in a singlet and knee high socks all day. I was SO lucky to have Pam and Rosie there competing with me. They are both incredible lifters and people. My opening squat attempt was 181# (which is an easy squat attempt for me) and I red lighted on it twice for not getting deep enough. My nerves were getting the best of me. Super frustrated and honestly embarrassed, I went in for my third attempt at that weight and nailed it. I was still in the ranks of the top three squats that flight though which was great, only Pam and Rosie were ahead of me. I felt honored to be in the ranks with them. My bench was wimpy, but hey I didn't red light, and my deadlifts were great. I got a new PR of 260#, and ended up winning my weight class. What made the whole day great though was getting to spend it with some amazing people and overcoming my self and my anxiety during my lifts. I ended the day laying on the lawn of Story Mansion watching A River Runs Through It with some of my favorite people and finally having a birthday drink.
Sunday I played guide for my mom and Jamie on the Yellowstone. I rowed most of Pine Creek to Carters Bridge and really only had one very sketchy encounter. We all hooked into some fish, got sunburnt and enjoying the smokey watercolor looking peaks in the Paradise Valley. Rowing is hard, but backing up the boat trailer with some salty fishing guides waiting on you to move is harder...
Monday was my last first day of school. I graduate in May and literally could not be more excited. I also went in for a job interview at Yellowdog Fly Fishing to do graphic design work for them and was offered the job. I am super excited to work for such a great company and work in the fishing industry year round. Monday I also got some crazy news. I was invited to go to upstate New York to fish for King Salmon with Douglas Outdoors. They invite people every year to come out to their salmon camp, last year Jamie and George went and this year they want JG and me to go out. Douglas is sending us out and covering everything. All we have to do is show up. The real kicker though is we fly out the day after I get back from Bull trout fishing in British Columbia. I get to fish and travel for almost 10 days in some new and amazing places. I feel really good about the direction everything is going in, I get to work in the fly fishing industry year round and am lucky enough to be sent across the country to do it.
I would like to take a moment though to thank the people who helped make this week so good. All of my parents and family, coworkers, friends, and mentors, thank you. Here's to a great rest of August and everything after...