I have a story for you…
It is about what happened when 7 women left 21 kids, 7 husbands, 7 dogs & various other pets behind for 1 great adventure…
Know what happened next?
Bonds of friendship were formed, boundaries were pushed, confidence were built & laughter was heard ( herd! )
Freedom is the word I keep coming back to when thinking of my very special group of friends, The Goats. The freedom to be adventurous; freedom to be exactly who we are; and freedom to laugh until it hurts. We give each other those freedoms & so much more.
The Goats are a group of moms, some of whom did not even know each other when we got together 4 years ago to climb Mount Whitney. The climb was incidental to the experience, but by way of background Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. None, except one of us, had ever climbed a mountain before September 17th 2009, but that is not the story.
The story is the deep bond that was formed. We started out as 7 women and came down that steep mountain 17 hours later as a “herd”. We have never looked back.
The invitation to climb a mountain from a woman I knew only casually came out of nowhere. As did the name “The Goats”. It is not as if we were looking for a name. While it all seemed random, the group, the climb, the name now I know it was destiny at work.
There is simply no way that this group just came together by happenstance. This sounds kooky, but I believe we were destined to be brought together. Nothing else in my mind can explain the indefinable, yet discernable dynamic that is evident even to other people. Many have asked to join the group (ie herd), but you just can’t join. It is not like that.
In between mothering, marriage, car pools, volunteering and all the other domestic duties, the Goats have managed to not only climb Mt. Whitney, but also scale Half Dome, traverse the Grand Canyon (in one day because we had to be back for soccer), complete a triathlon and many lesser adventures in between.
The in between is often the best part, as there is always a birthday to celebrate, white elephant gift exchange to laugh through, a show case house to tour and really any excuse to get together.
With a families, responsibilities, bills, laundry and all that, having the opportunity to leave our comfort zone is rare. As a ‘herd’ we do things we would never even think of doing. The group energy is powerful & we really feel we can do anything together.
At a stage when life becomes predictable, friendships take a backseat and laughing so hard it hurts doesn’t happen all that often, I have found adventure, acceptance and side splitting silliness. The Goats have enhanced my life in so many ways. I know they each have my back on the trail and off, and I have theirs.
I am proud to be a part of “The HerStories Project”. This project is a collaborative effort between Jessica Smock of School of Smock & Stephanie Sprenger of Mommy for Real. Through essays the two are exploring the extremely rich & complex topic of female friendship. This is real “chic lit”. Click through and read more essays about real friendships & the impact those relationships have on us as women, mothers, daughters, wives & friends.
Hug a friend today ~ she might just need it…
** Kelly **