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“OWA is a great experience in a beautiful part of Colorado. All the counselors are really helpful, fun, and flexible. They help you safely step outside of your comfort zone and personalize your experience. I became close with other campers and built good relationships”- Sage, age 14
Austin, TX


Team, Dreams, Goals, and All That Good Stuff

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Florida and watch the World Rowing Championships. My sister rowed in the Quad boat, placing fifth in the world. It was an awesome experience, and I’m so proud.

My family and I at the World ChampionshipsWatching each race start and finish was incredible. The crowd would start chanting “USA! USA! USA!” and you could feel the athletes feeding off of the crowd. You saw their grit and perseverance come out in these races. This is what they had worked so hard for everyday. Every early morning practice, every turned down invitation to a night out with friends, every nap, every moment for years was poured into this and you could see it on all of their faces. There were disappointments and celebrations. There were high five from teammates and hugs from family members. It gave me the chills.

It also reminded me of something I’ve missed. I use to be a distance runner, and I’ve missed the heart and teamwork behind endurance sports. A race is never decided or finished until every person is across the line. It can all change out on the race course. In cross country, we raced individually, but we were also racing for our team. There’s just something special behind that, when you give everything you got and are there with your team at the end.

Celebrating with the team at the topI realized I was missing this when I watched these boats race. But then I realized I have something so similar. When outside climbing, biking, backpacking, canoeing, and more there are times that are hard. There are times that you are pouring everything you got into continuing on. Sometimes it rains four days in a row. Sometimes you can’t imagine making one more move up the wall. Sometimes the weight of your backpack suddenly feels like it’s crushing down on you. It’s those times when your friend gives you their extra granola bar, when you take just one more step, when you put forth all those moments of training. Those are the times that make the summit, the warm bowl of ramen, or the campfire stories worth it. We may not be racing at the World Championships with our team, but let me tell ya, we’re still out there giving it our all with our own kind of team.

So shout out to those with their eyes set on gold at the Olympics and to those with their eyes set on the next big outdoor adventure. We’re all out there doing what we love and making it count. What more could you ask out of life? So let’s go get after it!

Written By: Lydia Huelskamp

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