Today is my wedding anniversary. As I was looking for a photo of my husband and I to post on FB I found one of us at the top of the Grand Teton. Last year, we conquered that bad boy…barely.
Terrifying does not even begin to describe how I felt when I slid off of “Wall Street” and swung in my belt. I hit a rock and swung back to hit another. I held onto my harness with a death grip fully aware that there was absolutely nothing beneath me for thousands of feet except jagged rocks.
“Amy,” my guide shouted down at me. “Stick your foot into that rock and climb. Do not sit in your harness. I cannot keep holding you. You need to climb. Stand up and climb.”
I looked around for a handle, any handle and put my fingers onto the smallest ledge possible. I put my foot onto the smooth surface of the rock and stuck my rear end out to the sky. It was a miracle that my shoes didn’t slip, but I was there on the wall, and no longer dangling.
I could feel my heart beating in my head almost so loudly that I barely heard my guide say, “climb, now climb.”
I looked around for another hand-hold and couldn’t see one. Then I remembered what I had learned as one of the most basic climbing rules: When you think there is nowhere to go, move up just one inch and it will change your entire perspective.
I found another tiny handhold one inch up and grabbed it. I took one tiny, miniscule step up the wall. I looked around and there it was, another hand hold, another step. I inched my way up and my guide cheered and both pushed me onward and pulled me up.
I made it.
My husband grabbed me on the ledge and pulled me in. The adrenaline took over and I sobbed and cussed and then I kept going.
A few hours later, my husband was climbing ahead of me and we were roped in together. I was standing on a tiny ledge with one foot and the other wrapped around the rock and up on a small toe hold. I had one hand in a crevasse and one on a handhold.
He slipped and landed on my foot.
“You are standing on me,” I told him. “You need to climb.”
“I need a break,” he said.
I looked down at the distance rocks hundreds of feet beneath us. “Now is not a good time for a break.”
“This is not good,” I heard our guide say. “I’m not clipped in. “Dan if Amy goes, you go, then I go. Start climbing.”
And he did. We climbed and we climbed and we climbed. I’ve ran a marathon before and it was more exhausting than mile 24. Or 25. Or 26.
Despite the fatigue, the hunger, and the fear we kept going until we reached the top.
We stopped for just a few minutes to take in the view and snap this picture before we headed down.
We are all climbing mountains, aren’t we? Some are bigger than others, sometimes you go down a bit before you go back up. Sometimes you climb alone, sometimes you have a team. Sometimes you are swinging in your harness. Sometimes you are lifting someone up. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. No matter the circumstance, we are all climbing.
I also have to thank my husband, Dan. Thank you for all of the mountains we've climbed together and all of the mountains we'll climb in the future. Happy anniversary.
Wyoming Primary Results
I'm thrilled and excited by the support of our community. If you'd like to review the results of the 2016 primary election, please visit the links below.
A thank you to my family, friends, and supporters:
First, please remove all car magnets from your cars tonight and no "Surdam of Mayor" t-shirts tomorrow within 100 ft of any polling location.
Second and more importantly, thank you.
On March 29th, I announced my candidacy for Mayor. The months of planning prior to that day and the months of implementation since that day have been both the most challenging and rewarding time in my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself and others during this journey and I wanted to share a few thoughts on the night before the election.
First, I’ve learned that family matters more than anything. And by family, I mean both the family we are born to and the family we choose. Thank you for being my family. Thank you for so generously giving me your time, your support, your resources, and your encouragement. I simply cannot thank everyone enough or mention you all by name, but I do want to call out a few people. Without my parents and husband none of this would be possible. They all allow me the room to fly. My campaign team is amazing. Justin, Sheila, Trista, Gabe, Lauren, and Taylor, thank you for all of the time and energy you have devoted to me and this campaign. All of the organizations I am involved with have been incredible, supportive, and encouraging. I am one person on many teams and could not do this without each and every single member.
I’ve also learned that it is harder to keep going then to quit. Life has been challenging in the last few months, both personally and professionally. It would have been very easy to quit and throw in the towel. But I didn’t and I’m not going to...because of you. You deserve a voice and support and kindness. You deserve a fair community and someone in office who will work hard for you every day. Our community and our children deserve a better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that some people really do care about pot holes while others care about rec centers. It’s impossible to please everyone, but it is important to listen, respect, and value the opinions of others.
We’ve ran an excellent campaign. We have incredible marketing material and website, a four part action plan, a blog that tracks all media coverage, and we have door knocked on over 4000 doors. I am proud of the work we have done and without a doubt can say we have given it our all.
No matter how many votes we receive tomorrow, we are the winner in this race.
See you on the flip side.
On this page....
Enjoy a personal look at my experiences. Click here to review my blogs on healthcare and here for previous aeronautics blogs in the Fly Wyoming Newsletter. And please no negative comments! Being vulnerable is hard enough without all the cyber bullying!