Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing, Rappelling and More 2015!

Ladies! For Your Eyes ONLY

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Attention all ladies! Close your eyes and picture this! It’s midmorning, the sky is bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky and yet you are about to make a surprise entrance intro a crowd of unsuspecting people in a way worthy of the introduction scene to a Mission Impossible movie! Imagine the feeling of rappelling off a 120-foot sheer rock down into a crowd of unsuspecting onlookers taking the easy way on a hike from the parking lot. As the crowd looks up with amazement suddenly a badass team of comrade’s rappel in, showing the rest of the world it’s a hell of a lot of fun to the take the unconventional route!

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Now, imagine that priceless feeling you only get when you have just really pushed yourself outside the normal limits of life and done something so amazing, exciting, daring and bold that even your mother would be impressed? On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell your mom! That’s the kind of feeling the girls who put these weekends together love! Our goal is to arrange the most adventure packed, giggle fest of a girls weekend that you have ever had and while we do that we are going to see new places, do new things and tap into our inner wild child just because most of us have long lost touch with that part of ourselves. Can you see the look of astonishment on the faces around you as you nonchalantly smile to the amazed strangers and give them that “ya, we just did that kind of satisfied rock rappeller look?”

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Picture you and a dozen of your 30ish-40ish-50ish suburban PTA soccer mom comrades on the adventure trip of a lifetime because you are part of the next Empower Your Estrogen Adventure! Spots are very limited and fill up very quickly so if you have made the New Year resolution to kick it up a notch in your life this is the opportunity of a lifetime and just what you have been waiting for.

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Empower Your Estrogen founders Jackie (Bucketlistblogger.com) and sister Vicki (IronGirl) have partnered with the worlds best and hunkiest guides at Front Range Climbing Co to offer this once in life time opportunity. The adventure will begin Thursday morning April 24 and continue through Sunday April 27. We will backcountry camp in the stunning Moab, Utah desert under the brightest starry nights you can imagine. We are going to Moab for a four day weekend of badasery big time, full of rappelling off Moab’s spectacular 120 foot arches, rock climbing the stunning bluffs, hiking, camping, bonding, and celebrating our womanhood while we recharge our batteries and make new life long friendships! Nightly campfire chats while we sip a celebratory glass of wine and indulge in a little chocolate treat while we crown the Tough Tiara winner of the day have proven to be one of the many highlights. It’s like a girls retreat and an adrenaline charged slumber party all wrapped up in one!

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Our guides at Front Range Climbing Co will take care of everything from transportation from Colorado Springs to Moab, Utah, provide all our food, and make all the special arrangements. We will be with professional guides every step of the way and they will provide all the climbing gear, ropes, and instruction that we need to make sure everyone on this adventure can participate in creating life long memories.

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Front Range Climbing Co will customize the trip to our exact needs and offer us adventures that everyone can participate in. You need no special knowledge or prior climbing experience to participate. On our own custom Tough Girl scale this adventure would come in at rating of a 6-7 so you have plenty of time to dust off your old hiking boots and get your spring zig back into your zag!

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The Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure 2015 is offered at the staggeringly great deal of $379, includes transportation from Colorado Springs to and from Moab, Utah and all food, technical gear and instruction. You will need to provide your own basic backcountry gear such as a backpack, sleeping bag, small 2 man tent, hiking boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. That’s it! We make it really easy!

All you have to do is say “HELL Yeah and call today to register!”

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Call 719-632-5822 Front Range Climbing Co today to register! Remember, there are only 10 available spots on this trip offered at the blow out price of only $379 all-inclusive per person. I guarantee you because this is the coolest trip of a lifetime spots will fill up quickly and only the first 10 to register will get to attend!

As an added incentive if you register and pay in full before February 24, 2015 you get the discounted early bird price of $339! That’s a savings of $40!!!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

DEADLINE to REGISTER MARCH 8, 2015!

What are you waiting for!!!!!! CALL Right now! 719-632-5822 and say these magic words “Hell Yea!”

Cancellation Policy:
Full refund available with no penalty prior to March 24. After March 24, 80% refund unless we can fill your spot.

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Facing 50 Fearless Top 10 Tips

Facing 50 Fearless

I can’t believe how fast the years go by, in fact the older I get the faster they seem to go. At this point I find myself trying to hold onto time like Winnie the Pooh trying to hang onto Piglet in a brisk fall wind. It almost works but not quite. I decided that for my next 50 years I am going to try to do it a little differently. Here are my goals.

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1. Let Go and Let God! [Read more…]

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What the Hell am I Doing This For? Climbing to New Heights

What the Hell am I Doing This For?

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Several months ago, in an effort to stall the sands of time, I posted about a rather aggressive list of items I wanted to accomplish before my 50th birthday. My intent was to create a sense of urgency in my own life so I would quit making excuses and just “do it” like Nike so aptly tells us in their ads. Let’s face it, I’m already 49 and the list of things I haven’t done far outweighs the list of things I have done, so I figure I better get off the proverbial pot and get to work, err fun.

On this list was a couple of rather extreme sport minded accomplishments that had been swirling around in my head for a couple of years now, so in my bold attempt to stake claim to my youth and defy old age, I bravely put them high on “the list” so I would be sure to achieve my greatest goals.

I’ve wanted to climb Montezuma’s Tower in the Garden of the Gods now for three years. Before that I have to admit I didn’t even know it was there, much less have this insane idea to summit one of the highest pinnacles in this pristine park, but once I realized it was there and that it could be climbed, well it just started eating away at me until I just had to do it.

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I noticed it on one of my first rock climbing adventures with Front Range Climbing Co, and as I sat on the top of a much smaller summit I looked out over the park and my eyes rested on the biggest, baddest, most beautiful sandstone pinnacle I’d ever seen. When my tired eyes registered that the most ambitious of climbers were actually perched precariously on its cagey sides I knew that somehow, someday I had to conquer it.

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“I want to climb that one,” I eagerly pointed out to my trusty guide Daniel. As his gaze rested on my far off target I noticed a little twinkle in the corner of his eye, but he gamely replied, “Actually, that can be done, but it is a more advanced climb and it is what we call a double rope line because it is 150 feet high.”

I filed this nugget of information away in the back of my mind and continued with my beginner rock climbing lessons, eventually doing many of the different climbs in this park, on Flatirons and even on ice, but I never forgot my little dream to climb big someday.

Finally this past fall, I decided there was no time like the present and I called my buddy Isaac, at Front Range Climbing Co and asked him if he would help me make a dream come true and let me climb Montezuma’s Tower. Isaac knows me and he knows what I can and cannot do on the face of a rock, but he also has come to know me as someone just stubborn enough to push through the tough spots to achieve a dream and he agreed to take me to the top.

I recruited a friend and arranged my schedule so we could take advantage of the cooler October weather and soon the plans were in play.

In true Jackie form what I want to do and what I should probably should do don’t always match up, but I like to think that is part of what makes me so charming. Anyway, I announced to my loving husband what I was planning and asked if he would come along to take the pictures and videos of this grand adventure. He loves me so he said yes.

On the day of “the summit” Isaac, Lauren and I, along with my paparazzi crew (my husband, 13 year old daughter and Rowdy the Golden Retriever) walked deep into the park and set up at the base of Montezuma’s Tower. Isaac began explaining how this was all going to work and started setting up the ropes and gear accordingly.
As I craned my neck back as far as it would go and I looked up into the sky I realized just how tall this pinnacle really was. It seemed to loom straight up into the air, like the beanstalk in the old fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk, going straight as an arrow up into the clouds.

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Isaac, one of my all time favorite climbing guides has the patience of an angel and a wicked sense of humor. He is also very calm and matter of fact about rock climbing. He carefully went over all the safety components of climbing, checking our gear, triple checking each and every knot and carbine. Once he was sure everything checked out he calmly told us what he was going to do and then what we had to do. It was at this moment that I had my first “twinge” of doubt. Up to this point I was just excited and a bit naive about my actual role in this adventure.

See the thing is, on all my previous rock or ice climbing adventures the highest I had ever climbed was probably 60-70 feet up. In every one of these climbs I was not only with an expertly trained guide but I was always in direct sight of them. This means they could always see me and therefore make sure I was what I refer to in my mom life as “making good choices!” The guide could see where my feet were, where my hands were, what my next step was going to be, and that my gear was functioning properly and I was clipping on properly. All this direct and careful supervision gave me a bit of false confidence but now I realized I had to have my big girl panties on to summit Montezuma’s Tower because suddenly Isaac started talking about all these things “I was going to do.”

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“Wait a minute George,” I thought.

“You mean I am going to have to set the ropes right, clip on and off midway up and make sure the route up is safe for Lauren coming up behind me” I said in a whisper. “All without you being able to see what I am doing?”

“Oh Lord, help me” I started praying as fast as I could.

It was at this precise moment I realized I wanted to climb, I just didn’t want to actually be responsible for my safety or anyone else’s for that matter. The dawn of the bittersweet reality settled upon me. That was not how this was going to work.

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Isaac clearly, and calmly restated the “plan” to me. He was going up first as the lead climber and would set the line for me. Because the rock I had chosen was so tall we needed two ropes to reach the summit and therefore once he got over the first bulge in the rock he would no longer be able to see us. He would have to wait above us for us to climb up to him. Once we reached his midway point he would lead climb up the rest of the way to the summit and again we would have to climb up to him. Once Isaac started up we would no longer be able to see him. Lauren would belay me and we were going to be responsible for each other and ourselves. Just like real grownups. Crap.

Having not factored all this into my “big” plan it took me a few moments to regroup and gather my courage. “Ok, how hard can this be” I thought gamely to myself. “I have done several climbs, surely at this point I know what I am doing”. “Oh hell” I thought, raging doubt set in.

Lauren and I exchanged a brief but serious look. I could tell she shared my concerns.

Finally Lauren and I nodded in agreement and Isaac quickly started easily scaling the rock face until he disappeared completely from our view. In a few minutes he called down saying it was ok for me to start up. With Lauren belaying me below and my husband giving me a generous boost up over the first hurdle, I swallowed my pride and got to work, carefully climbing up and up.

When things are going well on the face of a rock, rock climbing is fun and relatively easy. You place your hands, push off on your feet and reach up until you find your next handhold. In this way you carefully pick you way up the wall but you feel empowered, a bit like Spiderman!

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However, when things are not going well on the face of a rock this is when your character is really tested. Unexpected things happen, like sometimes there is no place to put your hands and get any kind of a grip. Sometimes you have to reach, really far to get a grip. The same is true of where to place your feet. The farther you have to stretch the harder it is to pull your body along. On this particular rock we were very exposed and the wind came up making you feel even more vulnerable on the side of the rock.

For me the real test came when I got stuck midway up the rock face, far below where my instructor and trusty guide could actually see me and too far up for me to give up and go back down. I found myself unsure of what to do, how to solve the problem. Isaac calmly talked to me helping me work through my options and in the end helped me by leveraging the rope from above to give me a little boost when I was unable to pull myself up with raw strength. Back on track again I carefully made my way up but faced another serious challenge when I had to move the ropes and set the line for Lauren who could be coming behind me. I tried to remember what Isaac had told me to do but I was insecure about my abilities and my knowledge and worried that any error would put Lauren’s safety in jeopardy. Again, far outside my comfort zone I found myself having to yell up to Isaac to confirm what I was doing and how I was doing it. His calm and reassuring voice drifted down to me and eventually I had to let go of my fears and push onward and upward. Frankly, I just had to believe in myself and it was not easy.

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At the midway point I tied off so I was safely hooked to the rock face and tried to catch my breath while Lauren far below started climbing up to us. The wind was cold and bit into us because we were exposed and had no protection. When I looked down it was hard to not be intimidated by the imposing height. All I could think was “how the heck did I get here?” and even more importantly “why the hell did I want to do this?”

Once Lauren, Isaac and I were carefully at the mid-way point, Isaac once again gave us our newest set of instructions and then promptly disappeared above us. I had one more section to conquer,

By now I was close to 100 feet in the air, fatigued and cold and more than a bit freaked out about what I had yet to overcome before I could summit. Stuck again, unable to pull myself past a difficult part I paused and tried to suck it up. I wanted to reach the top, I wanted that feeling of empowerment you only get when you accomplish something you didn’t believe you could do, but at this point reality had fully sunk in and my mind, body and heart we engaged in a full on battle. It was really cold this far up on the rock because it was so high and exposed and the wind had unexpectedly come up bringing a cold front over the front range. The journey up was harder than I had anticipated and I was totally fatigued, my hands were trembling and I needed a break. Mentally I was frustrated with myself because I was struggling. I had to admit that I needed to work harder on building my physical strength if I wanted to pursue these kinds of intense activities. What I did know without a doubt was that I was safe and that the only way down at this point was up so if I wanted relief I had to get my big girl panties on and get to the top, however I had to do it.

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It was then that Isaac proved to me he is a truly gifted instructor. Sensing my fear and frustration he started singing the iconic Aerosmith song “Dream On” and I found myself teeth chattering in cold and fear but smiling in spite of myself. I gritted my teeth, yelled up that I was on the way up again just did what I had to do. Thankfully I had a good friend on the other end who gave me a little boost just when I needed it the most. I had of course totally forgotten I had my helmet cam recording my climb but in watching the footage you can hear me muttering under my breath that I am scared but going to do this anyway or I’m never getting off this rock”

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Thanks to good friends, a stubborn streak a mile long and an adventurous heart I sucked it up and made it to the top of Montezuma’s Tower that day. In the end, I did it. It wasn’t particularly pretty, I had to overcome some serious fears and insecurities but I found I was brave enough to try and stubborn enough to finish!

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She Did it Anyway

So my friend, “what’s next on your list?”

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A Lot Can Happen in a Year

A lot can happen in a year

What did you do last year that was exciting?

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-Got brave enough to launch an Empower Your Estrogen Adventure, or two, or three! I was really scared for some reason; I think I was uncertain others would think this adventure stuff was strange or that if I invited others to join I was somehow then responsible for their happiness and enjoyment on the trip. I was really wrong, others were most definitely interested and the women that came made it clear to me that they were there of their own accord and were singly responsible for their own happiness. Several reported that it was life-changing experience. I am so glad I let go of my fear long enough to give this a try. Last year my sister and I put together three trips, we went rock climbing in Moab, Utah, mountain biked down Pikes Peak, Colorado and went on a back country camping and yoga trip in Omaha, NE. WE have more fun adventures scheduled for 2015!

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-I persisted with a dream long enough to see it come true! I had been submitting articles to the editor of Max Sports and Fitness magazine for over a year and one of my articles was selected the year before but at the very end of 2013 she called and asked me if I would be interested in writing 9 feature stories as a contributing author! Again, a flash of doubt made me stop a question whether or not I could do it and then that bold inner child spoke up loud and strong and said yes! I am so glad I did! Nine feature stories turned into 22 feature stories in 2014 and a current set of assignments to kick off 2015! I can definitively say I am published!

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-Rock climbed to new heights in Moab, Utah and learned to rappel! Not only did I rappel I did it off awe inspiring 120 foot Aches!

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-Finally embraced mountain biking and not only went on adventures riding down Pikes Peak and Gold Camp Road and finally purchased a bike of my own.

-Got to see my son graduate from college! I am very proud of all of his hard work and it is a delight to visit with him about world issues and historical events, he has an impressive grasp of history and inspires me to learn more.

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-Turned 50! Holy Cow how did that happen? In my mind I feel about 25 full of ideas for my future and yet somehow I now have a veritable lifetime of experiences to go with all those dreams. I am trying to embrace the woman I am, and all my imperfections and learn to understand what I can and cannot do!

-Sold our business and bought a house. Launched into yet again another career journey!

-Finally completed a 3-minute plank, 50 sit-ups and 1 real pushup! Fitness is forever something I am working on and this was a new level of achievement for me.

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-Went 4 wheeling in my Jeep in the Rocky Mountains with a Jeep Group and got onto some very challenging trails requiring me to learn to embrace white knuckling some wild trails. It was nerve wracking to say the least especially when the Jeep tilted and I had a wheel in the air and the bottom of the Jeep was scraping the rocks below but I liked it!

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-It wasn’t an easy year by any means, in fact, it was downright scary and beyond stressful. A lot changed in our world in a year and it makes me wonder what’s in store for us next year!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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The Lost Art of Pie Making

Lost Art of Pie Making

Lost Art of Pie Making

Grandma, Mom, my sister and me

Grandma, Mom, my sister and me

My grandma had the most amazing ability to take water, flour and lard and with a few strokes of her wrist, her farm strong fingers could whip up a ball of soon to be flaky piecrust. How she could create something so heartwarming and soul soothing with just these three ingredients always amazed me. As a young girl I took this for granted, as we so often do. I guess I just figured she’d always be there, in her apron, working in her farm kitchen and somehow I never saw the urgency of spending more time with her there or of learning her art. Instead, I would breath deep the soothing aromas emanating from the kitchen while I scampered by trying to escape with my cousins to the fields, barn, trees, creek and adventures that lay beyond the kitchen to make mischief and fight imaginary battles defending the castle on the hill or the fort in the trees.

Don’t get me wrong, I would not trade my memories of running free on the farm, creating imaginary forts under the shade of the trees, swinging on the lone rope in the long abandoned barn or laying in the alfalfa field smelling the sweet smells of summer and watching the birds fly overhead for anything, but I do wish that I had taken advantage of those treasured kitchen moments with my grandma and mastered the time proven art of pie making.

Now that my grandma and her beloved farm are only dusty memories in my mind I am forced to use my sensory skills to conjure up the sights of grandma working back and forth on bare kitchen floor, the ancient boards worn smooth but uneven with the magic dance of cooking, the smells of the fresh baked pie cooling on the counter in the summer breeze, or the sounds of grandma washing dishes, opening and closing the oven door or adding wood to the cracking fire in the wood stove. I remember so well the sound of her striking a match across the steel in such a quiet yet confident way as if to tell the stove I am the queen of this kitchen and I will show you what we must do.

Instead of living with my secret memories or with regret of lost grandma kitchen time I traded years ago for time spent running free and wild on the 200 acres of sand hills ranch, I have decided to proactively solve this with a creative solution. I added learn to make a pie to my life long bucket list. I turned a regret into a goal and have decided to give it a new twist so that I may create new memories with my youngest daughter. We are going to learn together!

After our recent move to a new state, I am taking advantage of the fact that my social teenager hasn’t had a chance to pack her schedule with friend activities yet and I signed us up for a class at the local community center titled “Making decorative pie crusts” What the instructor didn’t know, or falsely assumed, was that I already new how to make the pie crust I just needed to know how to make them decorative. It was a little like putting the cart before the horse so to speak by attending, presumptuous at a minimum. Nevertheless, we proudly walked into class and with false confidence claimed our spot at the cooking counter marked with a single rolling pin.

First attempt at Rolling my pie crust

First attempt at Rolling my pie crust

Thankfully the instructor, in an effort to save class time, provided each of us with a fist size ball of professionally done pie crust and then proceeded to jump into the art of creating fancy looking pies with perfectly done fluting and intricately woven lattice or braded edging!

We floured, rolled and cut our piecrusts and I was delighted to see my daughter proving she was a natural! While my piecrusts were uneven or rolled too thin hers seemed rather artfully perfect in their innocence!

Grandma wasn’t there to teach us but I am pretty sure she was watching down on us that day. I might get an A for effort, or for being a dreamer, but I think my youngest made it clear the art of pie making skipped a generation, I am just glad the family name will be said with pride at future family gatherings and Thanksgivings!

Making Memories

Making Memories

My youngest and I have been practicing all fall and while we don’t have it mastered yet our taste buds are enjoying the challenge! Inevitably, we are still confounded with crusts that are either too dry or too moist to achieve that look of perfection, and when we did get close to the right texture we were frustrated to realize our crust was too small for the pie tin, but like Grandma taught us, we just keep a smile on our face and worked with what we had. As I reflect back over the years and the many lessons learned on the farm, I am comforted by the realization that the best lesson Grandma ever taught me was to recognize and be thankful for the blessings in my life and to appreciate what I had. So many of the younger generation seem to never be satisfied with what they have, always wanting instead what everyone else seems to have. Like a dear friend of my mothers recently put it “Your family never seemed to have a lot of presents under the tree but they had so much love that no one seemed to notice.” Hopefully, in my own little family I have somehow managed to share that lesson also! Our pie crusts might not be perfect and we might not have all the newest and greatest material things in life but hopefully we have so much love that no one seems to notice. At least that is my prayer for my children.

So my friend, what’s next on your list?

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Empower Your Estrogen Moab Rock Climbing Trip 2014

Empower Your Estrogen Adventure Tour with Brian and Isaac of Front Range Climbing Co 2014

Calling all Girlfriends! Empower Your Estrogen Adventure Tour!

Ladies, have you ever secretly wanted to do something so outrageous and insane that even you were impressed? Here is your once in a lifetime opportunity to raise some hell, get out of your comfort zone, live a sinfully dangerous life, reconnect with the sisterhood of girlfriends and enjoy the slumber party of all slumber parties! How about if we throw in some Thelma and Louise kind of adventure and a little spectacular scenery and a healthy dose of physical fitness?


March 13-17, 2014 Vicki and I are embarking on a once in a life-time, take no hostages, and don’t ever look back, kind of a life changing adventure, and we have used our amazing negotiating skills to be able to offer it to you-our girlfriends!

We’ll leave Thursday March 13, 2014 from Denver, Co and drive across the gorgeous Rocky Mountains to Moab, Utah where we will set up camp and enjoy a fun night of pre-bonding! Friday and Saturday we will climb all day and explore the amazing arches, learn to rock climb and master the art of rappelling and belaying each other! We will share laughter and tears and we will rediscover ourselves along the way. Sunday we will climb just half day and then we will head home, back to reality, fully empowered and recharged to go back to changing the world one day at a time!!

This is your chance. Don’t over think it, don’t fret about the money, don’t make the mistake of thinking your poor family can’t get along without you for even a few days and don’t you dare let the thought that you can’t do this get in your head. You can do this. You will have fun. You will learn something about yourself. You will be amazed at what you really can do if you just allow yourself the chance. This trip is perfect for beginners but will thrill even experienced climbers. Our guides will tailor the climbs to specifically fit our desires and abilities. We Promise.

Think about just exactly how much fun this would be, a group of crazy ass, hard working, hold the entire world together kind of women out camping and climbing in the wild under the stars in breathtaking Moab, Utah. By night we would sit around the roaring campfire in our comfy sweatpants happily sipping wine and eating chocolate under the stars and by day we’d all put on our big girl panties, step into our harnesses and learn to rock climb with the best rock climbing guides in the Rocky Mountains! Yes, we have arranged to bring our own hunky team of rock and rope handling rock climbing guides to teach you, keep you safe and push you out of your old comfort zone into something wild and exciting. Imagine rock climbing the arches, rappelling down the rock faces and bonding with new girlfriends!

How can you pass this up? This is your chance to cross off that next adventure off your bucket list! This kind of a life changer only comes along once every millennium and you need to get off the fence and sign up!
Not only have Vicki and I figured out the where, when and how’s of it all. We have negotiated an unbelievable rock bottom; you aren’t going to believe this price of $175 per person (if we get 6 women to sign up with us!) If our group has less than six other women the price goes up to $350 each –(which is still a steal of a deal) we have the hunky guides, amazing location, pristine rocks and all the expertise you need to be safe, have fun and enjoy a little life on the wild side! Front Range Climbing Co has all the necessary gear we’ll need. We just need our girlfriends with a “can do kind of attitude!” to make this the memory maker adventure of all time!

Ready, do it! Sign up right here, right now and join the fun. We guarantee you won’t be sorry!

Just imagine the stories you’ll have to tell your grandchildren! Ha Ha!

Please join us!

Jackie the Bucketlistblogger and Vicki the Irongirl

Check out Front Range Climbing Company at www.frontrangeclimbingco.com, or read the TripAdvisor Reviews here Trip Advisor Review of Front Range Climbing Co
or call Jackie at 720-260-1660!

Comments
So excited! Maybe this is the carrot I need to get me going.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 8:42 PM by Colleen cewflies@aol.com [Delete]
I’d like to go if we get the required number of participants. Does the $175 include lodging and meals or are we camping out?
Posted @ Tuesday, February 04, 2014 11:00 AM by Stella Juarez stella@stellaskitchen.com [Delete]
Ladies, as of now (2/4/2014) we have 7-8 going on the trip and that is enough to give us the $175 per person rate with Front Range Climbing Co!

The $175 fee with FRCC includes all the gear, the guides, permits and instruction we need to have fun and be safe! We are planning on camping to keep the other costs down. FRCC has some camping gear we can borrow or you can bring your own. Additionally, FRCC will be driving their 15-passenger van from Colorado Springs to Moab, Utah so you can either ride along or if you prefer you can drive yourself. Food, camping and the customary gratuity for your guide is extra.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 04, 2014 12:05 PM by Dan Classen d_classen@me.com [Delete]
Hi ladies!! Is there a spot for one more?!! I would be driving myself from the Carbondale area. Let me know so I can get Friday off of work if you have room!! Thank you!!!
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:33 PM by Jeanine Jmcnomd@gmail.com [Delete]

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One Long Wheeeeeee

One long Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee: A Bucketlistblogger Adventure

Bucketlistblogger.com Adventure

Bike 8

This is just an observation, a personal opinion by this author, but I want to pose a simple question to you today.

Don’t you think life is too full up uphill battles and not enough downhill coasts?

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What am I talking about? Think about this for just a second. How many things in life are you “working on” during your lifetime? Maybe this sounds a bit familiar, “I’m working on getting through high school. I’m working on getting into a good college. I’m working on my undergraduate degree. I’m working on getting a good job. I’m working for a big promotion. I’m working on saving money to buy a used car. I’m working on paying off my car. I’m working on getting my credit rating up. I’m working on buying a new car. I’m working on paying off my student loans. I’m working on my retirement savings. I’m working to buy a business. I’m working on saving for my kid’s college education. I’m working on saving for a vacation. I’m working on investing in my future. I’m working on getting into shape. I’m working on losing weight. I’m working on fixing up my house. I’m working on my marriage. I’m working on raising my children. I’m working on” ….

See what I mean? The list of things we spend our time and energy “working on” during our lifetime can be a bit daunting.

When was the last time you heard someone say I’m coasting today?

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Coasting, what do you mean coasting? Are you talking about the word we used to use as kids when we’d ride our bike, “ Wheeeeeeeeeee” Do you mean when we’d hop on our skateboard, push off a few times, and then firmly plant our other foot on the board and just ride, the wind whipping through our hair? Could it possibly mean when we would get the hose out in the summer, wet down an old tarp, run as fast as we could until we hit the wet, slippery surface, and then we’d just slide?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of one single adult that I have heard utter any of these words –ever. They are all so darn busy “working on” things that they have forgotten how to coast and enjoy the ride every now and then.

Now that I have you thinking a bit, which was more fun? Of course, all of our childhood work and coast experiences were more fun. Heck, we were just kids playing. The work never really felt like work, but we sure do remember how good the coasting part felt.

As kids we had it all figured out. Sometimes, adults need to take a lesson from the little ones.

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Dylan Scott, owner of Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours in Colorado Springs has actually figured out a way to help you remember what it was like to be a kid. His company of expert guides will take care of all the adult issues like having the right equipment, getting a bike that fits you, remembering to bring heavy layers of clothing and wraps for your pant legs so they don’t get caught in the bike chain, they remember the healthy breakfast and full water cooler so everyone can stay hydrated. They have the helmets and make sure they fit properly. They get the park pass, remember to fill up the van with gas, they know the way and they drive you to the top of Pikes Peak.

All you have to do is sit back and let them handle all the details while you enjoy the view up one of America’s most beautiful and majestic mountains. But what happens next is magical. At the summit the guides with Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours get everyone organized, explain all the safety rules etc. and before you know it the tour starts.

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You settle into the unfamiliar seat of a bicycle, stretch out over the handle bars and push off on the pedals a couple times thinking, like a typical adult that you have to do all the work. Like magic the bike takes off, no pedaling required, you are just riding at a nice brisk pace and you realize you don’t have anything to do except enjoy the surroundings and. …coast. What???

It took me, a seasoned mom and worrier, all of about 60 seconds of this exercise to be totally overcome by a rush of pleasant childhood memories. Oh my gosh, this was fun! This was exhilarating and the view-oh my gosh, the view was spectacular!

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My only concern was not getting too over-confident and going too fast to handle the corners safely, but my responsible guide up front took care of that, and set a safe and reasonable pace, and all I had to do was just follow along in line, gently squeezing my brakes every once in awhile and then coast.

What a mind blowing, simple and wonderful concept. Why had it been so very long since I did something like this?

We rolled gently down the mountain, a light and cool breeze rolling past, the highway winding its way down like a slow and friendly serpent laid out before us.

At first I was noticeably uncomfortable with the foreign notion of coasting and relaxing. My natural instinct was to find things to worry about. Were we going too fast, was there a car behind us trying to pass. How sharp was the turn up ahead, should we slow down. What if there was gravel on the road somewhere, would that be dangerous. Were we getting too close to the edge, etc. but rather quickly these irrational thoughts disappeared and I realized my guides had it all under control. We were going exactly the right pace; we had a guide in front of us showing us the way and a van with a guide behind us protecting us from traffic and other hazards.

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I really could just relax and enjoy the ride. As this fascinating transformation took place and I looked over at my hardworking 21 year old college son, I saw the pure joy in his eyes as he rolled up next to me and said, “wow mom this is really cool and lots of fun.” I could see that as hard as he has been working to become a responsible adult he could still relish the pure joy of just being a kid again for a few hours. He had vivid memories of the joy of coasting. At that moment all I wanted to do was throw my hands in the air and yell “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee” all the way down the mountain.

Hard work and responsible decisions are the mainstay of adulthood, but don’t forget that it’s perfectly healthy to sit back and coast every now and then, and just enjoy the ride and the view.

To book your Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tour visit www.bikepikespeak .com, ask for Dylan and tell him your friend Jackie The Bucketlistblogger sent you! I promise you, he’ll know who you are talking about!

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So my friend , I ask you “what’s next on your bucket list?”

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Don’t Give Up

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It finally happened! I have been going on one crazy adventure after another for going on three years now and sharing each story lovingly with my friends at www.bucketlistblogger.com and on www.maxmusclecos.com, all with the goal of someday being able to say I am a published author. Well, I am here to tell you hard work and and old fashioned stubbornness pay off in the end. My story was selected, by the well respected Max Sports and Fitness magazine, to run in their July issue of 2013!

Getting published sounded like a lofty goal, it felt like that was what happened to the “real writers” or at least those with a lot more connections than I had, but true to my bucketlistblogger theme, it has always been on my list of things I “wished” I could do in my lifetime, and finally I can say I did it! It feels pretty good actually!

Having a dream, having the courage to follow the dream, and having the courage to tell the world about your dream are not easy things to do. Somewhere along the way in the past few years, I learned to embrace my wild side and just “go for it” and like the saying goes “you’ll never know unless you try!” Well this crazy lady tried and can say with pride now, you should read my article in Max Sports and Fitness Magazine, July 2013, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Click on this link to read the article! www.maxmusclecos.com
So my friend, if I can do it so can you! My friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Risky Business


Picture by Kyle Steiner

Risky Business

I will admit I am a late blooming unconventional adrenaline junkie. The funny part is that I had no idea how much I liked challenging the status quo until later in the season of my life. People ask me now “what’s next on your list?” and inquire as to the craziest thing I have ever done. They do so, like I am an expert at risk or something. What a concept.

My bucketlist is a bit slanted toward the adventurous and at first glance you might hypothysis that this is because I love the thrill of danger or can only find peace when faced with life or death situations. I would argue the contrary position in response. My bucketlist is about trying new things, getting out of my comfort zone, and most importantly, being able to look back on my life and say “I did that,” rather than “I wish I would have,” not about risk, for the sake of risk. I think it is about being willing to take a calculated chance.

Life happens fast. As a kid you think time will never pass. You count up on birthdays the minute you hit the six month mark and proudly proclaim that you are 8 ½ to anyone who will listen. Finally, you hit the big milestones, 16, 18, 21, but then something cruel starts to happen, and time starts to go by faster every year. Soon, ready or not, you hit 25, you hang onto 29, start to fear 35 and dread 40. Somewhere along the way you change your perspective. You stop and look back and think how did I blink and I go from a scared new mother to a veteran parent of teenagers?

Thinking about it like this puts some fuel in the tank for trying new things. If not now, when? Time to get moving, time to have an adventure!

Looking back at the choices of my life I can see threads of the risky business character, when as a young kid I was determined to learn to salom ski despite a profund lack of knowledge, training, and boat power. Stubbornness overcame common sense, and eventually, I figured it out.

Later, some thought I was nuts when I excitedly accepted my future husband’s marriage proposal at 22 years old. We were so naive about life, marriage and careers, but I was certain this was the love of my life and there was no way I was going to do anything but say yes. I’ve never been sorry.


Picture by Kyle Steiner

Even more thought we were nuts when we sold everything we had and moved across county with two babies so my husband could go to grad school and we could go into debt beyond our eyeballs!

We jumped into parenthood a few years before that, and somehow, managed to find our way to raising a couple of really cool young adults.

Our parents about had a heart attack when they found out we bought a home sight unseen in a small Adirondack town. “what the hell are they thinking?” they asked each other. We made some crazy sounding decisions along the way but in reality we never thought any of them were really risky. To us they were calculated choices.

In our minds, they were all carefully thought out, and they were calculated decisions, chances on a future that we were willing to bet on, because we believed we could handle the consequenses along the way.

In each situation, while to the rest of the world, we seemed to be dancing on the edge of disaster, we knew we were just taking the next step on our journey.


Picture by Kyle Steiner

Don’t think this was without it’s challenges or that we didn’t doubt ourseleves somewhere along the way. We did. We just looked at it like, we had no option, but to make it work, so we would continue to try things, assess, adjust, and reassess, until eventually things worked out.

Going into business for ourselves is really not any different. To the world this seems crazy, to us, it feels like a chance to fulfill our dreams. I am sure we will question our sanity more than once, but if I know us, we will just keep at it, until we make it happen. Stubborness has its advantages.

I fear that to many of our family, friends and neighbors our recent decisons again seem insane, risky and just plain nuts. Why would you put your house up for sale right now when prices are still down, why would you put your savings on the line, risk your future and buy into a business in a worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, why would the two of you be willing to work 7 days a week 16 hours a day week after week?

My answer is that this is a classic example of perspective. It’s all in how you look at it. It all comes down to this, is your glass half full or half empty? While others see dropping home prices, we see a turning market and buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to buy, especially now, with historically low interest rates. We see the opportunity to be our own bosses, to run our business passionately and the way see fit. We see it as a positive to bet our futures on each other. It has worked for us in the past. My bet is it will work in the future.


I have to tell you working this hard toward a common goal elicits a combination of feelings, exhaustion being at the top of the list, but it also is really fun and while the hours we are putting in are long the days have never gone faster.

My crazy ideas probably sound nuts to most of you but I think it is more fun to live life this way. I still don’t know what I am capable of and each new adventure and challenge that I face teaches me something new about myself. I call this creating the life I want. I call this my bucketlist.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Fear Not Your Next Step Dear Tate Marie

Fear not your next step, fear not the unknown, do not look back and do not question your dreams.

It is time for you to fly and you are ready. I know this.

When the time comes, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a second and picture all the people you love wrapping you in a blanket of love. Smile. Open your eyes and only look forward. Now open your beautiful wings and take a chance—fly.

Rest assured you will not fall, for you are ready. Rest assured you will not circle back, because the world is waiting for you, and quite frankly the world needs you. Fly forward knowing you have family and friends in your heart and beneath your wings.

Dedicating your life to the Peace Corp and eventually becoming a health care professional who helps children is you who you’ve wanted to be for a long time. It is who you are.

You are ready and you will be great. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will you question your choices-most of us do. Will you miss your old life-sure. But when it gets hard ask yourself-has the past always been easy? Would you have done it differently? I dare say no.

What you learn as you get older is that self-confidence comes from within. It comes from being loved and nurtured. It comes from knowing that you are special and that God has a plan for you.

Grace comes from understanding life isn’t a Fairy Tale or a Hollywood movie. Sometimes we know exactly what the next step in our life should be and sometimes we only have faith.

I think you have learned that if you stay true to your heart and if you have faith things will work out. I believe this is God’s Grace at work.

This kind of Faith takes away fear. You do not have to know right now exactly what the next two years are going to be like. You do not have to know right now what lesson you are going to learn by choosing to dedicate yourself to the Peace Corp. You don’t have to know all the answers today. The journey will unfold; your life will change, all according to God’s Plan. You just have to have the courage to start this new journey. That’s all you have to do.

As a mom, and I do think of you as one of my own angels, we spend a lot of time nurturing and preparing our angels for life. Actually letting them go is not something we prepare very well for, especially me. I am much better at hanging on than letting go.

I had my own anxieties about your Peace Corp dream, while I admired your spirit, the big world seemed far too dangerous to any angel of mine. But I confess, I’ve had a complete change of heart. You planned it all out-but it didn’t go according to your plan. That’s how life works. But you didn’t give up. You had Faith. I believe God has brought you to this point in time, to this Peace Corp assignment, to this country, for a very special reason.

As a mom, I know that as much as I would like to hold on, you were meant for great things and you are ready.

The greatest gift your family and friends can give you is your freedom and encouragement to fly. We are all in your heart and you are in ours, so the miles don’t matter.

So go have an adventure of a lifetime. Go share your light on the world, go share your love with the lucky children of Africa. You are ready and we will be here cheering you on with love and pride in our hearts.

May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey my angel.

Love,
Jackie

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