Poppin’ Tops

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE  

STILL PLAYIN’ WITH IT TRIBE!

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I am taking a moment to LOVE YOU this morning! As we embark on the festivities of this eve, I trust you will have an amazing time partying your face off and OF COURSE taking a moment to reflect?! 

“Yeah Right, Doc! I will be making out with my hot midnight date that I met at 11:52. Or utilizing my dance moves to gain some momentum.” 

Understood. I am not naive. But a girl can dream…

HERE IS MY HOPE FOR YOU AT SOME POINT IN THE EVE…

Enjoy a moment. A second. Just a fleeting breeze of an experience to reflect on:

WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT?

That is it. No need to go back, we will do that tomorrow. 😉 Or think about your goals for 2016. We will do that Monday. Instead, just take a moment to be PRESENT. To BE PERFECTLY YOU DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING! FREEDOM!!!!! Experience the folks you are with and the feeling in your heart. Can you do that? I know you can.

BUT WILL YOU?

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Whether in: San Fran (love you Natgeo) Sydney (love you JH!) Okinawa (LT. FGO) My family and friends in Oregon. My favorite Swedes (love you boys!) My gorgeous Anna in Australia. Or my readers I do not know by name in Qatar, Slovenia, New Zealand, and the other countries and cities around the world that this platform I love is reaching:

May YOU bust a move and reflect on the radness (is that a word?) of THIS MOMENT WHEREVER YOU ARE. Super Radness!  

Mostly this morning, I would like to salute the hundreds of Service Members still on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, I THANK YOU! And the millions of others that are on our home front and on U.S. soil serving in the numerous ways they do: THANK YOU!!! And for ALL the veterans that have served in the past, whether a week ago or 50 years ago: THANK YOU!!! I ask that my readers take a moment to reflect on their freedoms. The sacrifice you all make daily is the reason I do what I do. Semper Fi.

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NOW GO ROCK THIS EVENING AND HAVE A FUCKING BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!

In respect and love, ❤

Rebecca

“EITHER WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING.”-BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

 

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I AM A PATRIOT

Dedicated to those that were lost in the midst of 9/11 and to their families…

Day of Remembrance

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Today is 9/11. All over the Globe people are remembering where they were the moment it hit. I was sitting in the cafeteria at Mira Costa College with my girlfriend after Oceanography class.

I have posted one special blog of mine a few times throughout the history of Still Playin’ With It. The spirit of “Service” is a true reflection of not only my heart passion to serve back but a true witness to what can happen when you set a goal and believe in your dreams. The essence of my bliss is felt when read, I hope. And more than that, I PRAY it is contagious.

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I would ask that you take a moment to read or re-read it today. I also would ask that you would take a moment to think about what it is in your life you want to create and how you will give back to someone in the process of this creation.

May the dreams you are creating be a true reflection of your bliss.

May your power be strong enough to catapult you towards the beginning. 

May your essence be a lens focused more inward than out. 

May your passion start a fire that is contagious. 

May you find fuel in the efforts of another.

May you take pride in each and every step. 

May you find stillness in the discomfort.

May you find COURAGE in the JOURNEY! 

May you find YOU. 

“I want it to be my inner most creation built on the precipice of movement. Not crammed within the lines of expectations.” -R.L.-from I believe IT is coming

LINK TO “SERVICE”

IMG_1467Lastly, please share with me what you are committing to do, or of an ember that caught wind…

LET’S START A REVOLUTION OF DREAMS! A DREAM REVOLUTION BABY! WHO IS WITH ME?!!

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

NAMASTE GRAND CANYON

 

…”An adventure holds many components. The end result sometimes may be pure resilience. I will tell the tale this weekend…”IMG_3435

Hello! Oh the freakin’ anticipation, right? Terimah Kasih to all the inquiries into when this would be coming off the press! And here it is…

Today, I am going to tell the tale of our descend…next week I will add in the metaphors of the voyage. Grab a tea, a coffee, some popcorn, Gluten free shit, or a handful of caramels, and enjoy!

This is how it went…IMG_3966

Mom, Dad and I took off around 6 am for our 5 and ¾ mile hike down the Grandview Trail. This trail is called “Aggressive” And that doesn’t even do it justice. I hiked this trail about 7 years ago. Geological evolution was in full effect and I was the hamster on this wheel.

IMG_3047Within the first 6 feet I mentioned to my folks how happy I was that I was doing this hike with just them. Me. Mom. Dad. No one else. Missed you Ry. Unfortunately, my brother has an injury he is healing and couldn’t make it with us. We chatted about the last time we hiked together and reminisced on the adventure we have had in this very canyon.

Let me take you back a few years. Two and a half years ago I stepped out of this canyon with my folks, called my husband and knew my marriage was ending. He moved out 7 days later. My metamorphosis started in the sludge of pain, sorrow and grief. Loss, it felt. Yes, loss of a 5 plus year relationship with another person, yet the rebirth of Rebecca. This part of my journey is the pivotal point of who I am today. To be back here at the place this amazing journey began felt so perfect.

And it was…some 1,000 plus days later…here I am again. Full circle, it felt. IMG_4030

Now on to the adventure…

About a mile and a half down I was thinking (no filter here) “Fuck, I can’t imagine hiking out on this trail in 5 days. My folks are champions, but this is wild.” The trail, as I mentioned above, had shifted. It felt steeper. It definitely was more defined by rocks, big rocks, and small, slippery gravel. The sheer exposure of the Grandview is intimidating. “Exposure” is steepness of the terrain and the potential consequences of a fall. It also references the “edge” or the side of the trail that is exposed to a drop. Imagine looking to your left and seeing a foot between you and the place the canyon drops off. This exposure consisted of sharp broken boulders and a significant plunge.

I continued on to about mile 2 and waited for my folks to catch up. They are studs. They take their time and maneuver with grace and a seamless stride. Their backs weighed about 40-50 pounds and they are smart trail babes. I tend to stick with them as close as possible, especially on terrain such as this.IMG_4025

As I sat with my pack propped up on a rock that I leaned against to take the weight off my back for a moment, I called their names. No response. After about 15 minutes I started to worry yet stayed calm and continued to call their names often. At about minute 20 they came around the bend. “Phew” I thought. There they are. Mom made it to me first. And dad was behind about 30 paces but not in sight due to the significance of the boulder between us. Then I heard it. A crash and a slide and a yell I will never forget.

“AH! Help me! My leg is broken! Help! Help ME!” I ran around mom to find dad on his back with his leg wedged between two boulders.

“I heard a snap. I think my leg is broken!” Dad said grasping for strength to get through the moment.

He was on his back sliding down the trail, with his foot caught and contorted at about a 90-degree angle. His arms were bleeding and his body stressed. I pried his foot and leg out of the boulders and placed his leg on the ground with his hips sitting between two other rocks that filled this trail. He was nauseous and we were all frightened.

IMG_3979About 75 seconds later around the corner comes Ben. What? A person?! And right now?! Crazy! Talk about serendipitous! Ben ended up being a Wilderness First Responder. Of course you are Ben! Andd an angel! Ben calmed us down and wrapped dad’s ankle. It appeared sprained and possibly broken. After Ben assured we were hydrated, prepared and cognizant of our upcoming decisions, he moved on with the two women he was touring.

Our options at that point: 1. Back up the two miles we had descended. (Not an option.) Or down 1 mile to a place we could at least be in a smidgen of shade and re-assess our next move. Horse Shoe Mesa here we come. I took a little of his weight and down we went. That was the longest mile of my life.

Watching my beast of a father walk on this treacherous trail with a pack and a possibly broken and sprained ankle was exhausting. It was hard enough for mom and I to stay focused on the trail with the elements and our loved one ahead of us watching his EVERY step. And you know, when the left foot is not working properly the right side takes over and over used in compensation. Talk about hyper-vigilance for mom and I.

Now all this is in the midst of our own thoughts. Such as, “What the fuck are we going to do?” And, “Wait a minute! This isn’t part of MY plan for the circular evolution of MY-ME!” And perhaps also: “How am I supposed to finish this journey if I don’t get all 5 days and all 20 some miles of reading “WILD” and journaling?!” Ummmm, I think I am writing my own “WILD” 😉IMG_3964

The last 200 yards before our destination I had my dads pack on my back and my pack on my front. It was slick as a snotty slip and slide. We were exhausted, thirsty, and as nervous as a “dog shitting peach seeds” as my dad likes to say. (Insert “DICKISM”)

We got my dad propped up under a little shade in the “Horse Shoe Mesa” area. At this point it was almost 11 and we were almost out of water. Due to the strenuous morning and the amount of time, our water had dwindled. Mom and I had about 8 ounces and my dad had about 20. This spot on the trail was dry, no water. I had to go get us water. The only source of water was another mile down to Page Spring. I had been there before and had no other option. We needed water while we rested, and water to cook and drink over the next night if we ended up staying. No water is NOT an option.

IMG_3974Mom didn’t want me to go alone. She was so tired. I could see her exhaustion and her love of her daughter battling. She didn’t want me to go alone. So we gave her an emergency packet and off we went. Well, until her hiking pole snapped in half about a quarter of the way down. That was a sign. I was really worrying about her because of the trail conditions and her exhaustion. It was almost noon and the temperature was about 90 at this point. I needed all the focus I could hold and having her behind me took away from the trail. Mom and I agreed it was a sign and she should wait there. We developed a “I am fine” yell that would reverberate up the canyon to let her know I was doing ok. “YEW!” I would yell and she would holler back. We did this back and forth the next hour as I maneuvered ever so carefully down the most difficult trail of my life.

This portion from Horse Shoe Mesa to Page Spring was immensely dangerous. The exposure was frightening. I was crawling over rocks and sliding down gravel. And at this point I had 16 EMPTY water bottles in my backpack. As I approached Page Spring, I vaguely remembered where I was. But I took a wrong turn and got a little frightened. Now, I had 6 ounces of water, a piece of gum and a protein bar. That was it. I felt I was going the wrong way. I prayed. Please show me where I am to go. And I found it. OF COURSE! “YEW!” I yelled!

The first thing for me to do was drink a little water. I had brought the water filter/pump and was ready to filter that shit and drink. I WAS DYING OF THIRST! Rule #2 in the Canyon: NEVER drink unfiltered or untreated water out of any water source in the canyon.

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I filled a bottle and attempted to filter it…but of course the pump wasn’t working. So, being the wise trekker I am I took a deep breath and scooped a small amount of water of the VERY top of the spring. And I drank enough to wet my whistle. Then I filled up 17 liters of water yelled, “YEW!” and off I went…on the climb of my life.

Coming down a trail with no weight is much different than coming up a trail with 17 liters of catawampus weight and unbalance. My mind was racing. “How much water do I need to save to get me out of here tomorrow if we are unable to continue so I can go for help?” How much water do we all need to use to limit the depletion of our hydration while allowing us to be sustained?” “How the fuck am I doing this right now?” How the hell am I able to climb this steep, slippery and hot trail while my father is hurt, my mom is exhausted and I am depleted?” (BECAUSE WE ARE FUCKING CHAMPIONS THAT IS WHY!) IMG_3963

Halfway up to my mom I plopped down to catch my breath. Popped my chewing gum in my mouth and off I went. Once I got to my mom the tears flowed. For about 30 seconds I Just sobbed it out. My mom stepped in. She had attained some energy from her rest and emergency drink. She got the filter to work, like the amazing mom she is, and gave me water. She listened to my fatigued cry, rubbed my back, prayed for us and quenched our thirst. What a team. And off we went back up to dad.

The next few hours consisted of us having a snack and deliberating every possible fucking scenario known to man…because my dad didn’t want to hit 911 on his Spot Check unless he felt certain. I totally understand! We also didn’t know if the Air Rescue would take just dad or all of us. So we assessed all the routes of exit that could happen. Would I have to sleep at the Mesa, where we had seen a total of 5 souls the entire day? Yep. But as dad said, “IF you can travel through Indonesia by yourself for 18 days you can stay one night on The Mesa!” Such truth! Thank you BALI! IMG_3954

With no human beings around and a very isolated tour route we grappled our plan. After about 2 hours of deliberation, while mom lay to rest a little on her Thermarest pad, while swatting the gnats away from her face she said, “Just do it already.” Dad and I chuckled and he did it. 9-1-1 was hit. Now we wait. I could feel Dad’s angst after he hit it. It took everything in his body to hit that button for help! Was his injury deserving of 9-1-1? Abso-fucking-lutely. Without a doubt. There wasn’t a possible way for the strongest man I know to walk out of this canyon, let alone 5 feet on one foot.

An hour passed with nothing. I was starting to get extremely anxious. Water? Time? Will they come? What will we do if not? Oh shit. I was pacing. My dad was stuck on the ground unable to really move much and my mom was doing her best to keep me calm. I paced. I swatted those fucking gnats. I sat. I stood. I sat. I stood. Like a good ol’ Grand Canyon Mass.

At about an hour and a half I had this thought: “If I take that god forsaken tent out of its piece of shit bag that is a pain in my butt to put back in they will come. Just watch.”

So, I pulled out the tent. I put one pole together…and guess what? Over the edge of the canyon I see the helicopter! We all see them coming and we all are happy. Mom and I wave our Thermarest pads in the air, just like in a movie when someone is trying to be rescued! “Do they see us?” we thought! They circled overhead a few times trying to find a spot to land. Again, like in a movie, they land, and squat and run toward us. Our HEROES!

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And out we went…they took dad and mom first and I stayed back with Earl to clean up camp. Then out I went. Well, we all agreed we had never seen the canyon from that view!

Dad ended up spending his 70th birthday, which was the following day, at the Flagstaff E.R. with a broken Fibula, severe sprain and torn ligaments. HAPPY BIRHTDAY DADDY!! Talk about HEROES! My parents are the biggest heroes in my life. Their strength, perseverance and attitude inspire me beyond words.

IMG_3087We enjoyed a gorgeous dinner at the El Tovar restaurant on the rim that evening. (Thank you Daisy.) Poor dad was adjusting to life on crutches and mom was adjusting to assisting her independent husband with his new found needs. Dad has hiked this canyon some 27 times and my mom has joined him on most of them. With all the steps he has taken on his numerous adventures, the odds were pretty good. He is and always will be a BAD ASS in my eyes! As well, my brave and steadfast mother is a true testament to HIKING LIFE AND KICKING ASS!

Thank you for teaching me to be brave and wise. Ever so aware! The next day they flew home to Oregon. I decided my journey had not stopped; it had just begun. Zion National Park here comes Rebecca Laser! Watch out! Chapter 1 of a new book…

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“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

Story Teller

Do I have a tall tale to tell..

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And it looks like this…

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This is a true story of strength, resilience, perseverance and courage.


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A tale I couldn’t be more proud to share…IMG_3165 IMG_3162 IMG_3179 IMG_3231 IMG_3292 IMG_3433

An adventure holds many components. The end result sometimes may be pure resilience. I will tell the tale this weekend…

Thank you for always asking about and feeling my words.

Love and BLISS,

Rebecca

p.s. Check out Hike Life now for a little update! 

SERVICE

DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE THAT HAVE SERVED!

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This entry is passionately riffed as the subject matter is near and dear to my heart. Please read and comment. Please allow yourself to feel my words. Thank you for reading.

Inspired…

How many of you know someone who has served this country? I am sure you all do. These are the men and women, past and present, who have given up their freedoms to protect ours.

My gratitude for the military is beyond words to express. I really have a hard time verbalizing my gratitude, my respect, admiration and utter love for this population.

The ones that… during the draft of Vietnam, watched the old black and white TV in their parents living room sat scared shitless as their number was drawn. Could you imagine this feeling? I can’t. Or while the love of your life, your son, husband, boyfriend, nephews number was drawn. Imagine.

And to the women that nursed these men back to the best health they had the ability to. For the women that served this country on the sidelines, seeing the blood and guts while hearing the same things the men did in the trenches. The smell of gasoline, the feeling of blood and the loss of a friend.

Or the ones that came home ready for a ticker tape parade and instead being spit on. Pride in their hearts and pain in their soul.

Or the ones that received the word that their child, spouse or friend had given it all for the betterment of our lives at home. Imagine.

These are the 18 year old boys (not old enough to drink legally) that say, “Sign me up. I mean I don’t have a better option. My folks are poor, I wasn’t given the opportunity to go to college, I live in a small town and don’t wanna work at the gas station, so I think I will sign up for a job that feeds me three meals, gives me a bed and pays me less than minimum wage.”

Or the ones that decided, “After college, I will commit to continued excellence by now, giving at least four more years to the betterment of this country and the men and women in the military. I want to develop leaders by being a leader.”

Or the girl that thought, “I can do this. I will show them, I will prove to myself and to the world, that I am strong, that I matter, that I am enough to fight for this country.”

Or the ones that courageously said Post 9-11, “SIGN ME UP! I am proud and honored to protect this country from an attack of this impact.” Without looking at any details of the attack or the governments involvement, they said without a blink of an eye, “I will serve, I will commit my life, I will forge forward and I will make a difference.”

Or the woman that says, “Go, my love. I will support you. I will be here when you return with my arms wide open, ready for your return, no matter the impact it has on you, me, or our family. I will love you if you return without a limb, return with a tremendous amount of stress in your mind, and the inability to connect for…a while.”

Or the parent that accepts with pride as they watch their son or daughter get on that bus and drive away for bootcamp, knowing that there is the possibility that this little person they grew in their womb and in their homes would be able to hold a gun, fight for our country and lose their life.

(Alan Jackson’s Song, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” just came on Pandora…Thank you for the confirmation of my inspiration this am)

Or the child that watches, possibly unaware, of why Mommy or Daddy is leaving again. Smiling, they hug them, giggling they squeeze their neck while the parent holds back the tears to be strong for their family. “See you soon, baby. Daddy will be back before you know it.”

I will forever and ever and ever, admire, respect and SUPPORT our military. Despite political opinions, sex, race, sexual preference, SES, education…THANK YOU!

How can we serve them? How can we give them back a teaspoon of what they give and gave us?

I am committing to serving them right now. I will volunteer my time and career to serving this population of people. Whether by listening to their stories, connecting them to services or holding their hands. Whether supporting the families at home while their loved ones are away, or contacting our government officials to discuss the benefits they deserve…I will serve them. Whether by researching and making forward progress into treatment modalities that will assist them in processing their experiences and leading successful post-war lives, I will serve them.

The ones that DESERVE TO BE SERVED…I AM COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS.

Thank you Poppy for your service to this country. You are my hero.