My brother, Wade, and I skied the Kortelopet event at Cable during the American Birkebeiner last weekend. One of the greatest weekends in my life taught me seven important things during that trip.
1. The finish in downtown Hawyard, WI is epic. The American Birkebeiner ends on the Main Street of Hayward. Old buildings carve a shallow canyon filled with spectators waiting for friends and loved ones. Spectators and finishers keep warm tent city or one of the bars like Anglers Bar and Grille.
2. The gentlemen we met from Rockford, IL were fun, entertaining, engaging, and inspiring. They had stories to share and jokes to tell. The 70 year olds looked like they are in their 50s. These guys looked ten to twenty years younger than their actual chronological age AND all of them finished the Birkie with respectable times, probably faster than I would finish it. They told us about the Sawmill Saloon and Joe showed off his bottle of snakebite. What’s snakebite?
3. 4 on the Floor is an amazingly awesome band. This Minneapolis, MN based band rocked out the The Sawmill Saloon Saturday evening. I want to see them live again. I could drive up to Minneapolis to catch a White Sox vs. Twin game and attend their concert in the evening. I wonder if Brady Gervais and her hubby would let me crash on their floor for a night. I promise dinner, a fun run, and a thank you for their floor.
4. There’s good food in the Northwoods. Coop’s in Hayward has a good ‘cracker’ crust pizza. Loopy’s in Chippewa Falls, WI has a great burger. The crew at Lake Owen Camp made wonderful breakfasts and dinners . I’m definitely staying the camp next year.
5. Olympia Granola makes good granola bars. Well, I knew that from last year. I just wanted to let everyone else know about it. So technically, this isn’t number six.
5. A ton of good nature people surrounded us that weekend. The weekend overflowed with a positive vibe and a festive atmosphere. Very few events share such a positive energy.
6. I want to ski the full American Birkebeiner. I want to finish in downtown Hayward. I want my friends to get toasty at Anglers while they wait for me to finish. I want to be surrounded with a positive vibe. I want another amazing weekend.
7. I realized (well, we realized) there’s so much more to life and the path we’re headed isn’t quite the path we want to be on. Life is short. Life changes. Life needs to be an epic journey everyday. We can’t live a life of just getting by and dealing with other people’s bull shit.
The seven things I learned during one of the greatest weekends of my life will help me build a life greater than I have now. It’s one of those life changing moments adjusted my priorities and outlook in life.