Earlier this spring I was notified that it has been 20 years since I graduated from Bozeman High School.

What the what?

As I watched the high school reunion Facebook page fill up with classmates and I just had one thought.

How did I become so old?

There’s nothing like an invitation to a 20-year high school reunion to make you think that your next step is in life is driving around a golf cart in a retirement community.

Turning 80 is just around the corner but for now I decided that 38-year-olds are SO not hip.

Not that I was hip in high school.

I mean, I was a pimple-faced dweeb.

For a lot of people, high school was rad.

For me, it wasn’t.

I graduated with no such feelings of fondness for the brick institution that kept me indoors when I just wanted to be outside skiing, hiking or mountain biking.

I spent most of high school staring out the window and feeling trapped.

During those awkward teenage years I could spend days reading a good book and filling journals with my thoughts, hopes and dreams.

I had no use for algebra or chemistry. Blah!

Looking back on it, I just really wasn’t suited for a traditional high school environment.

Academics were a drag and so were friendships.

I left high school without any really close friends, mostly because I didn’t really want them.

Those would come later, from my days as a full-time ski racer, my stint in the Army, and now through Hike Like A Woman.

It makes sense, my relationships evolved as I grew and matured.

I learned the value of friendship.

My high school experience wasn’t awesome but it was probably the same experience that 90% of us had.

So back to the reunion…the real reason that I had no desire to go to my high school reunion was this.

I’d rather go camping with strangers.

I’d rather focus on current and future friendships, than past ones that don’t really exist.

So I did.

I planned our first Hike Like A Woman Ambassador retreat on the exact same weekend as my 20-year high school reunion.

I camped with women who I had only met online and realized that our friendships were deeper than any I had while roaming the halls of BHS.

I also learned a ton from the amazing women who were able to make the journey to Colorado.

I learned from Jill and Lorna that getting older is nothing to be feared.

I learned the importance of sisterhood from Helina.

I learned that it’s okay when life doesn’t go how you want it to go from Mara.

I learned to laugh until my stomach hurts from Gretchen.

I learned how to eat crawfish from Amanda.

I learned how to be young and fun again from Kate.

I learned how to be artistic from Kathryn.

And Annie taught me to the importance of standing up for yourself.

It was a lot of learning packed into one amazing weekend.

If you’re curious about our adventures you can check out this little video:

I also recorded a quick podcast episode about the retreat, the audio quality isn’t awesome but you can give it a little listen here:

As I was thinking about my 20-year high school reunion I couldn’t help but wonder what Hike Like A Woman will look like in 20 years.

Will I want to attend a 20-year HLAW reunion.

I think the answer to that will be, hell ya.









One comment on “Why I Skipped My High School Reunion To Camp With Strangers

  1. Hell yes! I love that you call out who you learned things from. High school was “rad” for me, but I’d still skip it to go camping with strangers!

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