Last night we had many of the people that we spent large chunks of the last six month's Saturdays with, hiking through mud, absurd hills, poison oak, and astonishing views, over for a pot luck dinner. We all showed off the medals from the various events we participated in (there was a LOT of bling in the house!) and shared a lot of stories, with hills getting higher, mud getting deeper, snakes getting bigger, and coyotes getting fiercer with every telling.
Embarrassing Note: I'm awful with names. So some very nice and noble people are not going to be named correctly in the following. I apologize for that and hope that everyone understands that this is just due to me being pathetic. In any case, no real names are being used, as per usual.
The weather was great and most of the evening was spent on the deck.
Mrs Coach Truc and Mrs Notthat enjoying a laugh over how much fun it is wading across raging creeks.
Mr Uidualc watching Coach Werdna while he texts in a pizza order.
Please pay no attention to that bag of potato chips you see on the table - they were simply a prop for Coach Luap's talk on nutrition. (We all took turns sampling the prop though.)
Sitting against the wall, that is Mrs Coach Luap and Mrs Uidualc, with Coach Luap, Ms Evae, and Ms Evae's boyfriend sitting at the table, and Coach Truc on the right, plotting his assault on the potato chips.
Ms Evae being perky. Coach Werdna still trying to work out his toppings in the background. Coach Truc still eying the potato chips.
From the left, that is Ms Evae's extremely fit bike-riding boyfriend, Coach Truc, and Ms. Evae.
The evening finished with a viewing of a DVD that had lots of pictures from most of our hikes from the last six months (which brought out MANY more stories and "facts" and such). And capping it off, we presented Coach Luap with a poster that each of us signed (and I managed to drop, adding a 3-D effect to the upper-right corner).
In the end, it was a blast. There was lots of food (even if some of the sausages turned out a bit too blackened) and many laughs.
There was a tiny bit of sadness too: it's really over. Reliving all the walks reminded you of what you had accomplished and how hard the coaches worked to set all this up and drag us, sometimes kicking and screaming, on these Saturday walks. Most of us would much rather have spent these mornings in our nice, warm, and dry beds, but we all know we are way better for having persevered and braved the obstacles and occasional pain to hang out with a great group of people.
A lot of us will continue to meet reasonably often on Saturday mornings throughout the summer, either as part of the San Jose Fit summer program or for informal hikes on the huge number of wonderful trails scattered around the Bay Area.
This winter program, the coaches, and all the walkers has done its job - it has given us all a lifelong appreciation of getting out and moving around.
And the skills to decide when to help a snake across the trail and when to run away from it.
That's it - move along...
PS: Tip - running away is almost always the right answer.