From May 2016

Stephanie in Riverfront Park

3/3 – “I owned a specialty retail sporting goods store in Palm Springs, and it was called Swim, Bike, Run, and it was for athletes of all abilities. On the surface, you could say I sold shoes and clothing and stuff. I feel like what I did more than anything was make a difference in people’s lives to show them that they were an athlete. I had so many customers who said, ‘I could never do that,’ and they not only did it, but did way more than they ever thought they could.” –Stephanie, Montana

Photo by Jessica Morgan

Stephanie and Michael

2/3 – “I hurt myself on Denali. And everything I wanted to do beyond Denali was more time away from him. It took me 50 years to find him, and I wasn’t willing to do that anymore. So, we have a rule…no more than 8 miles round trip and because of my injury, I can’t do more than about 20 pounds. So, we can’t backpack anymore, but we hike.” –Stephanie, Montana

Photo by Jessica Morgan

Michael sitting in Riverfront Park

1/3 – “We met on the internet in 2004 and at the time, I had just gone through a divorce and was going to a counselor, and I was in the process of re-inventing myself. I met her, she was a great fit for my reinvention…When I met her, she was headed for Elbrus…Elbrus is the tallest mountain in Europe. And then, shortly after that, she climbed Denali. She already did Kilimanjaro. So that was pretty exciting for me because I’d never met a woman like [her] before.” –Michael, Montana

Photo by Jessica Morgan

Keith outside recovery center

“Graduation, it’s a weird thing for me because I never graduated high school, so it’s kind of a big thing to actually be part of a graduation. I remember, I finished high school, so I was actually sitting in the audience, and I watched my girlfriend graduate. It really sucked sitting out in the audience when all my friends were graduating, so this to me is a really big deal. I’m looking forward to it.” – Keith, graduating from UGM LIFE Recovery in June

Photo by Jessica Morgan

Brenda at coffee shop

“Just yesterday, I had this cranky old man, super cranky, I mean, he threw the lid off his drink and he was just throwing a fit. And I was like, for some reason what came into my mind was kill him with kindness, kill him with kindness. And I said, ‘Okay, so do you not want a lid on your coffee either?’ And he was like, ‘Just give it to me however it comes.’ So, I lidded it, and I gave it to him. And it was for his wife; he’s like, ‘Do I need straws with this?’ I stopped what I was doing, and I came out around and I stood beside him, and I said, ‘Well, personally, I don’t use straws for vanity purposes because it gives me little wrinkles above my lips. So it really depends on the person.’ And then he started laughing…I knew at that point that I had changed his day, that I had made him smile, and it felt really good.” – Brenda, barista at The Gathering House