Last week I met Armando at my weekly spin class. We chatted as fellow NAU alumni lumberjacks and told him what I was training for. He told me about his wife UA alumni and I told him about my boyfriend Tom, also UA alumni. Armando shared his accomplishments as a veteran of the Cold War and as a student. I thanked him for his military service and I could see in his face he really appreciated that recognition and how proud he was to have accomplished what he did. If you listen closely to an elder you can hear how proud they are of their accomplishments. Though it may carry the same weight of pride, it’s different from when us young folk speak about our accomplishments. They talk about these things the most and they do it most humbly (they will usually lower their voice). Armando and I had a quick exchange and I didn’t think I’d see him this week.
He came up to me as I was breaking down my bike and asked me if I’d gotten in my miles today. He knew I was training for a race. He wished me luck, but this one felt different than all of the other I’ve received over the past few days. Armando really recognized the hard work I’d been putting in and he paralleled it to an experience he had in an Army Ranger company. In no way do I think I’m at the fitness level of an Army Ranger, but to have someone whose experienced in that area even parallel our experience is one I feel honored by.
As I finished packing up my stuff before I leave he stopped me one more time. He said, “I told my wife I met this kid, and she’s a lumberjack. I told her you were what you were training for. She says, ‘she’s a good person, she’s going to do well.'” Armando continued, “I told her, you haven’t event met her… And she says, ‘She’s a lumberjack, I don’t need to meet her to know.'”
This warmed my soul. I came close to tears. Her confidence in me made me proud to be a Lumberjack, especially when she’s UA alumni. Between Armando and his wife I received the truest form of good luck wishes and confidence and we hardly even know each other. I hope I have the chance next weekend to tell him what it meant to me and update him on my race results.
I’ll be racing Mountain Man in Flagstaff, AZ so keep an eye out for updates!! Until the next great adventure!
(We’ve all been here)