Wild Winter Wonderland

Last winter, I was inspired by the book and movie “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed’s account of her 1,000-plus mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert in California to Washington State. One Saturday in January 2015, I headed to Whitewater State Park for a snowshoeing class and ran into RochesterWomen magazine writer Nicole Czarnomski (see Snowshoeing article on page 55).

Every weekend (11 to be exact) throughout the winter, I visited Whitewater State Park for classes and hiking up to Inspiration Point or the Elba Fire Tower with my Olde English Bulldogge Roxy. It was a refreshing change to my weekend workout routine. I loved the time alone to listen to the breeze, like Strayed, just to be and breathe. I look forward to the hikes again this winter and encourage you to get outside to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (see page 51).

 We are excited to feature our first I Am A BeautifulRochesterWoman winner, Ana Gotmer, age 20. It surprises me that someone as young and beautiful has struggled with depression. Because of her struggles, she now has a more mature, positive attitude toward herself and her future. I hope you, too, are inspired by this young woman.

Our community is steeping with successful young women. Twenty-two-year-old Tori Utley is prime for a successful career as an entrepreneur (page 13). This amazing, smart, young woman completed her master’s degree in business administration by the time she was 21 years old. Her professional work and volunteer commitments are also inspiring. High school girls at Rochester STEM Academy share their poetry about Somalia (page 21), performed in front of local and international audiences over the past year. Two young women from Rochester won Minnesota Aspirations for Women in Computing Awards (2013 and 2015) and are now pursing their aspirations in college (page 43). 

Gladys Manion is still young at heart with her spunky attitude. She insists on fixing her hair, even before taking an ambulance to the hospital. We can all hope our hearts are as happy and healthy as hers at age 90 (page 27). The American Heart Association reminds us to keep our hearts a priority with the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon (page 49).

This winter, I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic,” creative living beyond fear. I’m already feeling courageous and enchanted. If you are interested in participating in a “Big Magic” book club, let me know!

Stay well and warm this winter,