Let’s start right in.
My name is Hannah and I just turned 22 years old, well on May 16th to be exact. About a week ago I graduated from Williams College with a degree in chemistry. I know, NERD. Although an M.D. might be in the long run, I’m dream chasing right now.
Here’s a little backstory. I grew up an extremely active kid – soccer, gymnastics, street hockey, basketball… you name it and I probably tried it at some point. Sports were fun and winning was even more fun. Just kidding, I’m competitive but I do know where winning falls in importance. By the time high school rolled around I was down to cross country running, ice hockey, track and the occasional summer triathlon. The thing is ice hockey is one of those year round sports masquerading as a winter sport. Yes, the regular season is December – March, but they also have spring league and summer league and fall is almost winter so we’d better start practicing now league. Also, game 5 of the Stanley Cup final was last night and if you’re a real winter sport you don’t have your playoffs in June. Anyway, at the end of freshman year I realized that running and hockey weren’t working out the way I’d hoped. As much as I loved the game, I wasn’t ready to give up running in the fall and spring.
So I was a runner. But (there’s always a but) my high school, Honeoye Falls – Lima (HFL) did not have an indoor track program, so I picked up nordic skiing. Skiing was immediately cool – it had the new sport thrill, it was challenging and rewarding, and many of my friends did it. Somehow, I turned out to be kinda good at it too and from that point on I became a runner – skier – runner.
I was given the opportunity to continue with all three sports at Williams College, something for which I will forever be grateful. How was it? There’s no good way to sum up my four years, but for now I’ll call it exceptional. Do a quick Google search and you’ll see that ikˈsepSH(ə)n(ə)l means:
- unusual; not typical
- synonyms – unusual, uncommon, abnormal, atypical, extraordinary, rare, unprecedented, unexpected, surprising…
- unusually good, outstanding
- synonyms – extraordinary, remarkable, special, excellent, phenomenal, prodigious…
And in every sense of the word, it truly was exceptional. I’d go so far as to say I could write a story with every synonym listed above as the title. But before I get into the specifics let’s get back to the purpose of this journal (I’m going to be upfront and tell you I hate the word blog. So yes, this is a journal), remember up above when I said I just graduated and I’m dream chasing? I have grown to love skiing and competing so much, that I’ve decided to see where it takes me.
Take a look at the letter that I wrote to myself midway through my freshman year orientation trip at Williams.
Dear Hannah (wow you’re a lot older), 8/31/13
I’m writing this sitting in a lean-to on the AT trail.
Yes, I’m taking a leap, but no, this dream chasing didn’t come out of nowhere. I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time now. My hope for this journal is two-fold, first I’ll write periodic updates on where I am and what I’m doing. Secondly, and really most importantly, I’ll be writing about the people and places behind me. I’ve made a list, which I’ll likely add to, and pull a person and a place each week. Just as this post has only given you a small snapshot of me, the entries will be far from complete recounts. However, I promise to tell you at least one story about each person or place.
Stay tuned and happy reading,