It’s crazy to think that almost a year ago my sophomore year was cut two months short due to the COVID pandemic. As I look back at this past year my heart goes out to all of my fellow classmates and teachers as well as the classes of 2020 and 2021 that were stripped of their school traditions and senior opportunities.
It feels like, to this day, I am still getting used to this pandemic despite living with it for almost a year. Although many things have changed over this time, I have been blessed with new and amazing opportunities that have made this time far more tolerable.
I am eternally grateful to my brother Jaiden and his girlfriend Katie for introducing me to rock climbing this year because, without it, lockdown would be exhausting. Since the first time he took me in April, we have climbed almost every week giving us a chance to appreciate the beautiful granite crags that are scattered along the South St. Vrain Canyon. Climbing has been a wonderful escape from the challenges of this year; and I hope I can take others with me after the pandemic, so they can experience the joy that Colorado has to offer.
This year has certainly pushed me to spend more time outdoors, and I am definitely not complaining. Not only have I climbed almost every week, but my family and I have been given the time to pop out on spontaneous backpacking trips and day hikes. This time outdoors not only made me closer with nature but also with my parents. Although I am a teenager and I enjoy my time without my parents, I have had a blast making the most of my final years at home exploring nature with them.
Although the pandemic has kept me out of many of my typical activities, it has also presented new opportunities for me to get involved with my community. The Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund’s food pantry was one of those new opportunities. I have been with LEAF since April of 2020, and I have loved every second of it. Through this volunteer opportunity I have met so many wonderful people that are dedicated to serving the Lyons community. I have so much admiration for them all. They are funny and kind and, without fail, they bring a smile to my face every week. Much like climbing, LEAF has served as an escape for me to focus on other things than COVID.
Ultimately the pandemic has changed many things in my life; and although I have missed many things, I have also had the chance to explore so many new and exciting opportunities. Although it is certainly not an ideal situation, I am so thankful to those who have been by my side to make the most of it, and I can’t wait to see what else the future holds.