The name says it all…
LIVE AND THRIVE!
Hi, my name is Sheryl.
I've also been called “Crazy Sheryl” which was an affectionate name given to me several years ago by my son. Anyone who knows me well understands why this name fits. I love life and I love people! I try to use my energy, influence and enthusiasm to help others find the good in the world.
I was born and raised in Holladay, Utah. Except for ten years in Colorado and Idaho I have lived in my same childhood neighborhood with our family of six for 34 years. I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 6, BYU musical theater major, performer, pianist, and colon cancer survivor. Financially speaking, our family has survived 4 layoffs during our marriage of 38 years. When I was 47, I began a new career in the outdoor adventure industry, as an event organizer, guide, trip planner, promoter and overall outdoor enthusiast.
I have found much happiness in helping people throughout my life whenever possible but the truth is some people are just harder to love than others. Ironically, the people I’ve had the toughest relationships with are the ones who have eventually helped me the very most.
A Life-changing experience
Many people who have become a huge blessing in my life were people I didn’t necessarily like at first.
One experience stands out, as one person drastically changed the course of my life. February 1993, while raising 4 children, ages 3 - 13, one of my sons became good friends with a boy in our neighborhood. I’ll call him Steve. For ten years, from age 9 - 19, Steve would tease, taunt and harass me like a school bully. I’m sure he found great pleasure in watching me react to everything he said and did to me. I tried to avoid him but since he lived nearby and was still my son’s friend, I had to deal with him.
I made the mistake of allowing him to get under my skin and make me angry which started small but grew until it was consuming all of my thoughts. Anger and frustration turned to hatred. Unfortunately I know what rage feels like too. I’m not sure how many beautiful things crossed my path during these years since I was so full of poison from hating Steve that I couldn’t see any good in my life.
Feeling trapped, miserable and alone, I had to find a way out of this deep dark hole I had dug myself into. I was done.
February 2003, I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t live with myself any longer. Hate and anger had built up in my soul to the point I was carrying a very heavy load. It was ruining my life. I tried to justify my hatred by telling people how Steve was the problem and how he had wronged me but no one seemed to care. Feeling trapped, miserable and alone, I had to find a way out of this deep dark hole I had dug myself into. I was done. I thought food might be the answer so I went to my favorite restaurant to eat my problems away but the restaurant was closed. I wanted to run away from home but I had family obligations that kept me from leaving. So I sat in my car feeling helpless and hopeless.
As I sat there thinking, crying, and praying to God, I distinctly heard four words come into my mind: "Go climb that mountain." After hearing this, my first thought was "why didn’t I think of that!" I looked up and in front of me was Mount Olympus. I had lived near this mountain all of my life but had never hiked it. These four words were the piece of the puzzle I desperately needed!
"Go climb that mountain." These four words were the piece of the puzzle I desperately needed!
I immediately drove to the trail and started hiking. After an hour or so I was back down to my car. I was so sore I could barely move but it felt so good! I hiked up Mt. Olympus three more times in February and March by myself. After 4 hikes on Mt. Olympus, I decided I wanted to become a hiking guide, not just a hiker or not just join a hiking group but I had to start my own hiking group and as they say, the rest is history!
Two years later, 2005, after much praying, changing habits and attitudes, pondering, scripture reading and counseling with a good Bishop, I was able to forgive Steve completely and then face him in person and tell him I forgave him and actually loved him. This did not mean I condoned any of his behavior but it allowed me to hand it all over to God and finally let go. Steve never apologized or admitted any wrong doing but it didn’t matter. I felt a huge burden lift from me and almost instantly I felt happier.
So in a big way, I have Steve to thank for my successful outdoor adventure career! The flip side of adversity is incredible happiness! Since then I have continued to work hard to keep hate and anger out of my life. I’m so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and a kind Bishop for helping me get back on track. I'll never forget him looking directly into my eyes and telling me, "Sheryl, as long as you harbor bad feelings for Steve or anyone else, your soul will be cankered for the rest of your life". This was the incentive I needed to do the work, change some things in my life and learn how to forgive.Don't just survive. Live and Thrive!