For those who were not there, here's why I say that:
Friday night, the featured speaker was Jennifer Greigo, a fifteen-year-old young lady who has Cystic Fibrous, a horrible disease she was born with.
Jennifer was the 'Cover Girl' for the latest issue of Wild Sheep and her story, character and courage left not a dry eye in the house. In addition to telling her story, she graciously thanked WSF and our members for the out-pouring of love and support she's received from us.
On Saturday morning Moose Sorg and I were blessed to have Jennifer, her parents and her brothers in attendance for our "Getting and Staying in Sheep Shape" seminar. One thing we discuss in the seminar is mental toughness, but as we mentioned it, while pointing to Jennifer, was that the mental toughness of all of the people in the room combined likely wasn't as mentally tough as this little fifteen-year-old girl. After the seminar, the entire family came up to thank us for the seminar and for pointing Jennifer out as an inspiration to us all. That meant the world to me!
Then, at the Life Members' Breakfast on Saturday morning, the featured speaker was Kirtsie Ennis, a wounded warrior and an amputee who shared her story and showed us a video of a Dall sheep hunt she did last year. Talk about courage, character and mental toughness! Wow!
Kirstie was a Marine and a door gunner when her helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. She suffered some wounds you can see and many wounds you cannot see.
In watching the video and hearing her talk, I was crying like a baby as were a great many others in the audience.
With the help of the awesome people at Wounded Warriors Outdoors, Kirstie has been able to become a fantastic example of the power of the human spirit and an amazing inspiration to all.
Here's a trailer from the video we showed. Can you even imagine how comitted and mentally tough this young woman is?
(The main guy in the video is the founder of Wounded Warriors Outdoors. WSF has been featuring WWO at our convention for several years.)
That's an understatement, Kyle. I, unfortunately, missed Friday night's banquet but was in attendance for the Life Member Breakfast and there was hardly a dry eye in the house. Every time I thought I'd pull it together, something else would happen and the flood gates would open again -- like when they rolled out the full-body mount of the sheep that she was seeing for the first time. Powerful and inspirational.
Sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you.
WSF is all about Friends, Family, and Conservation.
We take care of our own!
I'll be channeling Kirstie the next time I catch myself whimpering through an interval. The young lady is inspiring.
Both of these ladies stories are phenomenal. To overcome the physical issues that they have are nothing short of remarkable. The next time I'm whining about how tired or sore I am in the mountains, I'm going to remember these two and their stories and convince myself to "suck it up". The adversity they've overcome is an inspiration.
What attracted me to WSF almost twenty years ago was the quality of the people I'd met at the Sheep Show and how totally genuine they were.
Unlike other conventions of organizations with far more members I'd attended, what I saw at The Sheep Show was how willing everyone I met was to share information with me. A guy could be worth tens of millions of dollars or ten dollars, the person they were talking to might be worth ten dollars or tens of millions of dollars, yet everyone treated everyone the same, regardless.
At one other convention I've attended a few times in the past, I saw dozens upon dozens of high fence ranch exhibitors and lots of guys walking around with their 'trophy wives.'
I see almost no 'trophy wives' at The Sheep Show' and WSF won't allow a high fence ranch to exhibit
As a life member, I know I should be there and have avoided it for years because I know what will happen... Too much of a chance at that place to be lining up another sheep hunt that I can't afford!
Will have to see what happens in the drawings this year... If I get my #2 sheep (and maybe even #3 if I am really lucky!!), I will probably have to be there next year.
I don't doubt that for a second.
As I noted above, that's what first attracted me to WSF.
PS- next time we’re out, your dinner’s on me!
Well said and 'Thank You' for saying it!
WSF has been recognized by our friendly competitors as being the best conservation organization in the world.
When SCI, which is 10X bigger than WSF, is giving us six-figure grants to do conservation projects while telling us it's because we do it better than they do, that's one heckuva' an endorsement.
Our Guide Star and Charity Navigator ratings are at the top of their lists, and rightly so.
"Haha! You guy's that were there. Dang hard to look like a tough as nails mountain sheep hunter when you are wiping a steady stream of tears out of your eyes isn't it?"
For sure! And if there were people there who weren't wiping a steady stream of tears from their eyes, well, I wouldn't want to know them, let alone share a campfire with them.
Good to see you here, Mike.
Thanks to your recommendation, I hired Tony Russ for my first sheep hunt back in 2000. I took a great ram with my bow. If not for your help, what I've done since for wild sheep might never have happened!
Anytime we think we can't overcome whatever obstacles and challenges that lie in our way, we just need to remember what Jennifer and Kirstie have overcome.
That's a reminder to us all to "Suck it up" and "Quit yer' bitchin!"
I remember back in the 1968 Olympics when Bob Beamon broke the world's long-jump reccord by almost two FEET, which was an out-of-this-world acheivement. Historically, the long jump record advanced by an inch or so at most, or even by a fraction on an inch. That record lasted for 33 years as the world record and is still the Olympic record FIFTY YEARS later.
A Russian shotputter, I think it was, said it best in absolute astonishment, "The rest of us are just children."
How aptly that applies in this case as well.