Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Life is Long: Meeting Barb Klippel

After their experience volunteering at the 40th American Birkebeiner, the Passage III program had the opportunity to drive up to Hayward Wisconsin and meet the legendary Barb Klippel. Barb greeted Passage III with open arms, an incredibly warm energy, and freshly baked treats (which were much needed after a morning spent cross country skiing on the Birkie trail).
Talise with Barb
Barb told the stories of her beautiful life adventures including skiing 20 birkies over the course of 40 years, skiing the Ingalami race in Norway, volunteering to teach english in various eastern european countries for the past 16 years, and surviving stage 3 cancer. Passage III was very inspired by Barb and are still talking about her.

When commenting on their experiences talking with Barb Lina said "I started to think that I wanted to be her. I want to be able to tell a long beautiful story like hers. That was one of the many times Barb made me think twice about my life." Laura said "one of the main points I took with me from talking with her is that, as cliche as it may be, I really do have my entire life before me. Leaving her house I thought, this woman is eighty. Eighty years old! Look at all the things she's done! Look at all this life she's living. And she still feels that she has more living to do! I need to live my life like that, to take every drop of life I have and just do." 
Passage III posing with Barb Klippel at her home in Hayward
 After meeting Barb many of the participants expressed a realization of how much life they have to live, that it's not too late to choose a different life path, and that they want to have a beautiful story at the end of their life, just like Barb. I would say the over all themes Passage III took away from meeting Barb are the importance of working toward goals and living your life with meaning.