Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Jonny's Gifts

I never climbed with Jonny Copp, but I’d bump into him everywhere: at the foot of a sandstone crack at Indian Creek; just after dawn at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park (gusty winds making us all wonder what we were doing there); post-climb at a picnic table above the Black Canyon; sharing photos on a laptop at his “office” in Amante coffee shop in Boulder. Each time was the same: an extended hand, a huge smile, an encouraging word. He always seemed so happy to see me (a longtime acquaintance but not a close friend); he appeared genuinely thrilled that I was out there with him, sharing similar experiences, sharing possibilities. He made me want to try harder. These were Jonny’s gifts. He had the gift of enthusiasm, of seeing the possibilities in others and nudging them forward; he bestowed these gifts unselfconsciously and without hesitation; and he inspired me (inspires me!) to try each day to do the same for others—perhaps his greatest gift of all.

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