My adventure to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a winter escape came to me as a pleasant surprise. Every year my boss takes his top producing managers and a guest for a beautiful reward trip. Since I am not a producing manager I really do not qualify. My role with the company, MMCO Auto, is to hire and train the sales people among other duties. My job title is: Corporate Trainer and Business Development Manager.
MMCO Auto has several franchises in the Philadelphia area: Porsche Conshohocken, Audi West Chester, Audi Wynnewood, and two used car warehouses. Needless to say my job keeps me busy.
A few months prior to the trip which was mid-January, my boss Jerry Miller called to ask if I’d like to go on the trip. “Of course!” I boasted. I was so grateful. He told me that he was happy to have me on board and that he likes the job I am doing. I was humbled. Not often in my past have I heard those words from an employer.
This act makes me happy but also puts more pressure on me to do a better job. I should say, I put more pressure on myself to do better to live up to his words. I always do my best but we still have a high turnover so I know there must be something I can do better.
Since I have never been on a winter vacation I was very excited and a bit panicked at first. I am not a light packer and the thought of all the winter gear I would need fitting into a suitcase was a challenge. But I managed to pack all the right stuff.
My son, Jerome, accompanied me and he was thrilled to be included. Our first day at Jackson Hole was fun. There were fourteen of us including Jerry and his wife, Mary, and Jerry told us we were not dressed appropriately. He proceeded to take us shopping for Cowboy Boots, which he bought for us! What a fun time it was picking out the right pair. I tried on several and ended up with my favorite that have stars and stripes like the US flag. I love them!
The next day was snowmobiling! The weather was cold, very cold. As we were leaving the hotel it was -18 degrees and we were heading for higher grounds. The scenery was breath taking. High mountains covered in snow. They had received over 40 inches the week before we arrived. The snow was so bad we were told by our driver that the schools actually closed which he said never happens in this area that is always covered by the beautiful white powder.
As we were gearing up for the ride I experienced my first ever panic attack. It was a mild one but none the less, a first for me. As we were preparing to get on the snowmobiles, I bent over to check my boot. We were so bundled with five layers that as I bent over I had a hard time breathing. The air is very thin at this high elevation, we were over 7,000 feet, and I had difficulty breathing. Luckily there was a doctor in our group and she saw me and helped to calm me. She talked me through the attack.
Mounting the machines I also became filled with fear. I was claustrophobic putting the helmet on and fearful. My son told me if I want out that now is the time but he and another manager assured me I can do this. I managed to tell myself, “I can do this.” and I am so glad I did. I had an incredible time and loved every minute of it. I definitely would like to snowmobile again!
The next adventure was dog sledding. This was a different kind of fun. You either ride down on the sled all covered in blankets or you are driving the sled which takes a lot of work. The dogs want to go so when you are driving you need to brake the sled and slow them down or you are pushing the sled to help the dogs on inclines.
The one thing they tell the driver is to never let go of the handle because the dogs will take off. The first thing I did when I got to drive was to let go! Not on purpose, mind you, but I did let go. Fortunately my son was able to halt the dogs and I continued to drive successfully.
The trip brought me and my son new life time experiences that we will be forever grateful for. We are still talking about it. Every time I put on my cowboy boots I have a new attitude. An attitude of adventure, my winter adventure to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.