On a 97 degree plus day, the Troops of St. George came out and were ready for action. This father-son group was unlike most groups we guide because we had to tell the dads to wait their turn to climb! It's rare to see a group where the leaders actually lead by example and openly talk about how what they are about to do scares them a little; I was and still am inspired by their willingness to walk the walk and talk the talk for those boys.
The troop leader Andrew was and is a man that walks that walk when he didn't have to. I got the chance to meet his sons Anthony, Andrew, and Austin. They have quite a bit of tenacity and it was impressive to see how much fight they really have in them, but little did I know—I should have known better because they are adopted. Now I know that statement may sound a little crossed, but if you think that—let me take you back to 2001. I was 17 at the lunch table with the crew. It was sloppy joe day and the conversation at the table was about our parents; some said they love them, others hated them. But a kid said, "You know your parents had you, but my parents wanted me and I love them for that." A silence came over the table and I think everyone went home that day and hugged their parents; I know I did.
Anthony, Andrew, and Austin have a love in them that most of us will never understand, and that is why they have so much tenacity. They don't have anything to prove; they can’t help but live the life they were blessed with. Andrew is one of the luckiest Dad’s on the planet and boldest too. He didn't have to take in three boys at the age of 1, 2 and 3 but he did. He walks the walk and talks the talk because he wants to, not because he has to. Being wanted is what we all desire in life.
Mario Stanley is a professional climbing coach and guide based out of Dallas, TX. He is also the owner and lead guide at High Point Expeditions. Learn more about Mario and High Point Expeditions at www.highpointexpeditions.com. You can also follow Mario on his adventures at @highpointexpeditions on Instagram and Twitter.