Time to Celebrate Our Community

by Jennifer Stoll

With everything going on in our lives today, the controversy in local and national headlines, and the perpetual rat race, it is easy to forget to slow down, look around and celebrate what we have.

If you’re like me, your day consists of a mad scramble from the time the alarm goes off until your head hits the pillow, with far too many cups of coffee in between than I’d care to admit! That’s just the start. As a full-time employee, a full-time doctoral student, and oh yes, a full-time wife and mother, there are times my life seems like a blur before my very eyes.

Ironically, a 2014 article in The Economist, noted that leisure time in America has increased in the last 40 years. Can that possibly be right? The article further contended that, as with any commodity, the more scarce time is, the more valuable it becomes. Okay, I can get on board with that assertion.

But wait. Let’s pause right there. Maybe it is time to pump the brakes a little and breathe in the crisp autumn air.

Here in the Grand Valley, we work really, really hard. We continually strive to bring positivity to our family, businesses, and community. We don’t just work together; we do life together. We cheer at JUCO together. We see one another on the trails. Our kids are on the same sports teams. We run into one another at farmer’s markets and festivals. This is not just the community in which we work; it’s the community in which we all live, too.

We have something special here in the Grand Valley. We sing praises to the quality of life we enjoy, the abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, our unparalleled natural surroundings and the comfort of this place we call home. We live here for a reason. Whether it is the small town charm, outdoor playground, the lack of traffic (have you been to the Front Range lately?!), the personal connections, or a combination of these factors and more, this is a pretty special place.

These are elements of our community worth celebrating. They are worth taking the time out to enjoy. To slow down and encourage one another, if even for a short time.

My day job is executive director of the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission, a collaborative effort between Colorado Mesa University, Mesa County, Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade to promote the #westslopebestslope’s diverse sport tourism opportunities. We are a 501(c)3 organization with the simple mission to positively impact our community and economy through sport by working on events such as the Special Olympics Colorado Summer Games, U.S. Bank Rim Rock Run, Train to Hunt Nationals, and USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals. We value sports, and most importantly, we value our community.

This Wednesday, September 27, the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission is celebrating our community, our businesses, and our quality of life. We are hosting the inaugural Healthy Mesa County Corporate Scurry. A 5k of a different type, for a different cause. For you, our friends, neighbors, and family. Working diligently, deserving a break from the chaos.

We invite you to join us a 5 pm at Edgewater Brewery as we take a few minutes to enjoy our beautiful community through a competitive or non-competitive 5k, one-mile walk on the Riverfront Trail, or as a run ambassador (events begin at 5:30 pm), followed by a happy hour at Edgewater. All are welcome. Ask your boss to support your participation by covering your entry fee (a minimal $25), rally some friends, or come on your own. Take some photos with the Photo Lab Bar, enjoy a complimentary chair massage, network, listen to music sponsored by Family Health West and toast a Kannah Creek brew (for those of age) to the Grand Valley and the fine people who work tirelessly to make it such a wonderful community.

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