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Ben Haughton

When was the last time you were jazzed?

I have used the term jazzed for years, in ways that most people do not use it, to describe excitement, or a certain level of enthusiasm that is rarely achieved. Moments ago, I looked up the meaning of ‘jazz,’ and was disappointed with what Google had to say. “Enthusiastic or lively talk, especially when considered exaggerated or insincere”. My definition of the term jazz, which I have only now developed, is as follows: content beyond expectation.

I would like to propose mixing the true definition with my own and also breaking down the word content (as defined by Google: “in a state of peaceful happiness”). Jazzed /jaz-zed/ adj.: In a state of enthusiastic or lively peaceful happiness.

When was the last time you were truly jazzed?

I can tell you about the last time I was in a state of enthusiastic, lively, utter contentment. I was where I often find myself: hanging off a rock wall from my fingertips. Mid-November in South Dakota does not present idyllic climbing conditions; my fingers were cold, nearing the point of numbness; but the sensations this allowed me to experience were no less than euphoric. When I completed a route that tested my abilities as a climber, I was jazzed.

It is this feeling; the feeling that all the time, all the commitment, all the pain, and all the work put into something has paid off in a stint of near perfect execution; that I am, and all Fellows are striving to achieve. No matter the avenue, whether it is professional development series, through regional work, or a connection made at an event, each of us will (eventually) discover the area we desire to pursue when our time at El Pomar comes to an end. With any good fortune, the Foundation has brought us much closer to our next source of jazz than we could have imagined.

Look for Ben's blog again next month!