Spring Follows Winter

by John Toth, No Barriers Warriors Director


I was sitting on the back porch couple weeks with my 5-year-old son. We had just gotten 10 inches of April snow and it was slowly melting into the ground. I remarked that everything—the grass, tress, and flowers—were going to pop and turn green by the next week.

He asked me how I knew. I paused, debating if I wanted to get into what makes plants grow, photosynthesis and all, with my inquisitive son. Instead, I simply said “because spring follows the winter.”

He asked me how I knew. “It just does. It’s the natural cycle of things,” I said, not wanting to get into the axial tilt and all. “We just have to have faith.”


Time for Change

It seems like after a long winter we’re all ready for spring to arrive: for things to get better, for a new season to start, to experience change in a positive way. Unfortunately, change in our lives isn’t as automatic as the shift of our massive planet. Sometimes it takes a shift within us to get things headed in a new direction.

For many years, I was an alcoholic. I started when I was about 13. I drank a lot: liked beer; loved bourbon. And I couldn’t say “no” to one more. In the military, it was part of the culture I embraced for 20 years. When I transitioned out, it stuck with me. Most often I drank to avoid dealing with challenges in my life. Then one night, I woke up in my son’s bed, not remembering how I got there. I realized if I didn’t change, I was going to lose everything.


“Sometimes it takes a shift within us to get things headed in a new direction.”


At No Barriers Warriors, we look within to discover the need for change. We look to our community, who will help us develop a Vision and take that first step. We draw on the strength and support of our Rope Team to carry us through when things are tough.

We Pioneer, using innovation to overcome our barriers. We have the courage to Reach farther than we thought possible. And we realize that there will be high points and low points to look back on from our Summits.


Rope Team

Expedition Leaders working to become a Rope Team


A New Season

Warriors in Grand CanyonWe are getting ready to start a new expedition season at No Barriers Warriors. It seems like forever since our final team of 2016 crested the rim of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail last October.

Since then, we took a knee, drank some water, and enjoyed the snow, but now we’re ready to head back out.

We know that change is waiting down the trail. We’re excited to go out and find it, and to help our Warriors start to shift the way they look at the barriers in their own lives.

Tomorrow’s another opportunity, the sun will come up, and things will get better. Why do I think so? Because, I have faith. Now, I’m headed out for a little spring baseball with a 5-year-old boy.

May 3, 2017
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