Meet Sarah Farrens, 2018 Recovery Climber

Meet Sarah Farrens, 2018 Recovery Climber
August 11, 2018 Nate Lanting

Name: Sarah Farrens
Age: 35
From: Spanaway, WA

Sarah and her other recovery climbers and leaders at the summit of Mt. Rainier, 14,410ft. (Sarah is in the blue coat and purple helmet, second from the left)

A Little Bit About Sarah

For Sarah, a native of Spanaway, motherhood was the best motivation to turn her life around. “I have these two beautiful children (Ally is 5 and Bubba is 3) that I wasn’t being the best mom too, so I was willing to try anything,” she said of joining the Climbing Out of Homelessness climb team. 30-day-programs had failed her before, and she had to hit rock bottom before finding her way here. “[The Climb Team] is a commitment I’m sticking to!” she says, “It is a healthy replacement that gets me motivated to be strong and healthy.” Her goals outside of the climb itself include pursuing a career as a substance abuse counselor while becoming the best mom to her kids.

Two days ago, on August 8th, 2018, Sarah did the unthinkable. She stood atop Mt. Rainier. 14,410ft, the tallest peak in Washington, and a great metaphor for what she has come to accomplish this last year. We couldn’t be more proud of her. A year ago to the day, she was on another relapse. Today she tells us she feels like a whole new person, a better mom, a better friend, and a now one heck of a mountain climber! She did it!

On August 7th, hours before her summit climb, we interviewed Sarah about her experience being on this team. Here is what she had to say.

RBP:  What is the main thing you’ve been given from this climb team?

Sarah:  “A family and a network of support. These people are my family now. I’ve never had relationships like this. I can trust and be trusted now. Also, I have healthy muscles and am so much happier than before, so that’s nice too!”

RBP:  Do you think you would have the same success without this program?

Sarah:  “I don’t think so. The outdoors brings some sort of peace to me. The ability to breathe. The ability to get outside yourself. I love how small it makes you feel; it puts things in perspective. And mountain climbing can be kind of messy too, but it’s a good mess. A mess where I can meet myself in a “whole” way. The reason I started drinking is that I was so insecure. I felt like a mess. You get a lot of things in addiction you wouldn’t normally get in sober life. Now I have more time and the confidence to do things. I’ve been like “Woah, I can do this without all of that” (addiction). It gives me something different to seek.”

RBP:  Why do you climb?

Sarah:  “A year ago, I could barely get out of bed in the morning ya know. Now I get to do something like this (points to Mt. Rainier from Camp Muir). I am excited to share this with my kids and for them to know that mommy did this for them. I want to show them how to do life right. I want them to see they can do things!”

RBP:  Do your kids realize what you’re doing right now?

Sarah:  “When I tell them I’m climbing that mountain (points to Mt. Rainier), they say “you’re doing what Mom? How do you do that? How do you get up there?” They know that mommy is climbing mountains, but I don’t think they fully get it (she laughs)”

RBP:  What is this giving them? Why are you doing this?

Sarah:  “I want to show them, and myself that I can stick with things. That I can work hard and accomplish great things. I want them to know that I would climb to the top of a mountain for them each and every day.”

RBP:  What do you think has been the biggest change they’ve seen in you as their mom?

Sarah:  “That their mommy is there for them now and that there is mental stability in the home. I can be there now, I am present, and I can take care fo them as their mom. We can move forward as a family, whereas last year I couldn’t do that. This means the world to me.”

Sarah Farrens crossing “spicy” terrain on the upper mountain – Mt. Rainier, WA

 

2018 Tacoma Climb Team – Summit of Mt. Rainier – photo courtesy: Greg Balkin

 

Sunrise on Mt. Rainier, smokey billowing clouds below. – photo courtesy: Greg Balkin

 

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