Spada Law - February 2019

S pada L aw G roup INJURY LAW LLC

THE SLG ADVISOR

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FEBRUARY 2019

With Each Step HELPING STRANGERS CONQUER THEIR MOUNTAIN

T he day after Thanksgiving, my such an activity the retail equivalent of waterboarding torture, so I chose instead to go for an early morning hike up to the summit of Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. It was a glorious day with the temperatures around 10 degrees. At 8 a.m., the sun was shining and there was fresh snow from the previous two days. As Jimmy Buffett sings, “It was a beautiful day, the kind you want to toast.” I’m often reluctant to winter hike alone given the multitude of calamities that can befall a solo hiker in subfreezing temperatures, but I was feeling it this day. I packed up my backpack, got my snowshoes, and headed to the mountain. The hike up to the summit takes about an hour and a half when there’s no snow, so I assumed it would take me closer to two hours to get to the summit on that day. I’m a relative newcomer to winter hiking, but to say I love it would be an understatement — I live for it! When I got to the trailhead, there wasn’t a single car in the parking lot which meant I would not encounter another human for the next several hours. As I began my hike, it was apparent that I would be breaking trail all the way up. That meant there were no footprints or tracks for me to follow. I would need to pay very close attention to trail markers so I would not get lost. It also meant I would be working much harder than normal since each step into the snow would require more effort on my part. I strapped on my snowshoes and I headed up. daughter and my wife decided to go Black Friday shopping. I consider

Despite the cold, the natural beauty was breathtaking. The early morning sun peeked through the forest trees, and icicles dangled on every branch like Christmas ornaments. I was in heaven! Each step was a beautiful winter ballet for this old man. I enjoyed every step up the mountain and even had a chance to spend 20 minutes in complete solitude on the summit before the biting cold forced me to head back down. Unlike the hike up, the trip down was much easier. I simply needed to follow my footsteps back. There was no chance of getting lost. Given my age, I’ve always hated the descent as it often wreaks havoc on my 50-plus-year-old knees, but on that day, the deep snow acted as a natural shock absorber. I was making effortless — and painless — time down the mountain. It was during my trip down that I became mesmerized by my footprints that I was following. I realized with each step I took packing down the weeks’ worth of snowfall, I was making the trip up for the next hiker immeasurably easier. This struck me. No longer was my descent a meaningless and uninteresting endeavor to get back to my truck. I suddenly felt an obligation to ensure that each step I took down had purpose. My purpose was to compress snow that had not been previously compressed by me on the way up. My goal was to make a beautifully compact trail available for the next hiker coming up the mountain, whenever that may be. I thought about this obligation. It would have been easier for me to simply step in my prior tracks, but I wanted to do better. I wanted to help a future stranger. I wanted to make sure that somebody else’s journey up “their mountain” was a little easier.

I thought about who this unknown hiker might be. Maybe it was a mom carrying a young child on her back. Maybe it was someone older than me with knees worse than mine who needed the comfort and security of a well-trodden path. Whoever they were, I wanted to help them. That was my mission and because I had a clear mission, my steps became meaningful. Then it hit me! The steps that I was taking down the mountain and the satisfaction I felt knowing I was helping a stranger — it was exactly what I’ve been doing with my law career for the last 27 years. In our practice, we help people who come to us as injured strangers. We not only provide them with excellent legal services, but we make their next steps up “their mountain” less strenuous and stressful. We try to ensure everything we do for our clients eases their journey during the pendency of their case. Our mission at Spada Law Group — and my mission on this hike — were very similar. I find joy in helping someone who is struggling and needs an easier path, whether that means fighting for them in court or packing down an unbroken trail for them. Make each of your steps meaningful, no matter where you choose to step. -Len Spada

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