Completion – 6/26/2022

The Journey
Family at Mist Trailhead
Family at Mist Trailhead

On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, I joined daughters Cami and Wendy, son-in-law Mario, grandboys Tyler and Nick, and family friend Joclynn to begin the hike up the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls. Willis and I decided we would not repeat the hike. We successfully completed it on May 20, 2022.

Family on bridge to Vernal Falls
On bridge to Vernal Falls.

I wanted to at least join them part way, so I hiked with them to where the steps begin and we could feel the mist from Vernal Falls. There was a feeling of excitement – they were curious to see what Willis and I had accomplished and to see what their experiences would be. They all aced it!

Family starting up stairs to Vernal Falls
Family starting up stairs to Vernal Falls

They started at the trailhead at 8 am and returned at 1:30 pm. What an awesome group! We took them to dinner that evening to celebrate. They were all majorly impressed at what their grandparents had accomplished. And each of them seemed proud of what they had accomplished – individually and together.

Facilitating Results
Joclynn, Cami, Joan
Cami, Joclynn, Joan

Throughout our Journey of Self-Discovery, I have brought in coaching concepts because Willis and I used them as tools to facilitate what we declared we would do. Since May 2021, there has been a theme in our lives – getting ready to hike the Falls. On our journey we have explored The Voice, Just Do It!, Motivation, Intention and Curiosity among others. The constants have been our intention to hike the Falls together, to train both together and individually with what worked for us, and to constantly look at what we were learning on this journey.

Formula for Accomplishments and Making Changes
Tyler & Nick
Tyler & Nick

Successfully hiking the Falls did not just happen. It was the result of 1) consciously and out loud making a promise to ourselves and each other (we will hike the Falls in June 2022); 2) articulating why we wanted to do this or our purpose (to explore and discover what we are physically capable of at our respective ages in our respective conditions); 3) letting our promise be known and being accountable  (publishing monthly posts setting forth results, learning, and what we would do differently going forward based on our learning); and 4) getting clear on our commitment (we will do whatever it takes).

Wendy & Mario in front of Vernal
Wendy & Mario in front of Vernal Falls

Have you ever decided to do something and did whatever it took to make it happen? What then! Did you check in on what you accomplished? Were there some loose ends that didn’t come together so you felt like you could have done better? What happened with those feelings around that? How did you acknowledge yourself for what you did accomplish? In what way did you celebrate your accomplishment? And, what’s next?

This is what we call the Completion process in coaching. For Willis and I, the evening we completed the hike on May 20, we went to dinner at the Mountain Room at Yosemite Lodge. As we sat there, we checked in with each other to see how we felt about our accomplishment. We agreed we were totally complete and had done it all. Acknowledging ourselves and one another for the specifics of the journey that made it possible let us tap into our experiences. We celebrated over a lovely dinner with Yosemite Falls right outside the window. And we asked one another, what’s next? We haven’t decided yet – and the thought is there.

What’s Next?

I invite you to stay tuned. As I complete my posting about this Journey of Self-Discovery, new ideas are afoot. We are looking at creating a venue here to publish the stories of “older” people who have or are achieving results – not just physically – at a time in their lives when it was/is challenging and they did it or are doing it anyway. We want to create a community of “older” people who are changing the paradigm of aging and continuing to age dynamically and keep opening the door to possibilities. Your stories will pay it forward to those coming up behind us by exploring what’s possible, inspiring one another, and empowering by example. Contact me here and let me know what’s going on with you. What’s your story? What’s next for you?

I invite you to contact me at for your complimentary Introductory coaching session!
Joan & Nevada Falls
Joan & Nevada Falls



  1. Dear Joan,

    I am a n older Australian who is active and very much inspired and informed in my daily life and habits by the work of Katie Bowman and your book Dynamic Aging, among others. I congratulate you on the idea of a forum for older people who are active and aspire to greater things day by day and look forward to participating.

    Warmest regards


    1. Hi Leonie-Ruth. Thanks for your congratulations and I look forward to your participation.

  2. Joan, Willis and Family,
    Kudos, Joan and Willis on your trek to Vernal Falls and the accompanying learning process you went through during the journey. Way to go for the Kids and Grandkids to successfully take the same challenge. Such an experience can definitely be a model for future pursuits – especially with Joan’s creative coaching style.

    Always like to hear what the Allen’s are up to.

    My Best For Your Best!!!
    Love, Mary Ann Zinn

  3. Lovely to read your blog about you and family sharing such an inspiring challenge and fulfillment and in turn being mutually inspired.
    Blessings and love to you and Willis.

  4. Joan, today daughter, Jill, and I attended a “Summer of Love” concert. I got a giggle when they updated the Beatles song…”Will you still love me when I’m 64″…to 84 on light of the fact that most of the audience was well over 64!

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