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Balancing above the ground on cables, two women face one another and cling to each other’s arms. More women orbit around them, arms outstretched, ready to catch them if they fall. Their legs shake. Step-by-step they shuffle across the cables that suspend them above the fresh spring grass.

The cables separate and form a pie shape that grows wider as the women advance one step at a time. Their bodies pitch forward. Each woman uses the force of the other to strengthen her stance.

They shuffle on. Feet apart, feet together, feet apart, feet together. Their legs no longer shake as they did when they started the journey. By the time they reach the ends of the cables, their bodies are horizontal and all that is holding them up is the opposing force of the other. They’ve made it, but only with the support of the others and the confidence in themselves to keeping stepping forward.

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Erin Schattauer is a member of Montana Mountain Mamas.

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