Rocky Mountain High Life

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Photo Credit: Don Miller

Photo Credit: Don Miller

Since moving here, I have learned that living in the Mile High city is quite a privilege. And with privilege of course comes responsibility. So what am I responsible for, now that I’m a Denverite? Well, living up to my new identity, naturally. What does this look like? Full indoctrination into the lifestyle of a true Coloradical!

I’ve downward-dogged it up at free yoga with my other body-and-mind-bending yoga hippies. I’ve had the pleasure of savoring a delicious peach from Palisade, Colorado at the wacky Boulder Farmer’s Market. I took a samba dance class with a woman from Colombia, because who else would teach samba to a bunch of uncoordinated Americans? I’ve watched the flaming red sunset over the Rockies countless times. I saw two (yes, TWO) Nobel Prize laureates walk into the restaurant in which I was dining in Boulder. That city…  From tree-hugging, yoga-loving, farmer’s-market-hustling hippies to astrophysicist Nobel Prize laureates.

In the world of extreme sports, this past weekend I watched cycling’s Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, finish the week-long USA Pro Challenge race in downtown Denver. Standing on the corner of Speer and Bannock, I watched over 100 riders make 8 separate circles around me. The Coloradical crazies (myself included now, naturally) got to show their true colors, as they cheered the local favorite, Tejay van Garderen, to the overall race victory. Where is he from, you ask? Boulder, of course.

But perhaps the most epically Coloradical adventure I’ve undertaken yet began at 11,600 feet.  The Arrupe ASC volunteer from last year, Bryan Kujawa, took my fellow community member, Lisa and me to one of his favorite 14,000 foot mountains (affectionately called 14’ers out here)- of which there are 55 in the state. My goal? Hike them all before I leave in June. Just kidding, that would be suicide. Our hike up Bierstien was definitely one of my biggest highlights since moving here. Placing myself in the vast wilderness of Colorado’s beautiful Rockies, above the tree line, I’m able to see for miles. The deep blue sky, the monstrous mountains, the ever-changing cloud contortions, the clear fresh air. The presence of God is so strong, it’s almost palpable. I feel my cold, crisp, breath rush in and out of my lungs, and at 14,000 feet, I know there’s a force more powerful than myself that’s making that happen.

So my take-away is short and sweet: I live in a beautiful place, full of wonderfully eclectic and fun-loving people. My blessings are many, and I continue to thank God for them everyday.

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