Although I will never get bored earning them, you may get tired reading about my fun weekends in/near the Rockies. I care about your boredom, but I’ll risk it anyway. My weekend was, in short, fantastic and comes in 2 acts with a musical intermission.
Act 1, in which 2 people hike in the wilderness seeing wonders:
This weekend’s hike was much like last weekend’s just in a different place, somewhere above the Moffat Tunnel (a 6 mile train tunnel under the Continental Divide). There were constant waterfalls, beautiful trees, excellent company, and loads of wildflowers. Spectacular beauty … well, I can’t even pretend it gets boring. Unfortunately, the wildlife consisted mostly of dogs, squirrels, and chipmunks. There were a couple of tree stumps that looked, for a moment, like bears, but, alas, no such luck. The highlight this time was the flowers, where I was the flower spotter (honorary) and Dana the photographer.
Was it worth the 4 miles of gasping and scrambling and mud? Yup.
After the glorious day in the mountains, we went home, having neither a tent nor a tolerance for hole-in-the-ground sanitation. To be fair, hole-in-the-ground sanitation would be perfectly fine if it had no smell, was self-cleaning, and made a re-assuring flushing noise after each use.
Going home means hurtling down Boulder Canyon, gently enough to keep heart rates low. Being too exhausted for real conversation, I asked for some music. Dana, the passenger, looked through my crazy music collection and said something like, “How about j.hubner? Is it any good?” Faster than this sentence conveys, I replied, “Yeah!”. And so, while Mr. Hubner was just getting rear-ended he was also serenading us with his thoughts on being the Kaiser and wearing a beard of bees. There is actual video evidence of canyon walls passing while Hubner plays on. That evidence, safely stored in both Colorado and Indiana, will be released if certain demands aren’t met … I’ll get back to you on the demands.
Act 2, in which 1 person learns a lesson:
Last weekend I felt immensely proud of a 27 mile comfortably hilly bike ride. I felt a little like an athlete. Sure, I’ve been in much better shape at times, but it was the first time in a while where long-riding cycling fun was also easy fun. This weekend? Further, faster, harder, and more rewarding. I don’t mean to brag, but after 35 miles, I’d conquered every hill in my repertoire that scares me … and more. When I say a hill scares me, I mean that, on more than one occasion, I’ve had an actual tear knowing the painful ascent is coming. The worst part of these hills is seeing the entire hill the entire time and for 20 minutes before you even reach it. Last weekend that was no problem. This weekend, as I approached each one, I had twinges of fear. Partway up each one I thought about giving up. Soon after, I remembered I just had to move forward a little bit and do that again until, with much surprise, I reach the top. That was my lesson. That is the lesson I am so good at preaching and so bad at doing: have a vague goal, but just worry about the next step. Yeah, I conquered the hills, one of them in my fastest ever time, but mostly, I got my head right … and made it home before mist completely obscured my glasses. I’d share photos, but, if they were of me, you’d just see a soggy suffering mess, in the middle of building his confidence up.
Yeah, I’m proud of myself, not for where I live or any athletic accomplishment. I’m proud of living here, not merely existing. I’m proud of growing, even as my weight shrinks to merely 10% above what I want it to be. I’m more proud of, after long years of work, having a partnership with the awesome Dana that lets me be me and have fun with her being her. Being. Living. Growing. Yup, life is good.