In light of the recent Super Bowl Champs… I had to give credit to the Broncos. Their defensive line played an outstanding game (at least the parts I watched anyway.) Let me tell you, watching the Super Bowl at 1 in the morning makes it more of an intermittent napping party in sweat pants especially when you’ve worked all day. However, since they won I figured my next post should be about Colorado. What a beautiful place! It’s even better that it’s completely appropriate to wear lululemon/workout clothes EVERYWHERE you go. If i’m not working, 95% of the time you’ll find me in lulu so I could totally be a local there. I love that fitness seems like such an obvious part of the culture. So why did I go? To surprise my sweet friend Sophia…
Let’s Back up a minute…
25. Twenty Five. Dang that was a hard year for me. Have you ever woken up and realized you’re not living the life you’ve always imagined you would? Have you heard your own voice and realized the words coming out are not what you WANTED or NEEDED to say? The moral of my story is that: Life is hard. Life is messy. Anyone who tells you that it isn’t, is a big liar. They are most likely trying to make you believe everything in their life is perfect. Here’s the shocker… no one’s life is perfect. Call it a quarter life crisis if you will. To me it was a realization that you don’t have to keep moving on the same path if you’re heading in the opposite direction of where you really want to end up in life. I learned very quickly that I was too educated, determined and stubborn to be content with unhappiness.
So I made big changes in my life. I moved fearlessly in the direction of my dreams. Was it hard? ABSOLUTELY. Did I doubt my decisions? Occasionally along the way but I had to trust that I was doing the right thing. When you go through chapters in your life like this one, you truly find out who is on your team. Who is going to love you through both your good AND bad decisions. Who is going to love the best of you and the worst of you. Once again I leaned on the friends that are practically sisters to me. I also listened to songs on repeat (like Brave by Sara Bareilles, not an artist I usually like but what an amazing song). I read a bunch of books. I’ve always loved to read so it’s really that I needed a reason but I found it was soothing.
If you haven’t read Wild by Cheryl Strayed you should! That girl was a hot mess with all the chaos going on in her life. And yet… I couldn’t blame her for coping in all the wrong ways. In a sense I felt like I understood her pain and suffering. One of my favorite quotes from her book was this one.
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” -Cheryl Strayed
Traveling to Colorado was a breath of fresh air for me. Literally, it felt so clean and running there made my lungs burn like I had never imagined they could. It awakened a part of me that was numb and for the first time in a long time I saw over the edge. I saw the bright future ahead that I would build for myself. These women pushed me to be brave. They brought out the best in me and listened to me cry when I needed it most. Standing on the edge of this mountain I knew everything was going to be better than just okay… It was GOING to be fantastic.
“Let’s go for an early morning run and hike. It’ll be fun.” she said….11 miles later….
Now I only agreed to this nonsense because Sophia woke Katie and I up with steaming hot mugs of our favorite Wild Mountain Blueberry Coffee. After she bribed me with coffee, I drug myself out of my warm bed and laced up my running shoes. Keep in mind we had to run to the staring point of the hike… so my lungs were literally on fire.
Elevation: 5,430 Feet
When they say the air is “thin” up that high… what they mean is you’ll feel oxygen deprived… like you’re dying. Eventually, we watched the sunrise as we finished the grueling hike to the top.
About six months later, I made a second trip to Boulder. I wanted to surprise Sophia at work. She was as a manager for Lululemon (you can see why my obsession with lulu started to grow) and I knew she had to work the day I arrived. So I coordinated with a few of her coworkers to make sure she had the weekend off (but was still on the printed schedule to “work”). I walked into her work with flowers and she looked up and greeted me. She did a double take and was shocked I was actually standing in the store with her. The smile on her face made the trip so worth it!
I told her the rest of the girls and I had planned to get together in Colorado Springs the next day. It was just after christmas time so we decided to meet for dessert and cocktails at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. It was gorgeous and the cream brûlée was just perfect!
I spent a few more days in Boulder with these girls and it made me miss our weekly running and breakfast dates in North Carolina so very much! I am so thankful for the women in these pictures. They push me to be a better person every single day.
Overall, I would highly recommend visiting Colorado when you have the chance especially if you’re a fan of the outdoors. Don’t get me wrong… hiking, running, biking it’ll all be harder at that elevation. But from my experience, the view was always worth the climb.
ps. I almost forgot. Sophia, Mike and I went to this outrageously good brunch place (after she almost killed me at her crossfit class). Coffee is by far the fastest way to my heart!