Updated: Jan 18
If you follow me on social media, you may have caught me excitedly rambling about my experience revisiting a section of the Colorado Trail last weekend. If you didn't catch it, or if you did and would like it without the gasping for air, (why do I do my best thinking on the inclines?!) here's the story:
On Saturday I was in Copper, CO supporting my husband while he participated in an 80 mile bike race through the mountains. The Colorado Trail runs along the edge of Copper— I could actually see if from our hotel room— so naturally, while my husband was riding, I spend a few hours on the CT.
From the moment my feet met up with the trail, I was flooded with memories and emotion from thru-hiking the trail last summer. I could remember exactly how I felt very full, (I had eaten a HUGE breakfast in Copper) confident and strong. By the time I made it to Copper, I was 3 weeks and 350 miles into the thru-hike. I had made it through the first 5 days of being homesick, afraid and emotional, spent 2 more weeks settling in and adjusting and now was really feeling like I had hit my stride.
As I walked—or rather, hiked— down memory lane on Saturday, I thought of other times in my life I had gone through a similar emotional journey.
I fell in love with the west when I was 13, and spent the next 5 years waiting for the freedom to fly the coop. I moved to Colorado from New Hampshire two months after graduating high school.
Even though I had my heart set on a cross country move, when the time came to board my flight to Denver, everything in my body was telling me not to go. I didn’t stop crying until probably somewhere over Kansas.
My first few months on Colorado were less than inspiring. I lived across from a dilapidated shopping mall that housed the beauty school I enrolled in, a smoke shop and a grocery store where I purchased far too many doughnuts to buffer my homesickness. I worked at Jason’s Deli, and on nights I didn’t work, spent hours watching reality tv or CSI from a treadmill at 24 hour fitness. On more than one occasion I fell asleep on the phone with my mom. Thank goodness long distance calling wasn't a thing anymore.
But somewhere inside of me, I knew I was in the right place. If I had stayed in New Hampshire, supported by family, surrounded by friends, I would wonder every day what my life would be like if I had just taken the leap.
After a year in Colorado Springs, I finished beauty school and moved to Boulder. I got a job working at a high end salon, leased an apartment, bought a car and made friends. I lived in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in arguably the most beautiful city in the US. THIS was the life I moved for. I hit my stride.
Adventure isn’t only available on a trail. Adventure is accessed when you push yourself to take the leap, to live in the discomfort of the journey until you hit your stride.