The space I occupy today is in Boulder, Colorado

25 Jul

I must apologize to those who read my blog religiously; I promised so much more from my California travels yet the moment has passed and I no longer feel compelled to share my experiences.  Some people tell me I have interesting trigger points, so it is possible that someday I will revisit those delightful and enlightening days.

At this very moment I am sitting in a small coffee shop called Amante on Walnut Street in Boulder, Colorado.  I am enjoying the most delicious Americano (rivals my fav in San Francisco called The Creamery).  The place is bustling with cycling enthusiasts; they are hanging on to every pedal stroke as Lance Armstrong races to the finish of Stage 20 Tour de France.  I am eyeing the succulent selection of gelato nearby… do I dare?

Boulder is what you would expect and then some.  You may not be aware of this, but Colorado is touted as the healthiest state in our country.  Colorado residents are generally fit and the state overall has an extremely low obesity rate.  As I perused downtown Boulder Thursday evening, I couldn’t help but notice how physically fit both males and females were.  It felt as if your resident evaluation included a fitness check, body fat measure and overall ability to handle extreme sports at altitudes above 5,000 feet.  I must admit that in my small North Carolina town I am a standout when it comes to fitness and overall athletic ability; however, in this place I was just another grain of sand, another needle on the coniferous trees lining the Flatirons…

Pearl Street is a shopping and cafe experience in the heart of downtown Boulder.  Unlike the famous 3rd Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica, Pearl Street offers local business owners the opportunity to achieve success without the competition of giants like Banana Republic and GAP.  As I took in the local fare, I escaped into every nook and cranny, observing such details as the antique bookshelves that housed new and nostalgic building blocks of knowledge to the typical college gear adorned by every 20-something in town.  Each cafe offered its own unique something, attracting its unique someone.  Although I was famished from an American dining experience at West End, I seemed to daydream about what specialty each cafe could offer me as I strolled by.  Old-fashioned candy shops enticing children with sweet favorites of yesterday: Mallow Cups and Clarks gum!  One could even witness the occasional street performer, invisible to the unappreciative audience, working diligently to win everyone’s hearts at any cost.

The most beautiful aspect of Boulder, past the people watching and upscale yet small town atmosphere, is the landscape.  My friend and I took the opportunity to admire Boulder from a more natural perspective: Eldorado Springs.  Just south of downtown, one finds themselves within what feels like arm’s reach of the Flatirons.  The majestic giants rose from the sparsely wooded ground below, their craggy structures offering familiar shapes depending on what angle they were viewed from.  At first glance I saw the strength and prowess of a hawk as it was about to pounce on its prey, but at second glance it seemed more subtle and harmless like that of a small iguana.  Despite their familiarity with other objects in my mind, each peak seemed to reach into the bright blue abyss and remind me of the power of nature and how I am simply someone who should respect and honor their presence.

The Flatirons

The Flatirons

I must admit that my body wasn’t prepared for the altitudes I have encountered on this trip.  I managed to make a 5 mile uphill hike (roundtrip) in roughly 2 hours.  To the average person this doesn’t sound like a daunting task; however, if you add over 6,000 feet above sea level and my lack of proper hydration, the task at hand becomes that much more difficult.  I stopped occasionally to snap a photo with my trusty iPhone, immersing myself in the quietness of my environment.  Ironically, at my highest point (roughly 6,500 feet) I could see DIA (Denver International Airport) in the distance.  For reference, DIA is 40 miles or so from Boulder.  Amazing.

I ended my evening at a gathering of university folks, most of which I did not know, to celebrate the successes of well deserved PhDs and those moving on to achieve their MD.  As always, I manage to encounter the most interesting people that seem to add light to my path just as it appears to darken or become hard to navigate.  He will go unnamed, but I found someone that shared my interest in people, in relationships and the overall energy that makes up our universe.  I cannot possibly detail our one hour conversation in this blog, but I will leave you with the most interesting point of the night.  People tend to live in the past or the future, but not in the present.  We are often leading miserable lives because we think about what we lost in the past or the mistakes we feel we have made and why we made them.  On the other hand, we find ourselves living for the future, always looking toward what we think will come and eventually realizing that time has slipped out of our grasp and we have not truly lived.  So, what is left?  Each and every individual should live for today.  Every day is a new day; it is the beginning of your life.  There is nothing wrong with planning and setting goals for the future; however, one shouldn’t get caught up in it.  Live for Today!!!

In closing, I am hydrating at this very moment in preparation for a white water rafting trip this afternoon.  Wish me luck… for those that know me well you must be thinking ‘wow, Carissa doesn’t have the best swimming skills in the world’…

Until next time… Cj

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