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My Love/Hate Relationship w/ Colorado

The view from the summit of Mt. Sherman (14,036 ft.)

Colorado and I have always had a love/hate relationship.

I've grown up as more of a city type of guy. I like tall buildings and metropolitan areas. I like walking the streets and stopping to eat cool places. I don't mind staying in hotels. I have always been drawn to the lifestyle of the city more than the outdoors.

In an odd twist of fate, I've been born into a family that really loves the outdoors. We've never been much of a ski family, but we really love Colorado in the summer. We make our way back to Colorado about every other year or so and my normal tendencies for city life gets disrupted.

When I was younger, I loved Colorado because I loved every vacation my family went on and I didn't ever have enough of an opinion to know otherwise. I grew up, and my desire for the outdoors waned. I got tired of hiking. The slow life of the mountains just wasn't that attractive to me. Don't get me wrong, I think mountains are incredible testaments to the creativity of an incredibly creative God. But, they never moved me like they did my family. Then, I took a trip to Breckenridge last August and got horrible altitude sickness. Migraine headaches accompanied my general frustration with Colorado, and it seemed like my body was simply reinforcing my growing dislike for the state.

But, I committed to giving Colorado another chance. The truth is, some of my frustrations with these trips is probably just a bad attitude. Also, I realize that I'm preparing to marry a girl who loves nature even more than my nature-loving family. Colorado will continue to be a part of my life and I want to enjoy it. I think I do this exact thing too often. I establish an opinion, and then I conform my feelings and emotions to match what I have previously decided. It isn't that I truly dislike Colorado, it's that some bad experiences have warped my perspective on the state. In most things, committing myself to having an open mind and not defining current reality based on past circumstances makes life much more enjoyable.

The recommitment to an open mind has sparked a renewed joy in the outdoors. I'm trying to slow myself down and remove myself from my tendencies to desire the city and enjoy the mountains. I'm trying to take pictures and appreciate the beauty a little bit more. I'm trying to be more flexible and have less of an opinion on a vacation that's supposed to be fun and relaxing. I will never be an outdoorsman, but I can learn to enjoy it when the situation is presented to me.

Colorado and I will probably always have a love/hate relationship. My city mentality will always feel like a square peg in a round hole in the mountains. But, as I grow older, I hope my appreciation for God's creation and the beauty of the mountains wins the battle more and more.

MT. SHERMAN

I climbed my first 14'er! My brother Joel truly loves the mountains, and he persuaded me to climb an "easy" one with him. Let me tell you, there is no such thing as an easy 14'er. It was hard. I'm training for a half marathon and this was far more exhausting than any of my runs. About 3/4 of the way up, I was sick of looking at my feet, working to find footing, and walking straight upwards. But, when I finally got to the top (the actual top, not any of the false summits that broke my spirit along the way), all the work was worth it. The view was truly incredible and the pictures I took do not quite do it justice.

IPHONE PHOTOS

In general, I think I'm going to try to document more of life using my iPhone. I always forget how incredible the pictures my little phone can produce, and I just spent a bit too much for more filters on the VSCO cam, so I figure I'll invest some more time in simple daily photography. Here are some shots from the trip.

Cory ThomasonComment