Elevation: 9,620 Feet

When you try to run at an elevation of 9,620 feet, your heart will thud against the confines of your chest with such aggression that your entire body will rattle. All of your muscles, from your calves up, will clench, demanding an answer for the unpleasantries through gritted teeth (if muscles had such things). You will not, however, offer any reasoning, any justification; there is no air within you, whatsoever, to answer with.

To be fair, I am not the only ‘landling’ who has had to adjust to this sky-high territory. Little Red, the Honda Civic who doubles as transport and secret-bearer, also had to make the switch between Midwest flatness to Colorado terrain. Little Red has never been so high. Based on the roaring semi-like moans she was making at 40mph up the mountainside, she might not ever be so high again. That is, assuming she succeeds in getting me back down come July.

I’m on staff this summer at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. The road I took here, though, was twisted. (Cheesy, dramatic metaphor for my life? I’ll restrain.) This is partly why my communication with you hasn’t been great. (I say ‘you’, confident that no matter who ‘you’ are, this statement holds true.) I was in Chicago for a time first, and will eventually wind back up (down?) there, God willing. (You can do it, Little Red!)

My time in Chicago was one big fat learning experience. Like, I learned how to parallel park like a pro. I learned I still have unfinished business in the city. I learned that girl friends are so, so valuable and I’m so, so grateful for the ones I have (I think I will continue to learn and relearn this indefinitely). My roommate and I parted ways and I still can’t believe that happened (grad school, sigh!) and I am amazed at how close we continued to grow in our last month at 1633 West Rascher. That girl even painted all the walls back to their original white and cleaned out the fridge when I wasn’t home. Top quality, folks.

And now I’m here. In Colorado! Being taught how to kayak and keep kids safe and anticipating my sister’s arrival at the end of the week. I want to talk about the ‘why’ and my expectations for the month-ish ahead, but it’s breakfast time. Orientation week slows down to a crawl by the weekend–the calm before the storm, I guess–so I’ll probably whip another post up then.

For the time being, I am safe and sound–winded, soar legs, sunburnt–yes!–but safe and sound all the same. I do not speak on behalf of Little Red, however, but she is parked on a ridge somewhere for the time being (honestly, I think it’s called Rocky Ridge), so I guess I’ll have to get back to you on that (Ha.).

And hey, 9,620 feet up is a beautiful, beautiful place to be.


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