365 Days in Aspen

You Wanna Get High? Part 1

smugglers626Quite a view, isn't it?  It's from the Smuggler Mountain Overlook.  Yes, that's Ajax.  Looks like an easy mountain to ski from this perspective. But as we all know, a shift in perspective can change everything.  

Like this hike did for me.  It's classified as a "moderate/intermediate" hike and only about a mile and a half in length one way, but for me it was a milestone.  

This was only my third day in Aspen, and my first two days I got winded carrying boxes up the flight of stairs to my new place.  A big part of it was the shift in altitude.  Atlanta is about 1,000 feet (higher than most of the state because of its proximity to the Appalachian mountains) and Denver is the "mile-high city" (around 5,200 feet).  Aspen is 7,900 feet.  So this hike – up an additional 800 feet – was an accomplishment.  

But that's not the only reason it was a breakthrough for me.  You see, I started this year with practically zero endurance due to a toxic reaction to a product (tuna fish) I got at Costco.  I was used to working out 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day (1 hour on the elliptical machine and another hour to hour and a half on a recumbent bike), but that product very nearly killed me.  That's not an exaggeration.  I quite literally thought this was going to be the last year of my life.  

Once I realized the cause, I gradually got better, but never got to 100% of where I was before.  So the ability to hike up 800 feet was a testimony to my body's cooperation in its own healing and how good this move was for "her."  (As you get to know me better, you'll learn about how I see the connection of body to mind and spirit.  More on that in future posts and in my book, Five Reasons Why Bad Things Happen: How to Turn Tragedies Into Triumph.)  

So – to "get high" – even if it was only 800 feet up – was a rush – in more ways than one.  


Here are a couple of videos I shot from the Overlook:

Here are some songs that played during my hike…