When I visited Anthony in Boulder for the first time, back in 2007 when he was doing his internship there, he was intent on showing me the things he loved most about our [unbeknownst to us at the time] future home. The things he loved, of course, were centered around the natural beauty that surrounds the Rockies and their foothills, and even from the beginning he was dragging me out on hikes and excursions, which continue to this day.
I’m not one to shy away from a physical challenge, and that’s how I’ve always approached these journeys into the wild. Chugging along and trying to maintain a steady pace — getting to the top of the mountain, the end of the trail, the final destination — have always been my primary goals. However, Anthony approaches our outdoor adventures with a contagious enthusiasm, seeing every sight as it truly is — a one-of-a-kind view that we haven’t seen before and that few people will ever get to experience. Even when we’ve conquered a trail dozens of times, the conditions are never the same each time, as there might be a mystical fog settling over a familiar valley or a herd of deer grazing on the hillside in the golden light of an oncoming sunset.
This is what I count on my husband for. While I enjoy the challenge and the time spent with Anthony and our friends, I am admittedly not nearly as enthusiastic or motivated to plan and initiate a hike or camping trip. While out, I am so concentrated on completion that I often lose sight of why we’re really out there. Anthony will often notice me walking, head down and concentrating on my footing and speed, and simply say, “Look up.”
Taking a beat to raise my head and take in my surroundings, I’m almost never disappointed.
I often say that we’ve been “spoiled” by the beautiful views. As someone who had never really seen mountains until adulthood, I was in awe of this place when we first came here. However, after only 3 short years in Colorado, I can sometimes take for granted the scenery that makes this place so special. When I truly take a moment, however, to breathe in my surroundings and really appreciate the experiences I’m so fortunate to to enjoy, I am struck by how spectacular the views truly are.
I’m looking forward to this summer, and the plans we’ve already put in place for new experiences and adventures. While I often groan and roll my eyes melodramatically at the mention of the several difficult fourteeners Anthony plans for us to ascend or his anticipation of a long weekend backpacking trip, I know that they will expose me to even more of this beautiful part of the country, and will etch vivid memories into the kaleidoscope of images I’ve captured in my mind’s eye.
I think we all have these moments, where we get so caught up in the final result that we forget to enjoy the journey. Moving through daily life, we take for granted the beautiful moments we share with friends and family, and miss the opportunity to breathe it all in. I’m so glad that I’ve found a partner in life who can remind me to stop and enjoy these moments and who avidly motivates me to continue moving through life with a sense of adventure and openness to new experiences.
Thank you, Anthony, for reminding me that sometimes, we all just need to look up.