Rewind: Fourth of July Vacation Week

Speaking of all the things I didn’t write about but meant to day after day and week after week. July 4th.

On July 3rd I flew to my family’s lake house in New Jersey, but the trip wasn’t without delays and frustrations—a good thing gone bad before the thing even got started. As per usual when you fly United.

My noon flight was delayed until about 8 p.m. which meant I spent an entire work day at the airport, working on not having a mental breakdown. I visited every shop, book store, bathroom, terminal, gate and café at least three times over eight hours. I was tired, frustrated, hungry, thirsty, and sick of watching other people take off on their on-time flights. I’d burned through all the magazines and podcasts I’d saved for the flight and my gadgets were dead when we were oh my god finally scheduled to board. But, by that time it didn’t even matter because my plan was to pass TF out the second I got to my seat.

Thankfully, and to my surprise, I had a whole row to myself. Two if I really wanted. In the morning, my flight was expected to be full. Every seat filled and overhead compartment stuffed to capacity. Eight hours later, it seemed 75% of passengers bailed. So? The second we got up to altitude, I made myself horizontal for four hours and didn’t move until they turned the lights on for landing. I so deserved it.

When we finally landed and when our bags finally made it and when my parents finally picked me up and we got home and I laid down at 2 a.m. more mentally exhausted than any other feeling on planet earth, I was happy to just be there.

But. Even through all that, even when I was drinking coffee with my family, looking out over the lake I’d grown up on, on an official ‘vacation,’ I realized I didn’t need a vacation at all.

I was missing the mountains.

I really wanted to get up and go for a trail run, or hop on my bike with all my buddies and explore new mountain trails and dive bomb into the canyons. My everyday was everything I loved to do.

I’ve been waiting to feel like this for years, wondering when I’d get lucky enough to love every day. There it was. Here it is. 

It was a good feeling but a funny realization. I’d always counted down the hours and minutes until vacation. I’d have been mentally checked out from my desk job days before my flight took off. These days? And on that particular day on the deck? I couldn’t wait to get home—the home I made a home in Colorado.

Family time was very necessary, though. I hadn’t seen my dad, sister, brother-in-law or niece in seven months. I hadn’t been to New York City in over a year and hadn’t had an authentic slice in just as much time.

After our annual July 4th family party—that somehow always gets rained out—my dad and I headed into the New York the following day for some exploring. We both love to walk around the city. Most of the time we don’t have a plan—we walk until we’re hungry, get lunch, then walk some more around our favorite neighborhoods and up and down our favorite streets. I always saw myself living there one day, but after moving to Colorado, I’m not sure that kind of city life is for me anymore. But it sure is fun to visit.

I got to run each day of this six-day vacation, save for when I ventured into New York. My lungs were loving every second. I physically felt the abundance of oxygen at sea level with each deep breath, and my splits were much faster than those at elevation in Boulder. By the last day, I was tired and ready to be on my bike, but it was fun getting to run around my favorite neighboring lakes.

I got to have “lake lunches,” which usually consist of whatever’s in the fridge and whatever takes under ten minutes to prepare.

I got to ride bikes with my dad and stop at Stewart’s for sodas and ice creams. I got to go on a post-run cool down kayak ride to just finish up a Rich Roll podcast.

Even though I didn’t really need this vacation, I needed to see my people and be there for them like they were for me through so much of the hard stuff. I needed to show them how truly happy I am now; I owe a lot of what I feel now to my family, for supporting me when things sucked and when I was ready to move my whole life across the country.

Happy (very late) 4th of July.

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

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