Buff people sitting on city benches puffing vape pens with hash oil. Clean streets.
Conversation snippets like, “I wake up and I either have clear liquids… Or Gatorade… Or gel.” A common question you hear is, “you racing tomorrow”. The answers are like, “no, I’m not racing. I’m just spectating her. She’s got a little Xterra tomorrow. Then I race in ______ next week.”
Signs in the walking mall read “welcome Ironman 70.3 racers” and 70.3 stickers dot car bumpers. The 70.3, known as a half Ironman, consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run – totaling 70.3 miles or 113.km. There are 30 slots in this Half Ironman for the World Championships.
Welcome to the land of the starved and carved, BoCO, Boulder Colorado. People are looking fit. I’ve never seen so many fit and ultra fit people anywhere. I mostly reside on the beach where people look pretty good but here in Boulder they are sculpted and include ex-Olympians as well as many current high level competitive athletes. They’re slim with veiny arms and leg muscles that flex with definition as they walk at you. It’s kind of ridiculous. Want restaurants serving paleo or gluten free? No problem. The Ironman Boulder page says the race is consistently one of the fastest to sell out – an ‘athlete favorite’. The population here consists of cyclists, yogis, hikers, climbers, skiers/snowboarders, runner, and just generally active people. The Whole Foods Market on Arapahoe, part of a chain of natural foodstores in the US, is like a show. Almost like a party. It’s slam-packed at all hours and is a sprawling center of health. You can get fresh smoothies while you shop or build your own trail mix from bulk. The shoppers here aren’t your average: It’s great people watching and would make an interesting study against Wal-Mart shoppers. Even the women are more shredded than me.
I flew into Denver after making my stops in Oregon and California, then made my way on a shuttle to Lyons where my brother Mike picked me up at a nice coffee shop in this quaint town that leads into a canyon and serves as gateway to the town of Estes Park on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. Lyons is about 15 miles from Boulder and is out of the hustle and bustle of the new Boulder. Sitting at the base of The Flatirons, Boulder’s scenic setting and quick access to the outdoors has long attracted people seeking a high quality of life. At this point though, it’s safe to say the town has fully blown up. The marijuana industry has been at home here for decades but with the advent of legal recreational marijuana, it’s come out of the closet and gotten even bigger, attracting would-be growers from more conservative eastern states. And tech is here too; as someone suggested, ‘if you had a lot of money, why wouldn’t you live in a really nice place’?
For a town of 100,000 there seem to be a lot of Porsche’s rolling around. A lot more than average, I’d say. And also a lot more Tesla’s than you’ll see in other towns (CO is one of 7 states to offer incentives on the purchase of these spendy electric vehicles). The town is full of shops that cater to runners, gyms of all types (including little boutique places catering to the individual client), and snazzy restaurants packed with people gobbling up some very good food. I love it aside from the fact that people drive like bitches and there are obviously plenty of prima donna’s. With a town this nice and people looking so good, there’s destined to be a bit of a sceney, snobby feel. I wear my skater socks, surf shorts, and funky shirts; I get some looks. If not for the fact that I don’t have too much body fat and my veins are popping, I think I’d really be a buzzkill for more of these super-athletes and super-yogis. That aside, the energy on the street, the weather and the street performers and eateries and all the rest of it along create an amazing quality of life. The Naropa Institute is here, founded in 1974 by my favorite author Chogyam Trungpa... Boulder is still funky enough and fairly liberal. People come to a place to create a better life and they bring that vibe; the force is strong in BoCO.
I’m here to rehab my body and get some business done in the US. Boulder sits at almost exactly 1 mile above sea level and the altitude taxed my puny lungs; it took me a week to face the fact that I wasn’t adjusting well. The herbal supplement Gingko biloba ultimately cleared up my mountain sickness. I was sorted and training, and though I dreaded being away from my trainers and physio’s in Oregon I knew I’d find top-quality bodywork in Boulder. The body needed a break from the surf so I began cross-going between the gym and the track. As I got settled in to life in the art studio below my brother’s house, he and I discussed the website business I’d started and I offered him a spot on the team. On Friday the 12th we had a 5 hour power meeting with the website designer.
My schedule had changed a bit in the last several weeks. It had been shredded actually. Plans to attend an accelerated free-fall training course had been put aside little by little until they were gone. It would likely be another year before I did the training and went for my skydiving license. Maybe there was enough intensity in my life from surfing, I thought. Hucking my meat from a plane wouldn’t mesh with my rejuvenation and rehab plans. So, it was on to business. The business meeting was a total success but had it’s own intensity. The meeting was part of the full re-entry into the business world. Even if my intentions for the website were good and it served a good purpose in the world, it would mean gambling money and time. I would have to turn away from some of the personal time I’d been claiming in the surf scene. The meeting had cut off my plans to drive to Jackson Hole, see friends, and dance to the Polish Ambassador. Things were in a state of flux and I was just rolling with it, blessed with the amazing freedom and opportunity of choice. Give thanks.