Boulder - A hike, a theater production, contact improv and a cracked rib.

Gradual Climb
 Saturday morning my friend took me on a hike to Mount Sanitas. I had done one of the flatiron hikes on my previous trip so it was nice to get a different view of the landscape. We took the gradual way up and the steep way down, which I was thankful for. While I did better than expected breath wise, it did remind me how much work I have to do before Nepal. It was a beautiful hike even though it was a gray day. I was just thankful to be hiking in January! It was nearly 50 and the temp kept going  up all weekend. We sat on some rocks, chatted about life, watched other hikers and just relaxed. I kept seeing animals in the rock formations, it was amusing. The views were lovely. I was struck by  how flat it is except for the actual mountains. You can see for miles and miles, and on a clear day straight to Denver. It is a stark contrast to Massachusetts that has every manner and shape of hills available.
Cloudy Day

Boulder from above

Crocodile Rock?

In the evening we had the pleasure of attending the Naropa University 17th Annual Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert. It was a theatrical/dance show. It was beautifully put together. My friend knew several of the people in it including the assistant director. The pieces were full of energy and passion. Each had a different theme and choreographer. They ranged from sexuality, to empowerment, to busyness in daily life, to turning inward. It was wonderful. I was so happy that this was a part of my trip. After the show we were invited out to one of the student's/performer's house. It was an eclectic group that over the semesters had woven together like a family. I imagine their class discussions are fascinating.

Sunday morning we went to contact improv. I know what you are thinking, what on earth is that. If you want to see what it looks like you can find it on youtube here  (It's a long video but you can get the idea after a minute or so). My friend and several of his friends go every Sunday morning for two hours. I had no idea what to expect, he had only breezed by the subject, but hey I'm open to new experiences so I went to check it out. This particular Sunday was an extended version of the gathering, lasting four hours and including lunch. My friend gave me a nice little lesson and I picked it up fast. To me it was like a combination of martial arts, yoga, dance, and flow, all things I love. After my  lesson and practice my friend went off to join the group and I watched for a while. After a bit a guy across the room found me and must have sensed the new blood in the room. I told him it was my first class and that I hadn't really done any before. I considered not partnering with him for a few reasons but didn't listen to myself. Off we went. It was all going well and flowing until he rolled over me and I got full weight into my ribs from his knee or at least I think it was a knee it could have been an elbow for all I know. I immediately started crying and went into the fetal position, it was that kind of pain. I immediately though oh my goodness Nepal. I sat up and tried to breathe through it. The guy sat with me and sort of apologized but didn't seem that sorry. And he waited there with me expecting me to start back up again. It was a little odd considering I was visibly in pain and my eyes were leaking. I said I have to go walk around and I did. So unfortunately I was out for the rest of the day and could not participate in the remaining three hours of the gathering. I sat quietly and watched and tried to breath in serious discomfort. Several people came up and asked me to join in but I had to tell them all I was injured and decline. I went through varying waves of nausea and pain throughout my time until lunch arrived.  I walked slowly into the eating area and got into a conversation with an Israeli guy about Peru and then started weeping again. I mean that wasn't too surprising considering how I feel about Peru and my connection there. It was an unusual and wonderful conversation that eventually turned to politics between Iran and Israel and the people. I was happy to be a part of that conversation even though I was in so much pain. I ate with some other equally friendly people, a guy from France who had just spent time in South America learning Spanish and a new couple that was obviously made for each other. I really enjoyed their company. Even though this injury was and is a real bummer it was a great group to see in action and see such a supportive community of souls.

The rest of the day was spent resting, taking Advil and icing until it was time for me to pack and head out for the red eye. We picked up my cousin in Denver for dinner at the Watercourse on 17th street. It was great, lots of vegetarian options. The conversation was even better. I don't get to see this particular cousin very often but when I do I am always struck by how pleasant he is to be around. He is just a really pleasant person. He has really embraced the Colorado life with his hiking adventures and I was thrilled to hear about them. After dinner we dropped him off at the light rail and headed for the airport. If you have never been to Denver International (DIA), it has the longest "driveway" of any airport I have experienced. You get off the exit for the airport but then it is still 10 plus miles away. They also have this really creepy blue horse with lit red eyes near the entrance. I asked aloud who's idea was that and why did they think it was OK to greet visitors with that? I said my goodbyes to my dear friend and headed on in to take the shortest red eye flight in history, under 3 hours. The jet stream must have been moving something fierce that night, it was unbelievable. Note to self and everyone else, that flight is much much shorter than it says on paper Denver to Boston).


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