Something about Colorado makes me want to move: running, cycling, hiking, swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, pickle-ball, kickball… The thin mountain air can complicate the cardio-vascular component of exercise; still, the clear skies and cool weather conditions beckon me to run and jump and play.
So, for the Fourth of July holiday, I took advantage of the opportunity to participate in a few special physical fitness festivities… starting with departing from my cabin at 3:45 AM to go run a half-marathon in Longmont. My friends Brooke and David (plus David’s friend Sam) joined me for the Longmont Half-Marathon. It was a unique setting, running mostly over prairie and farmland, with some river wetlands, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the distance. I didn’t know what to expect with attempting a half-marathon at 5,000 feet above sea level — but I was pleasantly surprised with how fast I was ultimately able to run, finishing the race in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Later that evening, our family joined the rest of the staff at the Estes Park Leadership Training program for a picnic in Stanley Park, near Lake Estes. I was prepared to just sit in the shade, nibble on snacks, and enjoy conversation with colleagues. But with a basketball court directly beside our picnic pavilion, it was practically inevitable that a basketball game would break out — and I ended up being one of three 40-something pastors who ended up banding together to take on trios of younger staff… And we won more than we lost, so we had to (got to?) keep playing even longer.
It was a fun day of activity, but you can be sure that I slept well that night after exercising my freedoms for physical fitness.