This weekend I returned to Breckenridge where I had not been in 19 years. Back then, my mother was marrying Jim and we augmented the trip to Denver with a family ski trip. While the pictures are not reproducing very clearly, Amber has a collage of the photos from that trip hanging in the guest room where I stayed. It was one of our last family trips before we were a family no longer.
Then, I was married with children. At the risk of spinning off song lyrics, I got a divorce and chestnut horse. Ally, Lauren and I started life over in Texas. Years, miles, family lost, family gained have rolled on by re-setting my life. It was quite interesting to find myself back on the Breckenridge slopes.
There I was, standing once again, on the same slopes of Breckenridge that we had skied all those years ago, now as a mother-in-law and a grandmother, watching Ryan, Riley and Lexi compete in Spartan Races was quite a trip for me to take, literally and mentally.
It was weird in many ways to me. First, I was standing on the lush summer green grass where before in the same spot I had stood on 30 or more inches of snow. The lifts standing still in the soft summer breeze. I looked up and down the mountain, taking in the view, remembering the many ski trips here. Now, I was here to watch and support a crazy new kind of race.
The Spartan Race is a leader in the sport of obstacle racing, offering open heats for all fitness levels, as well as competitive and elite heats for those with something more to prove. The first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings, Spartan Race provides a proving ground for beginner and professional obstacle racers looking to test themselves in new ways across the world.
In Ryan’s race Saturday, he ran over 14 miles but faced daunting obstacles the whole way. It was super compelling to me as we watched the runners approach the finish line. I am almost lost my voice cheering them on. Anyone that has heard me at a horse show is no stranger to my yells and cat calls. This group was made up of serious athletes and I wanted them to hang on and finish their race.
Ryan jumping the fire pit (seriously!)
Ryan after he crossed the finish line with Amber, Riley and Lexi.
Lexi conquering the web. She told me it was easy for her because she is a gymnast!
I spend a lot of time with Ally and Lauren. I cheer on Jordyn’s riding pursuits. I acknowledge four year-old Kendyll’s reported wins in the Grand Prix ring (that’s what she tells me anyway).
I was so happy to be back in Colorado with this set of my family cheering them on. Especially for something so difficult. Riley had no problem with his race at all. He paced along, conquered the obstacles and headed to the finish line. Lexi was one of the smallest competitors. She mastered the balance beam, hauled herself over any solid walls that came her way, but drew the line at the mud hazard. Although she lost points, she told me clearly, “Granny, I am not going in the mud! I don’t like to get dirty!” We will need to work on that!
I enjoyed a wonderful weekend with my Denver family. It was nice to feel the cool air and mountain breeze. Wearing jeans for the first time in over six months was kind of nice, too. The mountains will always be first love and my home.
Amber and I made a trip to the cemetery as well. I had not seen my mother’s head stone before. It was sad and a little overwhelming to see the headstones of my entire immediate family laid out before me. I saw my final resting spot. I don’t know when I will join them but plan to live my life to fullest in the meantime.
As always, thanks for riding along.
Here’s a link to my chestnut horse.