On a hike last weekend, I was passed by a 73 year old woman running up a steep trail.
A friend of mine just called me to rant that a pack of 4 road biking teens just passed her going up a hill, got to the top, came down, and passed her again. They were doing hill repeats, trying to keep their heart rate under 100 and still smoked her.
Three years ago, I took up the challenge of learning to ride a unicycle. I learned how, and one day rode down to the farmers market on it, roughly a 2 mile ride. Once I got their, I was immediately approached by someone asking “ever go on trail rides?” I looked at his shirt, which read “Moab International Offroad Unicycling Championships” featuring a guy on a unicycle jumping off a 20 foot cliff. “Yeah, that is me” the guy pointed out.
The obvious examples of how Boulder will humble you are easily demonstrated in athletics, but is also true in education (smartest city in America), business, culture, underwater basketweaving and food knowledge.
Boulder will humble you.
The busser at the restaurant you are eating at scored much higher SAT’s, just went on a better vacation that you did, and is trying out for the Olympic team. It has taken me four years to just accept it is going to happen, constantly.
You have a job? Cool, but that guy has a gig that pays more. You have a gig? Great, but that girl has a gig that includes monthly trips to Costa Rica surfing. You have a cool gig? Fantastic, but that guy has a trust fund to match and just bought the house that is blocking your mountain view. You have a trust fund? Well, that guys trust fund matches his spending to donate to an orphanage in Africa. You have a trust fund that feeds an orphanage based on your spending? Cool, but that guy just finished reading the top 1000 books as rated by Nobelaureates, and is being interviewed for the NYTimes for a piece on advance neurosurgery.
Boulder will exhaust you.
There is the ‘be the best in the world’ mantra I often hear from mentors. The funny thing in Boulder is, even if you pick the most obscure thing you can think about, like unicycling, you won’t be the best in the city, nor even your street. The raw talent and competition is wearing at times, but the beauty of it is, with everything you do, you are honing your skills, keeping up your drive and constantly striving to be the best.
For me, I am the best at staying true to myself.
And trying to keep up with the grandmother who just passed me on a trail run.