Minneapolis with Mountains

Our yoga mats waiting to board, they became great friends.
Our yoga mats waiting to board, they became great friends.

It started as a “I wish we could.” Scrolling through photos of previous Yoga on the Rocks classes, imagining a city comparable to Minneapolis surrounded by mountains, and dreaming of a lifestyle that permitted guilt-free weekend travels. It’s very similar to how many of our friendships started. Being tied together by previous leadership positions, interests, and mutual friends then transitioned into seeing each other almost every day for 6 am yoga sessions, then to lunch/happy hours, life dilemma debriefs, and most significantly, for no reason at all.

Just as quickly, plans for our Denver weekend materialized and the countdown began. There’s something so powerful about travelling with like-minded people, driven by the best question “why not?” Our long weekend was filled with hiking, yoga {on paddleboards and on land}, being too enveloped in conversation to read the books we brought to the pool, shopping, brewery-runs, lots of eating, and explaining that we weren’t a bachelorette party despite the wedges and lipstick. It may not be everyone’s ideal, a sentiment I am used to, but that’s how you know you’re surrounding yourself with the right people. No complaints over here.

While there’s enough Insta’s to create a travel brochure, one of my greatest takeaways from this weekend was the concept of mental souvenirs. Some would call these memories {eye roll included} but I would call them boring.

Always one for the you-do-you mentality, I decided to go for a run after our paddleboarding adventure. Much IMG_2869to Alyx’s dismay, I left my phone behind with the defense of being able to run in Europe and not get lost prepared me for the moment. Sidebar, I actually got lost for hours during my first run in Rome, but that didn’t seem relevant at the time.

Following a paved trail close to the beach, I stumbled upon an archery range, wildlife signs, and secluded houses. Feeling the heat of the Colorado sun, I picked a stopping point in the distance, which happened to have an amazing view of the mountains, hills, prairies, valleys, and houses all leading into one another. As your classic millennial, my first thought was I wish I had my phone. But my second thought was how refreshing it was to be present. To see and savor instead of snap and share. This view is my mental souvenir.

As the weekend continued, I found connectivity wasn’t just in the scenery of Colorado. Everyone we met was warm and inviting, taking genuine interest in what brought us there. While we may pride ourselves on being products of the “Minnesota Nice” mentality, their authenticity set it apart. We also quickly learned that every CO resident who isn’t born there is considered a “transplant,” a term everyone insisted we would soon identify with.

Huge thank you to our beautiful host Becca
Huge thank you to our beautiful host Becca

By the time Friday night fell behind the peaks, we were exhausted from hiking Mount Sanitas and touring Boulder. Normally, when I suggest waking up at 5 am on vacation I get shut down very quickly, and people start to question why they went on vacation with me in the first place. Luckily, this group of yogis could agree sunrise at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre was a non-negotiable.

Once we arrived for Yoga on the Rocks {or #CPYontheRocks}, a 4-part series of guest led yoga classes in the amphitheatre, we knew all the planning and travelling {and PTO use, holla} was well worth it. Much like the 6 am classes we frequent, the venue was filled mat to mat and energy was bouncing between the peaks, despite the early start time. Our instructor for the day, the Minneapolis CPY-role model Joel, added to the unforgettable feels. From making us laugh—“Reach your arms forward like you’re seeing your favorite niece or nephew at Christmas. You don’t have a favorite, but they’re your favorite”—to creating a greater purpose for the group of 2,000 yogis—“Dedicate this practice to a friend who doesn’t know you’re thinking of them, a friend you need to tell ‘I love you,’ a friend you need to tell you’re sorry, a friend that doesn’t know they are beautiful”—which I committed to my first yoga friend, my mom.

There are too many photos to share, and even more stories to tell, and in reality I lost your attention a few IMG_2966paragraphs go, maybe got it back for the photos, but the Netflix tab at the top of the screen is going to trump sooner than later. It’s not everyday that we can plan trips and make choices that to others may seem extreme. I have had to answer the question “You went to Denver for a yoga class?” many times. On paper, yes, yes we did. But I don’t think it takes a health, yogi, or outdoor enthusiast to agree that this was so much more.

I think a lot of times, the best decisions do not make sense. Your bank account may not remember agreeing to it, your calendar may feel abused, but opportunities like these are driven by that “gut” feeling. For you, maybe it’s not a yoga class at Red Rocks, but whatever it is, stop consulting external factors and just say yes. Why not?

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