Starting in 1996 I began living in Highlands Ranch and in 2001 bought a small a condo in Edwards, Colorado. The elevation in Highlands Ranch is about 5,800 feet, and Edwards is just over 7,500 feet. Coming from sea level on the East Coast, it took a little time to acclimate to the elevation. And soon enough all was well and everyone was just fine.
Having spent the past few years traveling back to the East Coast and spending most of my time at sea level again, I knew coming back to Colorado was going to be an adjustment, but since I work out, and have been back skiing, I didn’t think much of it.
Well, what I didn’t realize is that the house I would be living in for five weeks was situated at 10,200 feet. Skiing at 11,000 feet or 12,000 feet never really impacted me because I didn’t stay at that elevation for long as heading down the mountain was the goal, not camping at 12,000 feet. The home I am staying in has an awesome view. Now that I have acclimated I am enjoying it so much more as the views on a blue-sky sunny day are phenomenal. And with the amount of snow we have received, the mountains seem more majestic than ever.
Living at 10,200 feet brings with it a few extra benefits as the solace and quiet bring a sense of tranquility that escapes us in and around any city we may find ourselves living in. The rush and crush of daily life down at lower elevations is replaced up here with the hush of the wind whispering through the pine trees. It’s one of the most refreshing and relaxing places I have ever had the privilege to work from, even as I take calls, virtual meetings with customers and team members, while also finding time to write.
There is something else I have noticed, the people who live up here are used to living and rising above the noise and chatter going on in the city, in the news, and on social media. Not that there aren’t any concerns about the realities of life, they simply choose to find their peace by letting what others think about, worry about, and post about, to do it somewhere else and not up here.
Stopping into the local saloon there are people actually having conversations and not glued to their phones. Conversations are happening about the snowfall, the skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and other pleasures of living in the mountains. And not just during winter, I have heard all the stories of fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, hang gliding and golfing in the other seasons. Since I have lived up here for this brief time and have tried to settle in with the locals, I haven’t heard any conversations about politics from either side, no discussion of the pressures of society, and no attacks on anyone in the small town or community.
When they talk, they talk about family, friends, travel, life experiences, the fresh mountain air and how they still stand in awe and wonder at mountains and sights all around them from the snow-covered mountains to the turning of the aspen leaves as the yellow of the aspens melds softly into the brightness of the evergreens. They talk about fly-fishing the rivers, and as one gentleman shared, he didn’t even care if he went out and came back without any fish. To just stand in God’s handiwork, quietly admiring all the nature surrounding him, was equally rewarding.
We can’t all go live at 10,200 feet, but we can all choose to rise above the noise and escape the rush and crush happening all around us. Are you part of the noise or part of the peace? Can you use a break from it all and find a little more quietness? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we can rise above the noise to find solace, peace, and tranquility, it really will be a better than good life.
Michael Norton is an author, a personal and professional coach, consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator of individuals and businesses, working with organizations and associations across multiple industries.