Last week I spent two days hiking near Boulder, Colorado. It was sort of an impulse decision trip: I had a few days off that my wife didn’t have off and I wanted to do something more than just sitting around the apartment all day waiting for her to get back. I knew there was a ton of hiking around Boulder so that’s what I settled on.

I was pretty scared at first because I hadn’t ever been out hiking on my own before and I was planning on doing longer and more difficult hikes than I’d ever done before. I ended up having an amazing time though and I’m super glad I did it.

The first full day in Boulder I went to the Chautauqua Park trailhead to try and climb to the top of Flatirons 1 and 2. I nearly gave up within a few hundred feet. I had read that the thinner air at altitude makes things a lot harder but I didn’t realize just how much harder it would be to walk even a few hundred feet on an incline until I did it. Fortunately I did not give up, though, and I ended up having one of the best outdoors experiences of my life and seeing some absolutely incredible views.

On my second day I went to Eldorado Canyon State Park and hiked the Rattlesnake Gulch and Fowler trails. The views weren’t quite as spectacular here for most of the hikes but they were still terrific trails and I would happily do any of the hikes I did on this trip again.

Overall I’m enormously proud of myself for going on the trip at all and for not giving up. I successfully pushed myself both physically and mentally / emotionally to complete two full days of hiking entirely on my own, not to mention the planning and preparation for the trip and the supplies that I would need while out on the trail.