Note:  I’ve been sick all week with the flu, so am re-running an old post from several years ago.

While at the ski boot fitter the other day, I overheard a conversation from another customer.

“I want the edges stone ground and also want them waxed.  These skis are for my early season skiing.  The other skis in my quiver are good to go.”

Only in Colorado….

Mention a quiver to the average person in the United States, and most people would think of someone shooting a bow and arrow. But here in Colorado, especially in Boulder and Nederland, a quiver refers to your numerous sets of skis, bikes, whatever else you might have. One friend of ours literally has a garage filled with his “quiver” of bikes.

Early on when I moved to Nederland, I was at a party and heard the following joke.

“And what do you do?”   someone asked politely to the person they just met.

Anywhere else in the country, this is normally in reference to your career or job.

In this area, that same innocent question is a reference to what outdoor activities you participate in.

“Well, I’m a rock-climber, mountain biker, skiing, and hiking enthusiast!”

It’s no secret that Colorado’s population has been on the rise during the last decade. But why is everyone flocking here?  Most are pursuing the 300 days of sunshine and the opportunities Colorado provides for sports and recreation.  Boulder County (including Nederland) is home to some of the top athletes in the world, including triathletes, runners, and bicyclists.

The rest of us stay plenty active too, even if we aren’t pursuing Olympic gold medals.  On any given weekend, the parking areas are filled with hikers, mountain bikers, climbers.  Winter is no different when the winter parking areas for the mountain trail heads are packed with people.

Bryon and I of course are no different.  At some point, you have to be somewhat selective about your “toys”. There simply isn’t enough time during the day to pursue all the activities available in this area.  I think we have limited our summer activities to mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, and our winter activities to some sort of skiing with a little snowshoeing mixed in.

When Bryon and I married each other, not only did we merge our households, but we merged our outdoor gear. Between the two of us, we had six different tents.  We have so many different types of outdoor gear — tents, packs, skis, helmets, poles — that it literally took over our office/study area to the point of disarray.   I finally ended up organizing an entire closet of sports gear, dubbing it the Sports Closet to make some semblance of sanity out of all that stuff.

When I think about the focus of my own life, I realize how important staying active outside is to me, and to my own mental health.  I now think more about how a potential job will work with my pursuit of skiing and hiking, more than just taking a job.  As a consequence, I work a rather odd schedule, where I take Fridays off and work Saturdays instead.  All in the name of having a week day to recreate where I don’t have to fight traffic or parking.

I’d rather work a more low-key job that allows me more time on the trails and the slopes, than get paid more, but play less.  At this point in my life, time to do the things I enjoy matters more than money in my bank account. Apparently, here in Colorado, I’m not alone, as more and more businesses offer flex schedules, “Powder” days, and work-life balance options for their employees as a key perk.

Getting more time to play is a big reason so many move here from other places. And it’s a big reason I feel I’ve found my forever home here in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.