How the hell did I get to the top of FlatIron One in Boulder?
The story starts back in January when my daughter, Abby, a student at University of Colorado, asked if I wanted to visit for her sorority's Daddy/Daughter weekend.
She knows damn well I'm not the organized social function type of guy. Particularly when it comes to organized Greek functions, for which my disdain knows no bounds.
"You don't have to come. It probably won't be any fun. But if you want to let me know soon because I'd have to order the special Kappa Alpha Gamma Theta Delta T-shirt for you."
It should be noted that my daughter is a master of the passive/aggressive persuasion technique which I believe she learned at the Willows Community School -- the same private school Steve Bannon thought was too Jewish for his kids.
Clearly, I'm oblivious to this sly sales technique, but when I relayed the story to my wife, she told me in no uncertain terms that Abby desperately wanted me to visit. That I just needed to be able to read between the lines.
And so, I found myself, at 5:00 in the morning, boarding a jelly-tight packed flight to Denver.
Later that night, I managed to survive the alcohol-free BBQ dinner with 100 other reluctant dads and their overly-amped daughters. I did the chit-chat. I did the house tour. I even considered joining the crew for the next-day's exciting excursion for a guided tour of Mile High Stadium.
"Here's the player's locker room. Here are the showers. Here's where Payton Manning liked to take a dump."
But I skipped out on that and instead suggested a local hike.
We were joined by Abby's old roommate and her dad, a local Denverite whose company I actually enjoy.
I watch a lot of football and often scoff at the broadcasters who feel obliged to note that visiting players have difficulty with the Colorado altitude. Come on, they're professional damn athletes, it shouldn't bother them.
However, after 500 feet of elevation, I thought my heart was going to explode like a laser-guided Daisy Cutter. I had fuzzy visions of the Med-eVac crew hauling me out of there in a Sikorsky 925E.
"He kept telling us how much swimming and weight lifting and cardio training he'd been doing. Who would have thought he'd be done in by a 5 mile hike?"
Clearly, since I'm writing this in the past tense, I made it.
I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my daughter. And I got a T-shirt out of the deal.
Plus some great pics.