I had become disenchanted with myself and where I was in life. I found myself working a job that I was no longer passionate about and my lease was nearing its end. Restlessness and anxiety were mounting. With the last month of rent already payed I decided to do something that I had wanted to do for years, namely, quit my job. The wanderlust that had stolen me from my native southeast and out to Colorado was again drawing me in new directions. Looking for work that I found both meaningful and interesting proved difficult. After weeks of intermittently pecking away on a keyboard and playing phone tag with prospective employers I was becoming increasingly jaded. I was stuck in a rut that was proving to be quite difficult to get out of.
Traditionally, I have been somewhat of a homebody and a creature of habit. So it was no surprise that when my aunt called me out of the blue with an offer to travel I could only say I'd think about it. Did I mention that I'm stubborn as well? The catch was that it would be going to the national Juice Plus conference in Long Beach, California. Straight from their website, Juice Plus is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 25 different fruits, vegetables and grains. After weighing the options I decided that it was worth a shot. Two days after getting the invitation I was on a plane heading to Los Angeles. I tried to not have any preconceived notions but definitely didn't know what to expect from the conference and everybody that was attending. Was I going to try to be converted by misty eyed masses waxing poetic about nutrition and fitness? Certainly not. There seemed to be people there from all different walks of life, all demographics were represented. There also seemed to be one common theme amongst them, they realized that they weren't getting the proper nutrition and sought to change that. That was enough for me to give it a chance with an open mind. What I took from the whole experience was that Juice Plus wasn't just trying to sell me a product. They sincerely promote healthy living through eating more fruits and vegetables in conjunction with regular exercise. Their product is designed to cover all your bases where your regular diet can't. Juice Plus even sells a really unique vertical aeroponic gardening system, called the tower garden, that anybody can use to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
Getting out of my familiar surroundings turned out to be just what I needed. It helped me remember that there is a great wide world out there and this life is shorter than we like to think. One of the main reasons that I moved to Colorado was to take advantage
of the natural beauty and multitude of outdoor activities that it has to
offer. I have to remind myself often to not take for granted all that surrounds me. After moving to the state I had taken a greater interest in hiking and getting outdoors. In particular, one of the most popular hiking pastimes in Colorado is to summit a peak that is over 14,000 feet in elevation. Affectionately referred to as a 14er, there are 54 in the state. Thousands now have done them all and many more yet have made it a goal to follow suit. I had only hiked a grand total of 3 but was already wondering how long it might take me to cross every one off of the checklist. While attending the Long Beach conference there happened to be a particularly energetic and entertaining speaker by the name of Dave O'Brien. He used his experiences as an ultramarathoner to tell captivating stories emphasizing the importance of good nutrition. One thing he mentioned in particular struck a chord with me. He was commenting on the importance of setting goals and being passionate when he said, "Rather than dip your toes in the water to see how cold it is you should just jump straight in." Simply put, don't tip toe around something but tackle it wholeheartedly.
After looking for a change in my life and wanting to bag all the 14ers that Colorado has to offer I decided to try my hand at spreading the word about Juice Plus. I want to motivate others to gravitate towards a healthier lifestyle in my own way. I would also like to encourage others to get out and see the world whenever possible. Embrace things that are new and different. Don't be afraid to push your comfort zone and your boundaries, otherwise you won't know what you are truly capable of. I invite you to take part in my quest for elevation and follow me as I bag every 14er Colorado has to offer.