Clear. Clean. Rested.

I’m spending the week away. No email, no meetings, virtual or otherwise, phone in airplane mode, escaping the trappings of life on the grid.

We are out camping, scrounging for firewood, burning our food on camp stoves or in the fire ring, canoeing up meandering rivers, and hiking Colorado’s spectacular wilderness.

This is so fun, who cares about catching actual fish?

I’m perfectly happy to have others in the family gear up to fly fish. What I have under-appreciated is that fly fishing is also a spectator sport. To me, catching the fish is incidental: we catch and release anyway. The draw, for me, is watching the sublime curve of the line and the meditative ‘ssshhh’ as it undulates back and forth and then settles silently into the lake.

We are just car camping, but it is just out of my comfort zone, so this is enough of a stretch for me. Found a perfect hike near Vail: 6 miles up to and back from the cascading falls near Lower Piney Lake.


My favorite thing: picking a sunny boulder at the edge of a mountain stream at the turnaround of our hike, slipping the hiking boots and socks off, anticipating the bracingly-cold water. Then, easing the aching feet into the stream: the first Yelp of surprise (every time!) the almost-painful cool, the feeling of ice-cold veins rising up, developing an internal minty feeling. Clear. Clean. Rested.

Nothing like it.

Gets me recharged for the hike back.

CMIO’s take? Seek rest and moments of peace. Resilience stems from recovery in the face of change. There has been so much changed in recent months and years, and too often I see physicians not taking the hiking boots off, no time for the mountain stream refresh.

Let me know how YOU recharge.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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