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People come to Colorado for so many reasons. Some come here to hike, ski, bike. Some come to escape the humidity of just about everywhere else in the country. Some, like me, follow an ex-spouse who moved to Denver to start a business. Some now come because of legal weed. And at least one person is here because of Icelandic sheep … and 2,500 turkeys.

It doesn’t matter what the reason, as long as you just get here. We have an amazing state, amazing weather, amazing nature, amazing people. I meet so many locals who move away for awhile because they don’t realize how great our state is. Once they live elsewhere, they move back to this spectacular state we call home.

But back to those sheep … and turkeys. I recently ran into John Verbeck a second time. The first time we crossed paths was at Apogaea, Colorado’s regional Burning Man event. John came all the way from Virginia to share his acro yoga, which blends elements of yoga and acrobatics, with festival attendees. I was surprised to see him back in Denver a month later at the Rooftop Rumpus party hosted by the Fantastic Hosts.

John had returned to Virginia after Apogaea and was delivering four Iceland sheep in the back of his pickup truck at 4am. (Iceland sheep can only be transported at night because of their sensitivity to daytime heat.) As John and his mutton cargo were zooming down the highway, “Pop!” went one of his tires. He had a flat and unfortunately had left his tire jack at home. He called AAA for roadside assistance. As the tow truck pulled up behind him, John began to open the door
to his cab.

Suddenly and without warning, an 18-wheel semi truck, whose driver was asleep at the wheel, came barreling down the highway. It clipped the rear left bumper of John’s truck, swerving and crashing into 40 feet of guardrail. The Iceland sheep were thrown from the truck bed, surviving. John, though shaken, was unharmed inside his truck cab. That’s when John began to notice the turkeys. Hundreds of turkeys were scurrying all over the highway — 2,500 to be exact. The semi had been fowl-filled and when it crashed, the birds escaped.

That’s the moment John realized he need to head back to Colorado and climb Long’s Peak. Life is short and can end in the blink of an eye. If John had remembered his car jack, he would have been under his pickup truck at impact and would have been crushed to death. So he booked a plane ticket the next day in order to rock climb the Pervertical Sanctuary on the Diamond of Long’s Peak.

When I ran into John at the rooftop party, he had just come off the mountain. He was all grins and filled with such happiness. And then he told me the story of the sheep and the turkeys. His advice: Life is short; do it now.

John is right. Let those sheep and turkeys inspire you to do something exciting and amazing you’ve been putting off. You might not be here tomorrow. Do it now.