I have a disgusting fascination with doppelgangers.
There is nothing better than stumbling across a local gas station cashier who looks exactly like a brunette Leonardo DiCaprio with a lazy eye.
The rush of emotions I feel upon stumbling across a doppelganger is generally overwhelming. I stare. I text those who are closest to me. I usually attempt to take a cellphone picture without being completely obvious. This maneuver is not often successful, and then not only am I staring at a dead ringer for John Cusack, but a dead ringer for John Cusack is staring back at me with a disturbed expression.
I have come to the conclusion that all of the best doppelgangers reside in the state of Colorado. As of this exact moment, I have spent no more than eight days of my entire life in Colorado, but those eight days were enough to convince me that the Rocky Mountain environment is somehow nurturing to the spirits of the world’s greatest celebrity lookalikes.
That nurturing spirit must be particularly strong within the Colorado whitewater rafting community. Within a single three-hour excursion I discovered a Joey Lawrence, a Mark Ballas, a Matthew Fox, and an almost-Adam Sandler. As the icing on the cake, my family’s whitewater rafting guide was a carbon copy of Kevin Bacon. Zero degrees, folks. Zero degrees.
Unfortunately, I find it highly unlikely that I will ever be able to live in the glorious, doppelganger-rich state of Colorado. Not just because being around that quantity and quality of celebrity lookalikes all the time would simply overwhelm my fragile mind, but also because while I was there, I realized how lazy I am.
Colorado is esteemed as the healthiest state in all of America, and now I see why. There is always a bike path to ride, a four-mile hike through a canyon, a kayaking expedition down the river. Colorado is made up of exactly two types of people: Doppelgangers, and people who love spending time in the great outdoors.
I am not one of those people.
I want to like hiking. I really do. But I like walking with a purpose. Walking to class, chasing an ice cream truck, stalking one of my beloved doppelgangers across a crowded shopping mall. You could maybe convince me to hike with the promise of a beautiful view, but you’d be hard-pressed to get me hiking just for the sake of enjoying the act of walking through the woods.
So when my aunt announced that we would be going on a one-mile hike in Glenwood Canyon, I wasn’t jumping for joy. I was sitting. “But,” I reasoned with myself, “it’s just ONE mile. ONE, Laura. You can do this!”
And one mile, it was. But what my aunt had neglected to mention was that it was one mile, straight up. As in, vertical.
Not only was it Mother Nature’s own torturous version of a StairMaster, but there was elevation to account for. One thousand feet of it. Just in case you’ve been fortunate to remain at sea level for your entire life, allow me to inform you that the air at higher elevations is much thinner. Not Angelina Jolie thin. Not Leann Rimes in a bikini thin. Very much Christian Bale in The Machinist thin. The thinner air meant that us lowlanders who weren’t used to that discrepancy in the quality of our oxygen had to breathe a whole heck of a lot heavier to heave our sorry butts up the mountain.
That mountain and I have a history now. I had two or three consecutive emotional breakdowns on that mountain. I huffed and puffed like I was in labor on that mountain. I said more curse words than a Lil Wayne song on that mountain. I nearly passed out and fell off that mountain.
Just like my aunt had assured me, I did experience a significant feeling of pride when I made it all the way to the top. (Though I could have been high from oxygen deprivation. It’s possible.) The view was impressive, I’ll admit it.
And three hours later, safely nestled in our RV, as that feeling of health and success faded, I basked in the knowledge that I’d never made myself do it again. I will settle for being an professional athlete in the sport of doppelganger-hunting, which I can do comfortably seated with all arms and legs inside the vehicle.
Keep up with my unathletic pursuits on the Girl, Interrupting Facebook page.