Why Are You Running On A Treadmill, People? This Is Hawaii!
Posted Sep 09 2008 2:12am
Today is my day off from running, after running 4 consecutive days in a row. This morning I slept in... until 6:19 am. ;-)
Well actually, I woke up at 5:30 am, forced myself to go back to sleep, woke up at 6 am, & then tried to sleep as long as humanly possible before just feeling totally, utterly awake! OK, I know, it's rather pathetic: Of all times, I can't even sleep in -- and that's what vacations are supposed to be about: Relaxation & leisurely abandon of routine. The sad fact of the matter is that my bod is now used to getting up at 5:30 am, so 6:19 feels like sleeping in. ;-)
Even after going to bed at 11 pm last night, 6:19 am was as long as I possibly could sleep in before getting restless. ;-) It seems my body is now programmed to wake up at 5:30 am no matter what time I go to bed.
Of course, I find all of this extremely ironic, since I'd hardly classify myself as a typical "morning person." Even back in the States, I only recently became a morning person due to my work schedule. Otherwise, I'd probably stay up until sunrise. That's my natural inclination anyhow. I'm a "night person" by nature, but a "morning person" by necessity.
Before you sigh in disbelief & decry that you could never be a morning person, please understand one small fact: If you are coming to Hawaii from the East Coast, it's actually rather easy to become a morning person, due to the 6 hour time difference! 6 am PST is actually 12 noon EST. So actually, I feel like I'm having a really leisurely wake up. ;-)
This morning, I got up at 6:19 am & walked on the beach in my swimsuit. I didn't take anything except my room key -- no flip-flops, no beach hat, no beach bag, no sunglasses, nada. It was a wonderful feeling not to feel weighted down by anything. To just walk, unencumbered. Weightless. Free.
I strolled all the way down the beach and back, walking almost to the very end and back. I would've walked the whole thing, like my sister & I did yesterday afternoon, but had picked up this gigantic spiny piece of red coral, which looked like a mouse had chewed large "swiss-cheese-like" holes in it. ;-) It's perforated all over with these large holes, and looks like it was either meant to be this way, or had been eroded over time by the sand and sea.
I'll post of a picture of the coral at some point, so you can see what an amazing find it was.
Anyhow, I couldn't very well traipse down the rest of the beach and back while holding this gigantic beach of coral; it's about 8 inches in diameter, and even with holes all over it, it was still somehow rather heavy to be carting it all the way back down the beach, even from where I currently was.
Let me add that, by this point, I'd also collected a large lava rock and some other rather interesting treasures of the sea, & since I hadn't brought a beach bag with me, it was getting rather tricky holding onto all of my finds at once.
So I think I got my arm workout for the morning. ;-) Instead of barbells, I had a large lava rock and a gigantic piece of coral!
Unlike previous mornings, I was in a rather solitary mood as I strolled on the beach. Normally, I'm very friendly & say "Good morning" or "Hello" to people on the running path or beach. Today, I averted my eyes from possible contact or connection: I just wanted to be left alone & needed quiet time to think. And the beach is the perfect place to do that.
On the way back from the beach this morning, I noticed there were several people working out in the gym. (There is a gym on the ground level of our villa complex, which is also the entrance/exit to/from the pool and beach.) There were people on the stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. I just cannot understand this. How can you actively choose to run indoors when you've got the amazing backdrop of a Hawaiian beach to either run on or run beside? I think these people are insane, and should probably be checked for sensory deprivation. ;-)
I mean, why would you workout indoors when you've got this unbelievably amazing weather and wonderful scenery to experience? Uhhhrrrr, you oblivious gymrats, you are idiots. You deserve to be smacked upside the head. Look at all of this beauty and pleasant atmosphere you are missing out on, just because you are being dolts.
Now using the weights & nautilus equipment I can understand. But a treadmill? If you are vacationing in Hawaii and actively/purposely choose a treadmill over an outdoor run, you might as well just go home. After all, you could just as soon run on a treadmill there. LOL. And to my mind, these active, so-called vacationers should just be sent home, because they don't know how to appreciate an amazing place to workout when they see one.
Being oblivious to natural beauty & the sublime experience of this place is a heinous crime of epic proportions. OK, perhaps that's a tad bit of overstatement ;-), but it's commonly accepted wisdom that a running past a Hawaiian sunrise or sunset trumps running on treadmill any day of the week. ;-) Don't these people know that treadmills are the tools of last resort?! Most people with any sense will only choose a treadmill when weather conditions make it inadvisable for outdoor workouts -- i.e., perhaps it's raining, snowing, hailing, thundering &/or lightening, or temperatures are too extreme, etc. -- or when they've got no other alternative (i.e., personal safety concerns, etc.).
Thankfully, I'm happy to report that the majority of runners here have some sense; there are far more outdoor runners than indoor ones. Hallelujah!
I'm typing all of this from my beach villa balcony. We have a direct view looking out onto the beach, & I have to say, it's rather spectacular. I'm still in awe of all the natural beauty around me.
It's now 8 am, and the start of a new week. There are new people I haven't seen before walking & running on the path in front of my balcony, & some of them look like they are just starting their vacation. The amount of runners on the trail in front of me seems to be increasing with each passing minute.
Not to sound antisocial, but I'm happy that I run at 5:30 am; there are less people on the trail, (OK, well I was the only one, save a few gardeners pruning the grounds!), & it's easier to focus on the actual running itself, and also turn one's thoughts inward, & as my sister likes to jokingly say, "contemplate one's navel," instead of having to contend with interruptions or mental distractions such as the occasional social maneuvering involved with passing people on the trail.
There's something really fantastic about being the only one on the trail in the morning. The solace of solitude. A lot of people are scared of being alone; they'd rather have their world filled with distracting noises -- even if it's honking automobiles, loud music, & shouting neighbors -- than hear the echo of their own voices or thoughts. However, if solitude is a choice, then it's something altogether different. When I run alone, or write, I am choosing solitude. It's necessary for writing, & for being. Even though I am a social being, there's a part of me that really looks forward to this time. If I don't get my alone time, I feel somehow incomplete or out of sorts. Like an engine that needs a tune-up, something is ever-so slightly off. It's not selfish; it's necessary. Everyone needs to recharge, & sometimes what we really need is space to be alone and think.