I'm heading to south Florida, taking two days to drive to the Gulf Coast side to spend a week on the beach. By the time you read this, I'll be on Captiva Island.
I've been coming here since the early '80's, but what's decidedly different these last ten years are the contents of my suitcase. Nearly a third of the space in my 21" roller bag is filled with running clothes for this trip: Tops, shorts, hats, socks, shoes, hydration belt, bottles, and let's not forget the Glide and the Gu! Jamming all of this into the suitcase for this trip made me laugh out loud!
As I was packing, I smiled in remembrance of trips taken to Captiva many years ago. It seems like only yesterday that I was folding little boy's shorts, swim suits, little t-tops, socks into the suitcase, and was trying to figure out how to bring pool toys, beach toys, and quiet-time rainy day toys onto the airplane. That was almost 30 years ago, when my son was little. Now he's a grown man with little ones of his own. Some day soon I hope to come here with my grandkids. They have a great kids' daycamp here which we took full advantage of when my son was little.
The road that runs the length of the island between the little bridge on the south end, spanning a tiny pass between Sanibel and Captiva, and my place at the far northern end of the island is about 5 miles long and is the perfect runner's stretch of road. If I run it end to end, pause to enjoy the views on the little bridge, then turn around and run back to my place, I'll have done the perfect 10 mile run. I'll get 2 or 3 shorter runs in, too, while I'm here, but the highlight of the week will be doing this long run on such a deligthful road.
Why am I so energized by this running vacation? I guess it's because it's different. We're the same way when it comes to other matters of life, are we not?. A change in routine - the simple, mundane parts of day-to-day living - puts everything into a whole new light. Re-paint a room and witness the transformation. Buy a new car and suddenly that commute to work is a little more tolerable. Try a new flavor dressing and rediscover salads. Glimpse your loved one in a candid moment and fall in love all over again.