Friday, August 10, 2012

Vacation Education

I’m starting to get all my stuff together before we leave this afternoon. On the one hand, it will be nice to get home and see the horses and dogs again, get back into the normal routine, and heal my nasty sunburn. But on the other hand, I could get used to beach life. I wouldn’t mind staying here another week (or two) and exploring more restaurants and ice cream stores, catching more waves….

I think this vacation has been educational for me. It challenged me to eat new foods (although my body will probably be happy for a break from dining out all the time), be more flexible about scheduling my day, and just relax. I stayed up later, slept longer, and had the chance to just be lazy after getting out of bed instead of running off immediately.

I learned how to ride a real bike, along the bike path, not just my stationary one. I learned that no matter how splashy and annoying the kids in the next lane at the Y might be, it’s nothing compared to sharing a 12-foot square pool (just barely deep enough to aqua-jog in the very center) with several families of screaming kids. I found out just how wet your socks can get on a 15-mile bike ride along a busy road in the rain, and how much water a single parking lot can hold (when it rains here, you better be wearing flip-flops). I learned that not all Mexican food is created equal.

Last night I learned that I can eat pizza for dinner and still have a large cone of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Cereal Swirl, plus some (OK, a lot) of the whipped cream off my sister’s sundae. And then finish the leftover chocolate sauce from my mom’s sundae, too. And it was awesome!

Not only that, but I’ve spent a week biking on jarring paths, getting beat up by some monster waves, walking in flip-flops (take THAT, plantar fasciitis!), and running. No, I technically don’t have permission to do that yet (I go to the doctor on Monday), but…I felt ready. And I trusted myself enough to know that I wasn’t just ignoring my body, and to know that I could stop if I felt any pain. And despite all the battering, nothing happened!

So it’s been really good for me to be here. I’m glad I came now. Looking back, all my worries seem silly. The worst thing that happened to me, apart from almost killing several pedestrians who stood right in the middle of the bike path, was the most painful sunburn of my life. No kidding, it blistered during my bike ride yesterday, so that when I got back I looked like some mutant bubble woman. Although I must say it was kind of cool pushing on them and watching them just pop. I felt kind of like a piece of bubble wrap. Gross, right?

I’ll be sad to leave, but there’s always next year. And maybe by then I can run the whole boardwalk, rather than just two miles of it. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now I’ll just enjoy this little vacation victory and the wonderful doors it has opened for me.
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