Monday, November 25, 2013

Real Barefoot Beach Run

Naomi cheering me on. Before I have started.
I have the greatest fans.
Have you ever done beach running? I have not before moving here. It took me a long time before I was able to say, "Let's do this!" I think part of my procrastinating was that I was afraid I would hate it. I love to run! I love the beach! What if somehow these loves combined to form a thoroughly middling experience, thus forcing me to feel that I truly am the phony I have always feared I am underneath it all?  Fear, anxiety, procrastination ensue...

One road divurged
But of course I finally did it. Why do these fleshy temples both resist and crave change? 

On your mark, get set, go!
The first few times I was out, I admit it, I was not enamored. My shoes got wet and full of sand, it was hard to find the right place to run smoothly, constantly changing direction and paths on the very limited scope of the shore, I irritated both fisherman with their lines in front of them and bird watchers whose beloved flocks I scattered, which in turn irritated me. 

Move it! Coming through!
But not being the persistent type, even with my grievances, I got past these little things. 


Mostly by taking off my shoes and opening my eyes, both of which actions are known to work miracles. 

Leaving the tourists behind
I was afraid at first of running totally barefoot, what with shells and jellyfish and sand spurs. But letting go of those little bitty fears allowed me to experience the run in such a new way, such a new challenge, such a new joy. 

Fabulous form?

Instead of feeling irritated when I had to run where the sand was extra soft and challenging, I realized that was what I was there for. Not to run my fastest or my hardest, but to feel the sand. To dodge the dead wood, to run through the water and under the trees, finding the hidden paths. 

Why does this phone not do a better job
conveying the magical, mysterious pleasure of
these little paths? 

There is a great fun in dodging and hurtling, if your eyes are open.

And even more fun to sprint when the path is clear before you.

We live two miles from the end of this island, named for the estuary that separates it from the the mainland. To be able to run two miles and reach the end of something, that is exhilarating, and I am have been tempted to swim across when I get to the end, just to say I did so. But I don't because of waiting babies, which isn't a bad thing. It is a good feeling to know that someone is missing you, and looking for your return. An adventure.

These guys are always too deep in pruning and
contemplating the mysteries of the universe to pay me a bit of attention.
I don't mind.
I have my own mysteries to ponder.
Mysteries like why did someone strew these groups of trees with
seashells and sand dollars?

Maybe just because it's beautiful.

Of course my camera died before I reached the end of this particular run, I only brought it to take pictures for you. That is the me I know. Well intentioned, and always a little unprepared. As Momo would say, "That's okay."

The buildings in the distance are on the mainland, over
the bridge into the city to the south
of us.

The verdict? I'm in love with running all over again. And the beach. Good for your soul. And your soles. And pretty kind to the legs as well (keeping it real.)


  1. You live in a dream world! I like to think I'd run if I could run somewhere like this. Frankly it's unlikely, but I still like to believe it.

    Pondering the sand dollars right along with you,

  2. Fantastic post...great pics!
    Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your 'world!'

    Happy and memorable Thanksgiving, Rebekah!

  3. found it, you found it...dollars really do grow on trees!

  4. So breathtaking!! Good for you for running. I'm with Micaela. I tell myself I would run, too, if I had that to run next to!
    In other news, not to freak you out, but I totally had a dream about you last night. I was in your town and saw your kids crossing the street and you getting into your car. I went and introduced myself and you were very nice. And that was pretty much my very boring dream about you :)

    1. I'm in a blogger dream! One of my Internet ambitions achieved!

  5. I think I would love this. I love your words (as always) you capture the beauty of being in the moment. I used to run and run, now I walk and walk. I love my long, fast paced walks and just recently quit bringing music, trying to be and listen. I cannot tell you how refreshed I feel after my long, brisk walks with no other sounds but that around me, invigorating. I bet the beach is even more so!

  6. Everything about this was beautiful (and a shot of a Royal tern with winter plumage!), particularly the mystery tree. Yup, the whole thing was beautiful.

    Except the part where you threatened to SWIM ALL THE WAY TO THE MAINLAND. THat part was horrifying.
    Proof that this is a horrible idea? Fine.

    Exhibit A:
    Exhibit B:
    Exhibit C:

  7. I was dodging snowflakes today...ack.

    I liked the birds pruning picture!


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