Wednesday, March 12, 2008


As per request (via family back in P-Town) I will take a few moments before dinner and write a little about what I've been up to while seeking refuge from college a few thousand miles away from home. I must say though, I've only missed a day so you really can't complain too loudly . . .

Vacations always seem to be a blur to me. Not until I go back and review my journal detailing each and every expedition do I catch my breath and go, "Oh yeah! That's what we did for 3+ weeks in Germany. . ."

Tuesday morning I told myself I'd get up and run before heading here to spend our afternoon immersed in culture and native greetings. (Talofa, Kia Ora, Bula, Iaorana, Malo e Lelei, Ka oha, and AloooooHA!) It was a no go. Even a fold out couch is better than a treadmill. Instead my morning was filled with some painting, reading and relaxing before we hit the road to the northern side of the island. The day was spent with Jonathan our tour guide, an international business major from Malaysia who seemed so insecure and shy it made me want to hold his hand and encourage him like I do to three-year-olds who are scared of puppy dogs. I guess it was sort of endearing. The day was taken at a slower pace than I've ever been used to going (which is probably good for me). Traveling with the Grands you have to take everything at a slower pace. Maybe it's an island thing? Whatever the case, I have felt like I have been able to breathe--deep, slow and long--and use my eyes as an appendage to help feel my new surroundings. The afternoon provided much to observe from colorful costuming, to plants and people. I felt like I couldn't move the little orbs inside my sockets at a rate sufficient enough to take it all in. Did I mention we were going at a slower pace than I ever do?

The evening show was really great and after I had an insatiable need to apply to the nearby university, even if it's just for a term. I know I can't dance like a Tahitian, nor do I look even slightly ethnic, but I will work a cash register in a gift shop and even walk around with the "No Flash" sign if I can just study in the sun and learn how to surf! Is that too much to ask?

We got home at quarter to eleven and I still needed to run. I was kicking myself all the way to the elevator, cursing my tired eyes and the late night I had spent reading this and taking a much needed spiritual recharge. (Admittedly, I am glad I was up in the late quiet hours. It filled me. I have read it before, but it hit me even harder this time and I grateful to her for the tip off). Then Rogue Wave came on the pod and it started a charge in my feet that set me running my first step out the metal doors.

I tole 'ma I'd be safe, so I reluctantly jogged to the glass encased treadmills where all the swimmers and passerbys can look at you and think, "How lovely, a 'Wellness Center.' Too bad I like lounging and PiƱa Coladas too much to ever set foot in that sterile, sweat inducing room." and continue their tour of the lovely resort. I didn't do that. I trudged into a room full of empty exercise bikes, weight machines, and the dreaded treadmills. I would much rather run outside. Period.

I turned on this to get me through just thirty minutes of self-induced insomnia. One pounding step after another, my goal was to maintain an 8 minute mile pace with 6 minute sprint intervals. (Pancakes and Milas, don't poke fun at me. I'm not a runner remember?) It hit me like a brick in the face that I had only run a handful of times since the weather got cold. During the two minute interval I felt like I was going to collapse in a heap, get propelled into the wall behind me and land in a mangled, sweaty mess on the tropical patterned carpet. Not so! I conquered the two minutes with finesse if I may say so myself and it was incredibly empowering. However, that little room must have been pushing 90 degrees because I have never felt so hot.

As soon as I stepped off the thing all I could think was, "It is freaking 4 AM back home. What am I doing running at this unholy hour?" I must have been ablaze with heat. I felt it sticking to my skin and following me in the air like a trail of balmy matter. I staggered in the door and hit the shower, turning the water as cold as it would go. After stepping out I still felt heat radiating from my body. There was no escape and as I readied myself for bed I felt like I was sticking to everything I touched. I crawled into bed and turned on the most sleep effectuating music I could find. My eyes wouldn't close and my brain wouldn't stop. So I laid there until there was no more dark corners to explore and I was slowly whisked into an all-too-short slumber.

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