Updated: Apr 18
Last year for Spring Break we traveled to Siesta Key. The expectation this year was to go to Naples. In reality, the only trip I am actually making at this point is to grocery store, which is ok... I am trying to make the best of my staycation.
Yup! No Spring Break trip for us this year. What a bummer! But to be quite honest the Coronavirus isn't the only one to blame. I will share the whole story another time... For now, to lighten the mood a bit here is a picture of me drinking the best margarita I‘ve ever had in my entire life! It's from a place called The Hub Baja-Grill in Siesta Key if you ever want to try.
Everything about that place captivated me! From the beautiful beach, to the white soft sand, riding a bicycle by the ocean and watching the stunning sunset on the Golf Coast.
However, I do not miss the blisters on my feet and the pain I felt in my calves for over two weeks after having the amazing idea of running barefoot on the sand. OK! I know it wasn't the smartest idea. So what?! Honestly, I always dreamed of being that person who could run for miles on the sand like a pro. So I thought now that I am actually a runner I could at least give it a try! I am very proud of myself for accomplishing it and also for everything I was able to learn from the experience.
That Saturday I woke up before the sunrise and instead of rolling back and forth on bed I decided that I might as well could go for a run. As I dressed up I realized I had one little problem: I didn't pack any shoes except for flip-flops and sandals. Since I've learned that when problems aren't preventable all I have to do it is to find a solution for it, I decided to take advantage of the circumstance and head out barefoot, crossing off such item from my bucket list.
Initially, the idea was to try and run for about three miles on the sand. Nevertheless, the weather, the gorgeous view, the sounds of nature and the combination of all the factors mentioned above were just so inviting that I just couldn't help it! After seven miles when I finally got back to my starting point as I stretched by the beach I had the blessing of witnessing dolphins swimming right ahead of me. So rewarding!
Despite two burned toes, a couple of blisters and very sore calves afterwards, I think it was well worth the experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely! But next time I will keep in mind to do a short run and to be aware of my limits.
One year has now passed and here I am, not at Naples as I hoped, but at home. Don't get me wrong! In fact, I am having a great timeI Today, as many other days of this week I spent a lot of my time outdoors enjoying the lovely weather, getting some sun and hanging in the pool with my family; relaxing in the hammock at last. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself of what is really going on right now, but I frankly try to not think much about it.
I know to sit around and worry about it won't help in any way so, at least, for this one week I want to take a break to live in my own little world. To focus on the moment. One thing that really melts my heart is when I jump in the pool and one of my dogs, Oreo, rushes to the pool steps and swims towards me. With her teeth she grabs my wrist and pulls me to the edge of the pool as if she is rescuing me. She will do that as many times as she needs to ensure I am safe. She does the same to all of us! She is always on the alert when it comes to playing safe in the pool.
Peanut, on the other hand is a little skeptical of the water, but she doesn't think twice before protecting us. Yesterday morning while I did a couple of different massage technics on my daughter making her burst into laughter, she came right up to me and barked defending her. It amazes me how much love and loyalty these animals have to offer.
Nevertheless, I deeply miss hanging out with my friends! That is something I am having a lot of trouble dealing with. I went from seeing them twice a week to nothing. Now I need to find a way to fill in that void in so many different ways. As I run I have been counting cars and pedestrians to watch the time to go by as I get my miles in. Actually, this week I need to thank my two canines for helping me to accomplish an eight mile run. They have been keeping me busy and distracted as I run.
For example, something that struck me during my last run with Oreo was a memory of the first time I started to run once I moved to Miami. As she started to approach her first mile I looked at my Garmin to see how we were doing as far as pace. At that exact moment I recalled those days in which I checked out my Fitbit at that exact same point because I was struggling to accomplish that one single mile.
"I have come a long way!" I thought, proud of myself.
As we kept on running, I realized how engaging in such sport has presented so many amazing experiences in my life. Besides the fact that it has added quality of life to myself it also impacted my entire family positively, since everyone wants to join me and to be active outdoors. So what was supposed to be anything other than a sport itself ended up becoming a recreational activity for all of us to enjoy, including our dogs. Which, honestly, is something to be very proud of considering the times we live in when children spend most of their time indoors busy with their gadgets of choice. Well, except for the last couple of days...
Sadly - or not - with the Coronavirus pandemic and stay-home orders issued, except for essential activities, we have seen lots of families out, which is something we never witnessed before. My hope is that what we are going throughout now will help people to appreciate outdoor activities so our kids can experience a similar childhood our generation had when growing up.
In fact, many things have happened since my last post. We have been experiencing a lot of changes. I noticed a considerable decline in the amount of drivers during my runs. This past Wednesday I saw less than fifteen of them. On the other hand, there is an increase as far as walkers and runners. Some are getting extremely friendly at this point. Even a fellow runner from the run club who happens to be a mailman (who is always very friendly, by the way) saw me by my house and stoped to say "Hello". He drove by an adjacent street and saw me watering my plants and decided to stop by. That was a pleasant surprise! In times like this we learn to cherish simple gestures like this even more, no matter how many feet apart we are supposed to be!
As far as the grocery stores, they have signs all over the place! Now, most of them are reserving the first hour of operation to customers sixty five and older. They have also changed their hours to be able to sanitize the stores. Customers with masks and wearing gloves are everywhere as well. Unfortunately, still many don't have any sense of the concept of social distancing, shockingly, including grocery store workers.
During my last trip to the grocery store what astonished me wasn’t the fact that there was a line outside before the store opened, which at this moment it is pretty current, but the fact that they all headed straight through the door, still in formation, towards to the paper towel and toilet paper isle, only dispersing after.
Thankfully, the good news is though times also bring the opportunity to show kindness and to be there for others. Many business are stepping up and offering free items to health workers which is very heartwarming. Others are taking advantage of the comical increased demand on products such as toilet paper and even offering a complementary roll on orders over $20.
Going back to the lesson I have learned about problems and solutions, at this moment I am just so grateful for all the people who came up with such amazing ideas to brighten up peoples lives and days. These have been such hard times in general. Many of us are on edge and struggling, so I appreciate any ideas that have made me and many others smile.
Coronavirus and its consequences are not a problem that can be prevented at this time. Meanwhile we can't find a solution other than doing our part and following the CDC recommendations and government orders, we do have the power to find positive ways to deal with it instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and complaining, which won‘t help at all and will bring us down even more. We don't need anymore of that right now.
That being said, I believe it is our job to think positively and focus on it as much as we can. We all can conquer this together even while physically apart. All it takes is a bit of willpower. If you don't think you have it, this is a great time to find it. I believe God doesn't waste any pain. All difficult circumstances are teachable moments. I think now it is a good time to reflect on that.
I feel delighted by the fact that I have been able to spend a lot of time with my daughter and I am having the chance to homeschool her. I love teaching her new things. This has been an incredible experience!
"What about you? What positive things has this new circumstance presented you with?"