Today (Friday) I’m heading over to the Big Island for the weekend. I get into Kona tonight and will meet up with the Columbia Men’s Swim Team, who will get in from New York at the same time. They’re spending 12 days at Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea for their annual training trip, and I’m going to see how many yards I can do with them before I cannot physically move my arms. Because I will likely die this weekend there are a few things I want to say before I go.
Hawaii has treated me very well. Getting away from the gray and the clouds of Seattle is an essential ingredient to survival in the Northwest. The other ingredients include coffee, skiing, and lunchtime runs and full spectrum lighting.
In Hawaii it’s fairly common to run into people you know when you’re out training. It’s the Island effect. There are only a few good places to do workouts, so someplace like Kapiolani Park at 5:30pm is sure to have other athletes in attendance. My old roommate nearly ran me over during my swim tonight, then I saw Marion Summerer walking by the beach while I was drying off, and as I was walking to my car a group of runners from Team Jet, where I used to coach, tried to trample me as they came running past. I waited for them to finish and got to "talk story" (as they say in Hawaii) with my old friends Chet the Jet, Matt Pitts, Bob Bevaqua, Andrea Maglasang, and Lori Nishida. Afterwards I wen to dinner with Lori, who was one of the two people that showed up to my first workout as a triathlon coach. It was fun. Not only is Lori beautiful and athletic, she’s also an engineer, so I understand what she’s saying to me. (Lori, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry to make you blush.)
I will definitely miss Hawaii. Maybe even more than when I first moved away a year ago. Nothing quite makes you appreciate your home so much as leaving, and nothing makes you miss it more than a short return visit.
Right now, however, I’m focused on running hard, and a few days of good old fashioned eat, sleep & train style living. I may not be a college swimmer anymore, but I’m going to do my best to keep up with 30 of them.