Part of the joys of working hard is taking a vacation to do whatever you want to do. I am not going to lie. I am a tethered person. I HAVE to have a phone and an Internet connection. The difference is I don’t use it for work. I have to have it in case something does go wrong at work or to save them an hour with a 20 second question. For the past two weeks I haven’t worked thirty minutes. It has been absolutely fantastic. I have hung around with my friends and family and done whatever, whenever we wanted. No constraints, no pre set up tours or appointments.
Our vacations are a little different than some in the fact that we love the beach and running. For the past 10 years we have gone to the Big Island of Hawaii because it is the ultimate location for sport and beach. Tons of places to bike, hike and swim. There’s a reason they hold the Ironman there every year. My daughter is now 13 and is old enough to run and hike long distance so we decided to change it up and go to Kauai. It’s easy to travel if it’s just you and your wife but with children it’s different, they dictate everything on a family vacation. Is this place good for kids? Is this beach safe? Need to be home by a certain time so they can get to bed. We’ve finally gotten to a place in life where our kid can do anything we can do and has become basically an equal. Kauai has some of the most beautiful hikes and beaches in the world but they often take all day and can be fairly tiring. The rewards of breathtaking scenery and great photos are a good results for the Instagram generation that is always looking to photos to draw attention from their friends. So my daughter is game for almost any excursion. Try and get a 13 year girl game for anything family related at home. In Kauai, every picture comes out looking like a stock photo. All three of us got up and ran, then beached or hiked all day. I figured out that in the course of seven days we ran and hiked a total of 250 miles as a family. All which led to a lot of good eating and great sleeping.
The island is amazing. Not big at all. It’s only roughly 30 miles across. Terrible for biking and hard to run on roads because they are all tight with no shoulders. Most of the bridges up North are one lane. As a runner you have to seek out running paths and explore. Every morning I set out and ran in one of the directions. Turning down this road, heading down this path. Many of the paths are not marked. They have been created by either hunters, wild boars, horses , or other tourists and runners. At the edge of the island you’re not going to get lost. It’s a small island. All paths lead to the water. So I took my phone and started running. The result were images and places most tourist won’t see. They aren’t in the big blue tourist book. You aren’t going to drive to them. They may not be worth hiking an hour to see them but they are worth the 10 minute run. So I’d find the runs and then go back and grab my family. Almost every turn my daughter would say “I’m not going there down there!” . I would have to assure her that there wasn’t going to be some wild pig or crazy jungle dweller around the corner. Only something that she would never get to see at home. And she was never disappointed. The waterfalls, the giant valleys, the rope swings into the rivers, bluffs and caves along the ocean, all things that take our minds of the every day routine. And the running and hiking keeping our bodies and minds strong. Strong enough to cover more ground and hopefully keep us healthy so we can do this as a family for many years to come.
Like all vacations I like to end with some excitement.
The family and I flew back the mainland and they went home and I flew to Portland. For the past 7 years I have been doing the race called Hood To Coast. It’s a 198 mile relay from the top of Mount Hood to the ocean. Through the mountains, the city and the coast. A team of 12, my three legs weren’t that hard but as a flatlander from Illinois, any hill is a big hill. I had about 20 miles and was able to keep an average pace of 6:45 for the 20 miles. My best time yet. Our team came in 73rd place out of 1000 with a total time of 25 hours, which is our second best result yet. The 12 hours sleep in 3 days makes a person value the importance of rest for the mind and body. And yet I find the entire 2 weeks the most fun and exciting two weeks of the year. I barely thought of back home or work. Only of how much I love my friends and family. I also realize the reason I make money is to do this. It is a means to an end. Money is only a problem if you don’t have enough. Problem is you can’t buy your health so if I’m going to see and do these things with my family, now is the time. I’ll never get it back. My daughter will never remember the time I sold that domain for $10K but she will remember the time she went hiking with her Mom and Dad.