One thing I’ve always loved about running is how simple it is. It doesn’t require any equipment — just a pair of sneakers and a stretch of road or beach in front of me. Of course, a little sunshine and a gorgeous view doesn’t hurt, either.
Except back when we were constantly pushing Hideaway further and faster south to escape the cold, getting off the boat for a run was difficult. Ryan and I would go for days on end where we’d weigh anchor first thing in the morning and drop anchor in another cold harbor just as the sun was setting, leaving little time to stretch our legs, let alone go for a run.
But now that we’ve slowed down, the weather’s cheered up and each island is a mere two or three-hour sail away, we’ve found plenty of time to get off the boat and jog to the far corners of the most idyllic islands. And when we encounter an island that lacks paths, we don’t sweat it; we get our snorkel gear out and explore the underwater world around it instead. After all, there’s always plenty of time to go running on the next island.
The best thing for me about running, though (aside from the obvious health benefits), is how much you see when you lace up your sneakers and just go out exploring. And if you’re at all like me and you’ve been blessed with a terrible sense of direction, you’ll often find yourself lost, which is when you find some really interesting things. Sure, you may never be able to find those amazing spots again, but then that just enhances your experience of living in the now, right?
Staniel Cay turned out to be a great island for running (and getting lost on). There aren’t many roads, but there are some little-known trails that meander up hills to the highest points of the island, across an airport runway, off to hidden beaches and through the backyards of private homes.
The first day we went out running, I kept mumbling “Wow” under my breath every few minutes, as we would turn a corner and find ourselves on an empty beach, or as we reached the crest of a hill where I could see the entire island from one end to the other. And there was never another soul in sight. So, the next day we went running, I made sure to carry my old pocket camera with me, so I could capture some of what I was seeing.
These views are what get me excited to lace up my sneakers and get to shore as often as possible. I just never know what I’ll find out there on those trails. The most beautiful spot I’ve ever been to may be just around the corner, a few miles down a dusty trail.
And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.