When I lived in Manhattan, I often worked 12 to 14-hour days, and therefore I struggled to get out regularly for a run or a workout, even though it was crucial to my sanity (and Ryan’s – everyone’s happier when I run). So, in an effort to squeeze in some exercise, I would duck out to the gym during my lunch break, or run at midnight when I got home.
During a particularly manic period of my New York life, I was living in TriBeCa, working days in the Bronx, going to grad school at night and teaching classes in downtown Manhattan on my nights off. And during that period, I would cycle to work and back because it turned out the subway ride was an hour and ten minutes each way, as was my bike ride to the Bronx (when flat-out speed cycling). And I preferred to be on my bike in the fresh air than on a subway full of stagnant, miserable New Yorkers.
And because my work life left no time for errands, the weekend was easily devoured by those little jobs that pile up during the work week. So I often combined errands or meetings with actual running, lending new meaning to the concept of “running errands.” For example, I’d run to the store, if it was a few neighborhoods away, and walk home with my purchases, or I’d run to meet a friend for brunch and then run home.
When we set sail from New York, I thought my days of cramming stuff into my schedule were over. I was sure that I would have all the time in the world to run and cycle and exercise to my heart’s content, as I imagined I would be living a life wealthy in time, rather than money. And what else would I be doing with all that glorious time apart from running, biking, hiking, swimming and generally enjoying the outdoors? Yeah, sure, there would be some sailing and boat work mixed in, but surely the hours spent moving or maintaining the boat would be minimal. Right?
Nope. I couldn’t possibly have gotten it more wrong. Since we boarded Hideaway on October 16th and set sail for the Bahamas, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gotten off the boat for a good, long quality run. And it’s not because I haven’t wanted to. With the string of days traveling south running together, punctuated by our arrivals to anchorages at dusk, in the cold, only to move on again early the next day, the last two months of “cruising” has left little room for R&R (Running and Relaxation, in my book).
So, what does one do when there isn’t enough time in the day to run boat errands and go running? Well, I thought maybe I would try running those errands…literally!
When we dropped anchor in Titusville, Florida, it was early (3:30 pm, a record arrival time for us) and the weather was warm and still. I was itching to get off the boat for a run before dark, but we also had the problem that we’d run out of butane gas canisters for our portable stove. And that meant no hot-cooked meals until we replenished our supply.
With a little Googling, we found an Ace Hardware in Titusville which was only 3.5 miles away. So, instead of taking our bikes to shore, we grabbed a backpack and decided to run to the store.
And it turned out the entire town of Titusville was so impressed with our innovative approach to shopping that they came out in droves to cheer us on from their lawn chairs parked by the side of the road.
Or the townsfolk were all camped out by the side of the road waiting for the annual Christmas Parade to march through. That makes more sense. Either way, it definitely gave our little run an unexpected marathon atmosphere. A few kids even waved and cheered us on as we ran by (probably thinking we were part of the parade).
And one more benefit of our little dash to the hardware store was that carrying 4 gas canisters and some random boat items on my back while running added an extra marine-boot-camp quality to the workout, making me feel like I really earned my dinner when I got back.
Which, luckily, we could now cook on our stove, since we had stocked up on butane. See what a good idea that was?!
What do you do to keep fit while cruising? Any time-saving workout ideas?