Photo taken by Randall Levensaler

Monday, November 11, 2013

Am I allowed to run on vacation?

A close friend recently asked me where I spent my last vacation. “Iceland,” I responded. “But didn’t you go there for a race?” he asked. I did indeed. He then went on to ask if I’ve ever taken a vacation that hasn’t centered on running.

Feeling slightly defensive and ready to snap back with an answer, I found myself speechless. I can’t remember the last get-away I took that didn’t involve some aspect of running. His question blew my mind. 
Moab, UT

Mixed thoughts of worry and confusion instantly crept in. Should I be taking a non-running vacation? Am I disillusioned with what is “normal” for an escapade? Am I not fun to travel with since I want to run? My outlook on the question was completely negative. I felt like I was missing out and that I needed to rethink my version of a “holiday.”

I reevaluated my current definition of a vacation. I tried to come up with a destination where I could be content “relaxing” instead of exploring by quick repetitive footsteps while breaking a sweat.
Lake Tahoe, CA

I felt like a writer that had been staring at a blank page for hours. For the life of me, I could not contrive any trip where I would be ok not going for a run. To not run would actually make my vacation feel LESS like a vacation. 
Lake Tahoe, NV

Then it hit me! A vacation is what people take to enjoy the things they love, right? They escape to exotic landscapes, indulge in things reserved for special occasions, and usually release their caged spontaneity.

I have a number of friends who save all their time off to visit the coast of Mexico and lie on the beach for a week sipping fruity alcoholic beverages with ridiculous umbrellas. Sure, it would be nice for a single day, but that isn’t my version of a get-away. 
Moab, UT
For me, running = enjoyment. Therefore, you can bet my running shoes will always be packed for every vacation I take.

Everyone has his or her own idea of what “relaxing” entails, so embrace your opinion and don’t think twice when being questioned. Stand true to yourself and do what makes you happy. After all…it is YOUR vacation, right?