Skip to main content

Life's a Beach

At least, it was this morning for about two hours. I decided I needed to take some restorative time out for me. I've worked hard all summer with training, work, and school, and I always lament the fact that I live so close to the beach and rarely visit it. What I actually wanted to do was get up before dawn and arrive at the beach in time for the sun to rise. My Saturday morning pre-dawn run inspired the idea. I had reached my halfway point--right about when the sun was peaking above the horizon--and headed back toward home. Now that I have my Garmin watch, I don't carry my phone with me, so if I see something particularly photo-worthy, I can't take a picture. I was bothered by this on my run as I saw a vibrant rainbow shooting out from behind some condos and disappearing into the clouds. I thought, one morning I should just wake up early and come out to Bayshore with my camera. And then I took it further and decided the beach would be even more picturesque. And then, my friends, I remembered that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and our nearest beaches are on the west coast. I often get confused about this because Bayshore Boulevard is situated along the Hillsborough Bay, which is separated from Tampa Bay by a little finger of land that points south, and I run along the east side of that "finger," so I see the sun rise. This may be highly evident to many Tampa Bay area residents, but it actually took me a long time to figure out--before I looked at a map, that is.

So when I didn't get up in time for sunrise this morning, I knew I was not missing too, too much. By the time I had eaten my two bowls of cereal (a weekend indulgence) and watched some coverage of the 9/11 memorial coverage, I headed out to Pass-a-Grille beach, a fairly quiet and not-too-far beach to visit. By the time I got there, the sun was about here:

I pulled out Flat Stanley--my cousin's fourth-grade class assignment--from my bag and took some pictures of him on the beach:

I tried to lie still for a while, but I'm not great at being idle at the beach. So I decided to go for a walk and take some pictures. The sand at Pass-a-Grille is quite shelly and a bit uncomfortable to walk on, even where the water meets the shore. But I figured it would somehow be good, perhaps strengthening, for my feet (no pain, no gain?), so I went without shoes.

The first things that captured my eye were the birds all around, mostly seagulls, a few pelicans diving in with their basket-beaks to swoop their prey from the shallow water.

I eventually made it down to the jetty, a build-up of large rocks with a concrete pier laid atop for fishers and tourists and the occasional local to walk out on.

I then looked back on the place from where I came:

After climbing up the rocks and onto the pier, I found a few white birds (bird names are not my forte) that were particularly photographic:

And after collecting a single seashell to send back with Flat Stanley, I began to feel the sun's persistent rays and called it a day.

I felt somewhat revived from the fresh smells, the beautiful images, and the freeing feeling of sand, wind, and water. It was a fine morning at the beach.


Annabella said…
Sounds great! I'm jealous - I should try to do that some time...

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Hard Feelings

I'm one and a half weeks out from my second foot surgery, and, by all important measures, I'm doing well. But boy has the past week been difficult. In the first few days post-surgery I was in a pretty good mood; the surgery had gone well, I was in the excellent care of my mom, and I had made it past the last major hurdle of this months-long event. All I had to look forward to was recovery and progress and gradually returning to my normal life, whatever that might look like.

But even though I've gone through this process once already, it's still just as difficult this time around. There's the constant worrying about this weird feeling or that new pain, the accidental step in the middle of the night when I forgot which foot was injured, and the agonizing wait time between appointments. Now it's compounded by concern over whether I'm taking good enough care of my first foot. Did I ruin the surgery when I stubbed my toe falling off an exercise ball? Am I using …

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…