Fitness Takes No Vacation


In Florida for a few days of vacation which means finding opportunities to do workouts on the road. No bikes. No rollerskis. No closet of pain. There is a fitness club at the hotel. There are some running routes. There is the beach. And the Gulf of Mexico.

I’ve been doing some ocean swimming to mix things up and to give my foot a rest. I find swimming to be painfully slow and monotonous. Stroke, splash, breathe, stroke, splash, breathe. Repeat about a thousand times, stopping every few minutes to clean the fog from my anti-fog goggles.

The visibility in the water off Lido Breach is pretty good especially compared to New England waters There are lots of fish swimming around. Today I passed through a school of Jack Crevalle, their flanks glistening silver in the sun on either side of me as they darted by. It was pretty cool. Every so often I’d catch something sinister out of the corner of my eye but the feared sea monster tentacle would only turn out to be an old mooring rope or my stroke arm refracted by my goggles.

I swim about a half hour down the beach, turn around, then swim back. Today I swam a little too far, almost to the point of Lido Key and the outgoing tide started to pull hard. I was warned away by a fly fisherman who insinuated he would be fishing me out if I continued any further.

So I turned back and fought the current. I swam hard. I barely made any progress up the beach. I had flashbacks to surfing at Chun’s Reef on my honeymoon and getting pulled out to sea and paddling furiously but going nowhere. In both cases I eventually found the path across the current. Today was a much easier situation since I was close enough to shore I could have walked.

After the swim, I did my core strength exercises on the beach. My wife said it was “admirable”. Or maybe she said, “Abnormal.”


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