Thursday, February 26, 2015

Running the Beach in Ko Olina

Running the beach path is an inspiring (and healthy!) way 
to start the day,  but.......
I don't always do it for the reasons you might think.

Of course it's a great daily habit to exercise in some form or format.

Of course it's inspiring to the mind and soul to take in the natural beauty that God created for us.

Of course it's smart to participate fully in the amenities of your surroundings, wherever that might be.  It's part of living life to the fullest, wherever you find yourself.

But.   That's leaving out the most intriguing reason I run the beach most every morning.  It's 'cause I never know what I might find.

Sometimes it's a random happy thought 
that someone wanted to share.

There's always something interesting @ the Ko Olina Marina. 

And this morning, for example, there is an (endangered) Monk seal on the beach.  The volunteers have come to rope off the area, and they will stay to answer questions and educate the public about these wonderful creatures.

Today, as the volunteer is writing the pertinent information for this particular Monk seal on the board, there are quite a few little ones gathered 'round (about our grandkids age), watching with interest, soaking up all the info like the little sponges they are.  I love that they can become acquainted in this way, first-hand knowledge, of a creature that lives in the sea, snuggling into the sand right before their very eyes. That they can be introduced, so to speak; they can learn her name and her home island, and how she came to be here laying on 'our' beach.

 The volunteer writes the seal's name "Haupu" (pronounced 'Ha-ooo-poo);  This is is a new one to me, I have not met her prior to this).   Then, she writes that she was born in Kauai.  Then, she is writing that the seal is 7 years old.  

The little girl is fascinated.  "Serious???  'Cause "I'm seven years old!!!   Wow, she is hooked.  How can this be possible, to meet a Monk seal in Hawaii that is the same age as you.  She's thrilled. 
(Can you see that she is peeking at me??)

And now the volunteer tells the crowd that they think this seal is pregnant (again); she was pregnant previously, but lost that pup.   

And this poor little girl just looks totally aghast ~ she is stunned, shocked, even ~ she is completely horrified ~  as she asks the question (you might have guessed it); 

"But how can she be pregnant if she's only 7 years old!!!"   
I truly believe she's about to burst into tears.   

I'm thinking "Dog years, tell her it's like dog years, she's really like 42 and it's OK to be pregnant then!"  But I am laughing and laughing and laughing.  Even by the end of the day, I am laughing still.

And this is my inspiration.  I run every morning because I'm afraid of what I might miss if I don't.  The human interaction, the animal interaction, interfacing with life and with nature itself.  Wow, it's so inspiring!

Our beach path in Ko Olina is about a mile & a quarter,  tip-to-tip.  It shadows 4 perfect lagoons, three beachfront hotels,  and the Beach Villa's, which is our condo.

It's a perfect walking / running / strolling / path ~ 
for absolutely everybody.

I see all ages, and I see all shapes and sizes.

I see the fit and buff, the hard bodies, running like they mean it.

I see new moms, running off their baby bellies 
while pushing the very babies that gave them their baby bellies.

I see the overweight, but still out there trying.  

I also see those with physical handicaps, but still trying.   Admirable!

I see older couples walking hand-in-hand, out for their daily walk.

And then there's me, somewhere in the middle!

I see military guys in training ~ 
they usually lap me on this 2 mile  loop.  At least once.

(Wish I had photo's of all this, but......I don't usually take a camera on my run!)

I see families pushing enormous strollers heaped to the brim, jammed to the hilt with 'stuff', while the child walks beside 
(this is almost 100%, by the way.  
Someday someone must explain this to me!)

This morning there was an entire group of 30-something, a special needs group.  Many in wheelchairs, some with walkers, 
but all enjoying a day at the beach.  
I was disappointed not to have a camera with me.  
It was such a happy sight.

I see exercise classes, some yoga and some stretching and some core stuff.  Butts and Guts I think they called it.  I already have both, so I didn't feel the need to attend.

And some people just enjoy a moment of solitude, 
spending time in prayer or meditation or contemplation.

Or perhaps it's those quiet moments 
spent with the one you love most in life.

There's even a little church that meets out on the grassy point of a Sunday.  I really enjoy this congregation, worshiping by the sea. Today's sermon was 'How do we love the unlovable.'  Pastor's simple answer was, 'Through God's love.'   How very lovely!

I see the Surf Rescue Squad, doing their drills (they use a surfboard to come after you if you're in trouble!)

I see family groups and weddings on the beach and wedding photo's on the beach.

I see the occasional filming of episodes of shows 
like 'Hawaii Five-O' or 'Lost'; sometimes a TV ad.

Or even the Black Pearl, here for filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  

Sorry, girls, no random photos of Johnny Depp, though.

Just last week there was a special event at the Aulani Resort.    Family games and competitions and races in the sand. 

 So much family fun!

I've been at my special cove when they were filming an HP commercial, and once even a swim suit model shoot.  
(Mr. C  says he always misses the good stuff).

And yesterday there were a couple of guys playing with their (new) drone, flying it out over the water and around the point.
 They were 30-something, going on 10 years old.  
Giddy as all heck.

But mostly it's the family stuff that captures me.  A place for little kids to be little, to play in the sand and the water all day long, because there is nowhere else they would rather be.

Sometimes there are games set up on the beach, 
like this big 'Connect 4' game.

Or water excursions like this catamaran ~ or you can rent the 
stand-up paddle boards in the lagoon if you prefer.

I always see lots of local Hawaiian families picnicking together
and enjoying the beach. 

But sometimes just sand and a good shovel 
is all a guy really needs.

Occasionally there's an outdoor cooking show 
being filmed at the Aulani.

I love not fully knowing what I will see or experience 
when I run this gauntlet in the morning.  

Like the day I saw little baby footprints, wet from the ocean, along the path.  Oh, so tiny a little one that each step nearly overlapped the other.  I smiled for a mile.  Literally.

Or the day I found a little mermaid at my cove, my two-mile destination point.  She was a little Hawaiian baby, not even a year old, in a hot pink bikini top, a pink flower perched in her dark curls, and wearing a crocheted lime green mermaid bottom / tail; sitting on a rock, the water lapping at her just a bit.   Oh, for a camera!   

But alas, I don't take one along on my run ~ 
lest I get distracted with adorable little baby mermaids.

Then there's Monk seals and sea turtles and the like. 

So there are a million reasons to run the beach in the morning.  

Maybe even more than that.


  1. Looking forward to the run...the story of the 7 year old cracked me up!

    1. We are looking forward to it, too. And yes, I'm still chuckling about the seven-year olds. You can just see the look on their little faces says eeewwhh!

  2. This article brings back some really great memories of visits to your home in paradise! Ko Olina is such a beautiful part of the island. So many gorgeous beaches, whale watching, weddings, music, children playing, sunshine, and sunsets – all favorite things come to think of it! Walking (I know you run) those cool paths on the beach and seeing the animals, the people, the weddings on the beaches – all the palm trees! This is a favorite place on earth for me – thanks for sharing with so many of us!


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