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I usually default to writing about statistics or data because numbers are numbers. They are black and white and not personal, but today I am going to write about me doing what I do living here. When I am not working I am often swimming, biking, running, hanging out with friends, chilling on the beach, or eating at nice restaurants in the area. 30A Is Where I Play®.
I run on the bike path on 30A a good bit. I love when people see me out there and honk, wave or yell funny stuff at me! If you see me out there say "hey." If I do not wave back or make funny faces at you it is because my mind can drift when I am running out there. Sometimes it is far away but shallow thoughts. Sometimes it is close to home but really deep in though. My normal runs are either a 15 or 16 miler right now. If I park at the Bramble Grove beach access around mile marker 11 in Seagrove and run to the end of 30a past Rosemary and back it is 15 miles. The other route is park at Gulf Place and loop around Watercolor and back. With a little detour in Blue Mountain this one ends up being 16. I drop a drink at my furthest point out before I start. This is great because when I am deep enough in to think about cutting the run short, if I ever have those thoughts, I am probably closer to my drink than doubling all the way back to my car without a drink so I just stick out another mile or two to get it. Running is my me time. I love it. I do not take a phone. I do not listen to music. I just enjoy the time. Being on the bike path on 30A is great. There are mile markers if you want to go a certain distance but do not have a watch or take a phone. There are different places to park with restrooms and water fountains. Also for the most part people out there are happy because they are on vacation. I am usually happy. If it is a 105 degree heat index or 40 degrees and raining two hours after the sun went down I will still like it for what I get out of it. I get to feel like I am earning it, and also that is what makes a jog on a fall afternoon with perfect weather so appreciated.
So Saturday I was about 10 miles into my run and I get hit with that cool wave of air that sweeps in right before a rain. I have been looking at a grey sky ahead, but now I am running over Western Lake (between Watercolor and Grayton) and I saw the wind pushing on the water in a path that says the rain ahead is unavoidable. I was jogging slow so I did not have my GPS watch on but I did not need it to know I was five and a half miles out still. The rain was not on me yet so I had some time to think about it. I am a big believer of thoughts become actions and dreams become reality; but, this was not something I could just wish away. Then I realized that was a wrong thought. It was not that I needed to wish the rain would not come. I needed to wish it would not bother me today. Wish I could enjoy the moment I was living. It poured! It was the type rain where people who are driving put their flashers on to signal they are the hazard. I could hardly see. It was coming down really hard, but I didn't care. I remembered when I was little and complaining about getting rained on and the person I was with said something like, "I came into this world wet and I might leave it that way. I'm not going to let it bother me in the meantime." This day it truly did not. I could not be happier. My mind was lost thinking of dreams so wonderful you did not want to wake up, but it was a though of living so wonderful you never wanted to go to sleep. Wondering where is that time and place where both are going on. A perpetual euphoria crossing dream and awake back to back, awake, asleep, awake. A constant thinking this is the best just to get shown better. The snowball picking up speed and size going down the hill. I love dreaming! It is like the best movie or book because I am the main character and the feelings are so real. I love those days that you wake up before any alarm... just eager to get out there, or days I never want to end. Then after a while of these memories, thoughts and realizations the rain let up to a drizzle. I thought wow that was really heavy for a while. Then I realized I was not much past Highway 283, the main intersection in Grayton. I had not made it very far at all. I went maybe a mile in what seemed like the time I could have made it much further. Time was still warped from getting caught in the rain but in my favor. It was not ten minutes that seemed like an hour because I was miserable in the rain. It was ten minutes that seemed like an hour because I was soaking it in and wanting more. I wished I could save that rain for a sunny day.
Jonathan grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and vacationed from 30A to Destin every time he got a chance while growing up. He attended The University of Alabama where he double majored in finance and busi....