Ok, maybe it wasn’t a thousand. Probably more like a few hundred. But lots of steps, nonetheless.
Another entry in my all-time favorite places that I have run is Diamond Head in Oahu, Hawaii. Diamond Head, an extinct volcano, is probably one of the most famous landmarks on the island of Oahu. Imposing, awesome and beautiful.
My husband and I visited Hawaii on our honeymoon in 1996 (I know, how original!). Here’s how we spent our summer of 1996: we graduated law school in June, took the bar (in two states) on July 30, July 31 and August 1, squeezed in our respective bachelor/bachelorette parties on August 3, moved from Boston and set up our apartment in Connecticut from August 6-8 and got married on August 10. Needless to say, we were ready for a vacation. And what a true vacation it was – we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had lots of time (our jobs didn’t start until mid-September) and virtually no obligations. I don’t think we will ever feel so free on a vacation again until we are retired, if ever. Think about it: no jobs, no voicemail, no kids, no mortgage; heck, we didn’t even have our cable hooked up at home yet.
We visited San Francisco at the beginning of our trip, and swung through Las Vegas on the back end, to break up the traveling, but we spent the bulk of our time in different parts of Hawaii. What a beautiful place, made all the more special by the fact that we knew it would be a long time before we visited again.
Of course, once we got there and got settled, I laced up and went for a run. (isn’t that what everyone does on their honeymoon?) Everyone I asked suggested running to Diamond Head, so that was the first place I checked out. There is a really popular park and running path around Diamond Head, and it is a nice run. Looking up at Diamond Head is pretty awesome, and for an East Coast girl, a view I would not soon forget.
My favorite run by far, though, was the run I took to the top of Diamond Head. What an amazing experience. I don’t remember much that was special about the run itself – I know it was hilly, a little more crowded with hikers than I would like, there were tunnels and some steps. All in all, the running route itself was not that remarkable. But the view when I got to the top made it all worthwhile:
Standing at the top of Diamond Head and taking in that view was such a moment for me. I realized how lucky I was. I was young, healthy, and at the beginning of my adult life – new marriage, new career, new home. I felt at the edge of new experiences, new opportunities and endless possibilities. If there was ever a moment of feeling that the world was my oyster, that was it. And it was one of those rare moments where I immediately recognized that it was a “moment.” So often, you don’t recognize them until they pass.
There, on what felt like the top of the world, I knew that I would never enjoy that exact “moment” again. Oh, I’d hopefully return to Hawaii, and if so, I’d most likely lace up and head up to the top of Diamond Head again, but I would not be the same person on that next visit. I would certainly be older, hopefully be wiser. Maybe I would be happier. Maybe I’d be more fulfilled. But I would not be a 26 year old new bride full of hope and excitement, knowing that her “real” life was just beginning. And for that reason alone, I have never forgotten the feeling that I had at the top of Diamond Head. As mundane as the run to the top may have been, my moment at the summit was priceless.