I succeeded in coaxing my sister and her family out of bed and out of the house by ten-till seven this morning; that’s even earlier than they wake up on school mornings. There was a 12km run I wanted to do this morning in the St. Marks area.
The run was fantastic. I finished with a personal best. The 7.45-mile run was much easier than I expected thanks to my Kampala-based training—where it’s hotter, hillier and higher altitude. If I’d done a run or two here before today, I really believe I would have finished in under an hour because I would have pushed myself a bit harder, but I took it easy for the first half of the run, maintaining my usual Kampala (hotter, hillier and higher altitude) pace. After the mid-way point, I turned it up a notch.
It was really nice having family there cheering for me when I finished. That was a first for me. It was also nice having someone to be the photographer (no need for self-photos today!!!). I’ve become a bit photo obsessed over the last few months.
On the way home, we took a detour to Wakulla Springs State Park. I’d not been there in years, and my nephew, Phoenix, had never been there. Today was a blue-skied, amazing-weather kind of day, so it was a perfect day to take the boat ride on the Wakulla River. The birds, turtles and alligators were out in abundance, parading about and terrifically posing for our photographs (obsessed, I am). One could not have asked for better colours.
A big surprise (or should I say two big surprises) was (were) waiting for us at the end of the boat ride, in the bowl of the spring: two enormous manatees were swimming about, also enjoying the beautiful weather of the day. I’d never seen a manatee in the wild, only at Epcot Center at Disney World way back when. The manatees gracefully glided through the water (think hippos in Disney’s Fantasia minus legs and tutus; oh, and also take away the ferociousness of hippos) on the side of the boat, and then under the observation platform. It was truly a magical moment.
It’s moments like unexpectedly encountering manatees where I didn’t even know they migrated that make me smile and inspire in me anticipation for what will happen next... Let's keep it positive!