Running on Empty

IMG_1522by Nancy Bestor

When I’m vacationing, there are a few things I know I must do. They revolve around eating and drinking—actually they ARE eating and drinking. But every once in a while, I get a wild notion that I should also be exercising.

I know what you’re thinking…..this doesn’t sound like me at all. So I’ll come clean. The truth is there are times when I am vacationing that the people I am WITH feel like they have to exercise (Bob, I am talking to you), and because I am easily inclined to give in to peer pressure, I exercise right along with them. I’d like to think that since I usually do a lot of walking when on vacation, I am getting plenty of exercise. However, SOME people don’t agree with that sentiment, so I find myself running on treadmills, or riding stationary bikes, or lifting weights and doing sit-ups. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Most American hotels these days have some kind of exercise room. It’s usually a small, often odiferous room, tucked away down a long, lonely corridor and filled with mirrors on the walls, and treadmills, stair-climbers and stationary bikes all crammed too close to each other. While I admit that this room is rarely appealing, a 20-minute run or bike ride in the late afternoon does usually gives me the energy boost I need to head back out for the evening for more eating and drinking.

On our recent trip to St. Martin/St. Maarten, Bob drove twice to a gym 20 minutes away, first thing in the morning. I’d like to report that in Bob’s absence I went for a run on the beach. But the truth of the matter is, I sat out on the deck, drinking coffee and watching the ocean in the distance. When he came back and told me the gym was “old school”, with a boxing ring right in the middle of it, I was sorely tempted to go with him on his next visit, but the call of the ocean (and coffee!) was too strong. And besides, neither Hilary Swank NOR Clink Eastwood were there, so I can’t say that I missed anything.


My girlfriends and I exercise most days on our girls’ trips to Mexico, but we’re mostly exercising to rid our body of the toxins we put in the previous afternoon and evening. But hey, the REASON for exercise is not what matters, it’s the fact that I’m exercising at all. I’m burning calories no matter why I am at the gym. Like that vacation in the Bahamas when I “ran” on the beach several mornings in a row, because I was pretty sure I would see either Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. I didn’t see either of them, but I burned a few calories—I would have burned more if I ran the whole time, instead of just when I saw someone coming towards me on the beach. If it looked like a man, I ran harder. Once they got close, and I determined it wasn’t Mr. Depp or Mr. Bloom, I went back to walking.

Apparently, I also have bad eyesight to thank for exercising when on vacation.