It's not that I hate beaches, it's just that I love trails and mountains more.
Beaches are nice, especially when there are not a lot of noisy, rowdy people. Rowing solo on a kayak on a long stretch of sea close to shore is something I would like to do, even more than scuba diving or even riding the waves on a surfboard. That would perhaps be the most adventurous and happy I would be on water.
Despite the two near-drowning experiences I have had on water , first when I was five or six, the other when I was in first year high-school, I have somehow taught myself to be comfortable in the shallows and swim in the least scientific way. I have also been to beaches and enjoyed a brief swim more than once or twice.
But the satisfaction I get from running back roads or mountain trails, scaling heights on foot, even on hands and knees at times, is different. I would say that it is fuller. I remember most those moments during my treks up and down Mt. Apo, running from Energy Development Corporation's Ma-ag Tinikaran nursery to the peak and back, and more recently my run with a friend in Mt. Batulao. They are etched in my memory and I nurture the desire to do them all again. Perhaps, until I have kayak experience, I won't have as much to cherish in a trip I have had to the beach or the sea.
Maybe it is the feeling of freedom, of being able to run unshackled. We all cherish that, the feeling of being able to roam, go far and go long untethered. They say running is the closest we can be to flying without the aid of a machine or a contraption. And what is flying if not freedom?
Or maybe it is the solitude, being alone but not being lonely, because in my runs in those back roads and mountain trails I find myself in harmony with nature, one with creation, as I was meant to be.