Thank you, University of Florida, but I’m out!
As of December 16, I will officially be an alum of the University of Florida. I’ve called Gainesville my home since fall 2009, and this time has been as important a two-and-a-half-year period as any in my life.
There’s just something special about Gainesville. I think a lot of us are missing it.
In 8th grade my family and I took a trip to Gainesville for a law school function (dad). I remember shopping for Gators gear in Midtown, going to the football game on Saturday (a 60-something to 0 blowout) and, very hazily, having dinner downtown.
It’s disappointing to realize that many UF students will leave Gainesville with only similar memories. There’s so much more to this town than what’s happening on University Avenue.
I don’t like to be sappy, but I’d like to post a couple of non-University Ave. memories I’ll be taking away from the ‘Ville.
- The summer I spent running up and down 62nd Boulevard. I think I ran a half mile the first day, if that, and was completely exhausted. In fact, I may remember the exhaustion from these first runs more than anything else about them.
- Nighttime full-moon trips to San Felasco. When the moon is really shining, the fields at SF are lit like daylight, which makes for great running as well as alone time. I also remember laying on the haystacks, watching meteors, with beautiful green tails, streak the sky.
- Hidden trails and tent cities. There’s more than meets the eye, Gators…
- Adam’s Rib Co. for evoking my love of barbecue and Satchel’s Pizza for so many reasons. I wrote a handful of stories about Satchel’s for school – I don’t think there are many places like this, or people like Satchel, anywhere. I’ll also remember drinking Bud or Bud Light, the only two choices, out of mason jars at the Ole Barn across the street from Satchel’s.
- Local springs, and not just Ginnie. Silver, Rainbow, Blue, Ichetucknee, De Leon. Each one is amazing in its own right.
I could go on and on, but I think I’ll spare you. If you only take away one thing from the previous howevermany paragraphs, remember that to truly appreciate Gainesville, you need to get away from the large rectangular area that is UF and explore the surrounding areas.
The other development in my life is that I’m injured, pretty much my first as a runner.
The culprit is my left Achilles tendon, which I think I injured running on a cold night without enough warmup. I didn’t feel it get injured, but the next day I was experiencing burning at the back of my heel with every step.
It’s been about a week now, and the pain seems to be, for the most part, gone, but I’m going to be very cautious and give it another couple of days before I begin running again.
It’s odd to have to stop running for a week or more. Three years ago, I would have welcomed the inactivity. Now, though, I feel like I’m missing out on precious running days. I have to remind myself that missing a week of running is far better than missing many months because of serious injury. That and I have the rest of my life to get back to the shape I was pre-injury, although I suspect it won’t take me that long =)
I’ll be sure to let you know how that first run goes.