This morning I went for a run. It was really exciting for a few reasons. It’s the first run I’ve done in a few weeks because of stress and exhaustion. The air was so humid and had so much oxygen I could actually breathe comfortably (not just inhaling smoke). It was actual running, surprisingly, because I had a seizure last week and pulled my calf muscles really badly. Finally, it was also alongside the ocean. Not the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean. I’ve never actually been anywhere on the east coast before so this is the first time I’ve gotten to see it and to put my hands in it. I arrived on the weekend and have been limping around Nova Scotia for the last few days. My room is overlooking one of the oldest fishing villages in the province and I have a wonderful view of the harbour. I wandered around the village on Sunday (it’s now full of touristy gift shops). Yesterday I went into Halifax and did some shopping there. Today was wandering in Dartmouth. It’s actually overcast and windy today, which is what I assumed it was always like here.
There are seagulls everywhere. Which makes sense, being that I’m at the ocean. It’s just so exciting to see them and not have it be in a landlocked province in a parking lot somewhere. These are actual seagulls. They are HUGE. They could totally beat up the ones back in Alberta. Which aren’t really seagulls at all, because they live in parking lots.
I’m still totally hung up about the Atlantic Ocean. This is so exciting. In a few days I’ll be doing two races. One is a sunset 5k and the next morning is a half marathon. Both are pirate themed. The whole race weekend is pirate themed. I read about the Maritime Race Weekend a few years ago and how it was rated as being one of the best organized events in the country. At the time, I thought to myself “As if I’ll ever go to Nova Scotia”. Not adversarial to the province, I just never thought I would come out here. I heard about the race weekend, thought it would be rad, but didn’t think I’d ever make it out.
Now here I am.
I am registered to run in TWO pirate races in just a few days. I am so excited. I come from a province of lumberjacks and cowboys, not pirates. There are pirate flags everywhere here and I don’t think they were hoisted just for the races either.
In amongst the running and eating A LOT of fish and chips (super healthy diet for a runner, I know), I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking. It’s funny how the distance starts putting things into perspective. Not just how far I’ve come, but how far I will be going on the next leg of this trip. On all the legs of this trip. On all the legs of all the trips I’m going to take. On each part of each journey, literal and metaphorical, that I will experience over my lifetime.
Yesterday I went on a tour of downtown Halifax. That actually included the building that was, in 1912, the morgue for a few hundred bodies of victims from the Titanic.
In more recent history, when New York closed to incoming aircrafts immediately following 9/11, 40+ flights were redirected to Halifax. A lot of schools and buildings opened to the passengers to provide support and shelter.
I have seen a lot of historical sites over my many years. I studied on historical sites in Greece and Italy. I have a degree in Classics for Ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture. To my embarrassment, I realize that I have very little experience with the history of Canada. To actually see some of these buildings, the cemeteries, the harbours, actually makes it a lot more real for me. I’m disappointed in myself that I haven’t come out here prior to now. There’s a lot more to Atlantic Canada than just the very small portion I’m seeing, but I am absolutely blown away by how much has been done by these provinces.
Also, there are some big ass spiders here. Like, really, these things are huge.