To Church or To The Gym?

While living at the beach this choice has been a stressful one for me. Both are good options but the problem is I feel I am going to the gym way more often then going to church. I really desire the church but I know we also need to do the gym thing. I also know Denise prefers the gym but she at times also really embraces the church.

OK, if you have read this far you are probably saying; what the ‘hell’ and isn’t this a bit ‘unorthodox’ for Ron (church puns intended)? Well, these are actually some of my rambling thoughts that are more directed towards beach walks. Now, I am sure you are really confused. Good, because so am I. Let me explain.

We have well over 1 mile of open uninterrupted wide sandy beach that we can walk on. Every single day we go about 1 mile down the beach and one mile back, sometimes further. If you have ever walked with Denise you know this is not just a walk. For Denise this is her trip to the gym. She takes off and sets the pace. I am always 1/2 to 1.5 steps behind. I almost have to double time to keep up. I feel like a 4 year old running behind mom trying to keep up. Sometimes she will slow a bit for me to catch up, then vroom vroom, she picks up the pace again. IMHO this how she walks everywhere, not just the beach. Whenever she has the opportunity to incorporate something into an exercise she does. I am sure this is one way she keeps her great figure and I admit I need the exercise also but….my preference is to go to church.

What? Well, to me, being on a beach is a religious experience, a daily spiritual renewal, a healing peace. I walk at a nice calm pace. I watch and listen to the waves. I breath in the air. I watch the gulls dive for food, watch the fisherman pull their nets. I look at all the different colored shells, get my feet wet. And yes often pray. I find it very hard to be renewed and to pray while at the gym. To me this is the main reason for the beach. Denise’s main use of the beach is a ‘gym’.

Our challenge is that we do these walks together and one type of walk is not easily compatible with the other. I am not saying Denise does not also at times like the ‘church’ walk. We have had a number of church walks together but we are at the gym 9 times out of 10. My best times in Panama, hands down, has been when we have been at ‘church’ on the beach.

I guess and I admit we need to continue going to our ‘gym’ most days and if I want to go to ‘church’ more often I either need to do additional walks or head out on my own. I also agree this was one weird analogy. It has been rumbling around in my head for weeks now as I tried to rationalize why I felt disconnected and frustrated while at my favorite place in the world – the beach.

Again all thoughts are my personal ramblings. Your comments or questions are welcome. Included below are a bunch of pictures. If you have read this far you are either interested or need to get a life. Enjoy!


Going to church!
Behind the wall is an Tiki Bar overlooking the beach behind me.
Going to church!
We call this the Jumanji house. For some reason it reminds me of the house in that movie where all the vines grow through. The center area that drops down a little from floor 2 is the wall of an Infinity pool. How do you like Denise’s wind swept look?
Miles of pretty empty beach going west from our place.
Miles of empty beach heading east from our balcony.
From our Balcony. Can never have enough film for the sunrises!
From our Balcony. Storm moving in. Makes me think of the pic of Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific.
Sunrise from our Balcony
Sunrise again. Guess from where?
Sunrise over Bali Hai from our balcony.
This is a sunset from the roof top social area.
Our building from the beach.
Believe it or not, Denise painted the pictures. Way cool ‘and I helped’!
Partial snap of our condo.
IMG_3061 (1)
Denise made this also! Way cool.
The Dude! Notice I don’t tan the bottoms of my feet.
A Panama pedicure. $12.50 each, as good as back home and you can bring your own drink if you want.

2 thoughts on “To Church or To The Gym?

  1. How about a gym walk in one direction and the the return is a church walk? If you need more time for church, have it extend into the tiki bar afterwards 🙂


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