Yes, I actually exercised on my last cruise. Now that we’ve gotten that bombshell out of the way, we can move onto talking about one of the strangest sensations at sea: running.
Personally, I prefer to run on a dedicated track or trail rather than a treadmill. For me, there’s something about physically traveling a specific distance that motivates me and gives me the boost I need to go on. In the past I’ve only run around my university’s campus, so I already knew running around the deck of a cruise ship would be odd. Little did I know how odd it would be.
The strangeness of it all began when I left my stateroom in my running shorts, running shoes, an FAU t-shirt, and an iPhone strapped to my arm. This isn’t the look a typical cruise passenger rocks at sea, so it wasn’t a shocker that I got some weird looks from the crew and fellow guests while walking to the upper decks. Next came the stairs. I’m not quitter and I wasn’t about to take an elevator to my workout. This turned out to be a big mistake as I was winded by the time I had finished climbing the 9 decks to the track. Finally, after an adventurous journey to the track, it was time to get moving.
As I began my run, I felt confident in myself and felt good running alongside the sea. I was relaxed and moving at a great pace. Suddenly, I rounded the corner and ran into what felt like a brick wall, but was really the wind blowing from the ocean. I had apparently been running into the wind on the starboard side, but didn’t even think about the potential slowdown that awaited me on the port side. Eventually I powered through, but I had lost a bit of energy. As you can imagine, this pattern of bursts of energy and windy slowdowns continued for numerous laps. Finally, I reached around two miles and threw in the towel. I had performed slightly worse than usual, chalking it up to the addition of ocean winds and running on a steel surface. I felt good though and was happy to have run off a few of the calories I no doubtfully gained earlier in the day.
Was running at sea good for me? Yes. Was it as easy as I have experienced on land? No. Will I continue running at sea? Maybe. In all honesty, I think the stairs onboard gave me more of a workout than running.