As strange as it may seem, manatees have always been my favorite animals. Every year, my family and I would come down to St. Petersburg, Florida, and go the the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. They have a manatee hospital where they rescue manatees that have been hit by boats (the most common cause of injury to manatees due to their slow speeds) and nurse them back to health.
I fell in love with these gentle giants, and have continued to love them more and more each time that I see them. Now that I attend college down here in Florida, it has been my goal to get involved with manatees in any way possible.
During the first week of school, my friend Ravenn (no, that isn’t a typo. Her name is really spelled with two n’s!) told me about a school leadership trip, through which i would be given the opportunity to swim with manatees… There was no way i could pass that up!
At the wonderful ‘ol hour of 6 in the gosh darn morning, and we were off on our way to Crystal Springs!
Manatees need very warm water to survive. When the water drops below 70 degrees, they begin to develop health conditions. This is why they travel over to Crystal Springs for the winter, since the water is always 72 degrees there.
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite manatee season yet in Crystal River. The water outside of the area is still warm, so there weren’t many manatee sighting =(. I did see a couple in the water though! I just didn’t get to swim with them.
I did, however, get to have my first ever snorkeling experience!
All suited up in my wetsuit and fins!
Putting on a wetsuit was so hard for me… wearing something form fitting in front of other people is actually my worst nightmare. In fact, the entire trip was so out of my comfort zone. I was going somewhere new with people that I didn’t know. I’m so proud of myself for actually going and not chickening out. I met some really nice people, and hopefully made a new friend!
We also had a pretty sweet view from our dingy little motel room if I do say so myself.
All in all, it was a great experience and I’m glad I went!
That being said, I am so glad to be back on campus!
One of the hardest things about the trip was that there was no possible way for me to workout on Saturday. I haven’t taken a rest day in over 2 years (I know, not good) so taking a full rest day gave me an unbelievable amount of anxiety… I did it though! And I know it was the best thing to do. My body needed some recovery.
Today was a pretty chill day. Just went to class, tried to eat some healthy food (too much junk this weekend,not enough green things), and got a nice workout in!
What’s more fun than a pre-gym awkward selfie? The answer is… most things in life.
I covered around 5 miles of intervals on the elliptical. My plantar fasciitis has been acting up since my 7 miler last week, so I’ve been trying to force my self to not run in hopes of it not getting as bad as it did last year.
After the gym, I showered, got dinner, went to Walmart, and got froyo with my friend Shannon. Geez is life exciting.
I hope you are all having a great Monday! =)