Before I sobered up, vacations were a killer.

Whenever possible, I went the all-inclusive route. Two drinks at a time, all the time. The amount of food that I would devour on vacations was of historical proportions. I needed two days of recovery for every one day of vacation (I’m not sure it supposed to work that way).

Being that I don’t drink anymore, and almost every aspect of my life has changed dramatically, it seems odd that my vacations are comprised of many of the same qualities as before.

This weekend, me, my wife and a bunch of our friends are going to an all-inclusive vacation to run the Tunnel Hill 50/100mile trail race in Vienna, Illinois. Running a weekend trail race is not much different than the vacations that I used to take back when I was drinking. The resorts are a little different, but the amenities are the same.

At the Tunnel Hill race, there will be 5-star scenery and perfectly manicured trails. The staff will wait on us, hand-and-foot while providing top-notch customer service. There is unlimited food at the multiple aid stations which are spread strategically throughout the race’s resort area. Our bags will be checked and delivered to our different destinations. The waiters and waitresses are quick to refresh our beverages and willing to provide whatever type of service will make us more comfortable, from fetching us a chair to the attention of our ailments- comfort and service are paramount.  The resort guarantees peace and quiet from the everyday life which we are trying to escape from. There will be a time for reflection and our imagination will be sparked as we enjoy some time away from the busy-ness that is our typical day-to-day life. Each guest is given individualized service and greeted warmly by each member of the staff. Each guest will even be given an award just for viewing all of the areas of the resort and each will be sent off with a round of applause from other guests and the management. Sandals has  got nothing on trail races.

I guess my vacations in sobriety have not really changed so much after all. They are still filled with excess, periods of altered states of mind, times for relaxation and meditation, beautiful scenery, and top-notch customer service. The recovery time is still two days to one, and I am always happy to be home.

Vacations are different on this side of things, but they are, in fact, very much the same.

Peace, Love and all things Beef related,