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Sara Stover

Living a story worth telling. Shining a light on stories worth sharing.


stop and drink the coconut water!

In a galaxy only about 5000 miles away, not so long ago (maybe two or three years) lived a girl who was incessantly declaring things like “I bet it would be nice to live in Hawaii” and “I wish I could get paid to write” and “Someday I will do an ultra trail race” and so on.

But the very same girl knew something that she hopes others do not have to learn the hard way, as she did… That life goes faster than you think. That girl is obviously me. And I learned this lesson at 7-years old, when my Mom passed away unexpectedly, no good-byes, no warning. One day she was there, and the next my little 7-year old brain and heart were grappling with a reality no kid should have to face – That this one precious, unpredictable life we have is super short. Over time though, I dared to forget this idea.

But several tragic events that have transpired on the Big Island throughout the last month slammed it back in my face. Tragedy and hardship do have a knack for being purposeful if we allow them to. Honestly, if I hadn’t allowed them to, I would have never ended up on the Big Island. I would still be dreaming of Hawaii while I lived a life of “someday” ya know?

I used to live like that (and occasionally I fall back into that lifestyle). I had a training plan that dictated a workout that I would rush through, because I had a life I was rushing through. Why? Because I filled my day and home and life with so much crap and clutter that the only way I could maintain it all and stay afloat was to rush along, carelessly skating by on “someday” as if life is predictable and tomorrow is guaranteed.

The problem with “Someday” and “It would be nice to” and “I wish I could” is this – Life goes faster than you think! Not to be morbid, but what if this was the only “someday” you got?! And even if you live until you’re 100, something tells me that THAT will be here in the blink of an eye! So no more wishing and dreaming. No more “somedays”.

Someday is now.  If you catch yourself saying “It must be nice to…” and you can’t stop thinking about it, it’s time to do it, be it, go there! I used to say those things and live like that and run like that. I was just TOO busy to live any other way!

Life is TOO SHORT to rush through it though! So when I reached a crossroads because of some hardships, I decided that I was NOT going to run or LIVE like that any longer. The “I’m too busy” working or training or making money so I could buy things so I could spend my time taking care of said things was no longer an acceptable excuse!

I decided to be the runner that I was today. I would not be too busy to LIVE.

Today, I wore my Garmin, but only for mileage. Not for pace or because I was following a training plan.  I wanted to run about 5 miles, and stay off-road as much as possible because that’s what my heart and body and mind are screaming for right now. I wanted to be open to who or what I may see as I ran along the Ala Kahakai trail, because that’s how I ensure that my life is something I LIVE, not a task I rush through!

ala kahakai trail

Anytime I saw something moving that I wanted to absorb, or experience, or take a photo of, I allowed myself to do so. I gawked at a dreamy beach house. I walked under an arch of flowers, picked a plumeria out of the dirt, and stuck it behind my ear, breathing in its scent for the remaining 5k. I laughed at myself as I lost my footing and almost fell into the ocean while running across loose coral. I climbed up the remains of a tree and winked back at Mauna Kea from my driftwood bench. I stopped to drink water from a green, barely cracked coconut that had fallen from the palm tree above me!







I talked story with a tourist who saw me scampering across the wall in her backyard and was more intrigued than alarmed (thankfully)!




And when I came tearing around the coastal trail and almost tripped over a sea turtle siesta, I sat down on a rock beside them. Then I pointed the honus out to a Japanese couple, and Auntie clapped her hands in delight! It made my day that they made her day!




I even willingly walked the last half mile back to the Puako boat launch where I had parked. Had I not, I may have missed it. The sound a warm breeze makes when it ruffles the leaves of a tree overhead. This was no normal breeze either. It was familiar. I heard it last August in New Hampshire, and it gave me chicken skin then because I had a sense in that moment that it was a breeze carried to me from somewhere far away. Somewhere I had to go, because life goes by too fast to stay!

I am choosing to run the way I live. I realize that I am good at planning, and planning is necessary. But I refuse to let the “plan” come between me and life any longer! Thanks to a bunch of my girlfriends here in Hawaii, I am reading this Bob Goff book “Everybody, always” and in it he says “What if we found out God’s big plan for our lives is that we wouldn’t spend so much of our time trying to figure out a big plan for our lives? Perhaps he just wants us to love Him and love each other.”

Whoa. WHOA! That damn near blows my mind every time I read it. What if we could just love Him, ourselves, our lives, and those who He puts in our path? Even if it’s a stranger who speaks a foreign language that we may never see again?!

Why are you waiting for tomorrow to do this and be that and go there?! Every day is a day that is borrowed, so dump “someday” and worry a little less about the “big plan” and start living and LOVING right now! You have one wild, precious life and it is flying by, so stop and drink the coconut water!





This entry was posted in Life.

3 comments on “stop and drink the coconut water!

  1. Gina says:

    Knodding my head!! Yes! Beautifully written.


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