Every fall: Miami, South Beach is calling! Two weeks a dream of a life. Playing tennis and fitness training, sun, the ocean, shopping for new outfits and most importantly: Always in a good mood! Loud music, nice cars and much more that excites me are waiting. On the flight to Miami it is an easy thing not to bring more than 23kg but on the flight back to Germany it becomes a challenge.
7 o’clock in the morning Lummus Park: Getting up to run. We run up to the Ocean Drive, one of the most famous streets of Miami, South Beach. Here we see one expensive car parking next to another one. This street starts to get really busy in the late afternoon and evening. The wooden path on which we run is muffling our steps. It feels good. Mechanically I put one foot in front of the other. We just fell out of bed, no one is totally awake. Everyone is sticking to his or her own rhythm. If one or two of us are running a little faster the others silently follow. We don’t talk at this time. There is nothing to say. The run causes our waking up. Completely sweaty, only the first time on this day, we walk up the stairs to our rooms to take a shower. Using the elevator is forbidden.
after sport is before SPORT
Freshly showered and full after breakfast we get on our cars heading to the tennis courts. One or two hours of fitness training for warming up, after that one session with rackets on the court and then the obligatory “regeneration run”. Meanwhile the sun is very high and even if we would not move at all we would sweat. We have met Boris Becker, who trained with his son Noah on one of the courts.
Around midday we go to the ocean, to recover our feet and walk barefoot in the sand. This is only possible close to the water. Otherwise we would burn our soles. Not long after this pause we do sprint training, leapfrogging or whatever the coaches come up with. Exhausted but happy we play rounds of beach tennis afterwards. Sometimes we go another time to the tennis court. Some of us read or listen to music.
In the late afternoon we go to one of the many shopping malls; buying clothes for the whole year and enjoying the cool air of the air conditioners. I am always bringing a pullover. Later in the hotel we jump in the dark pool or just talk, laugh and dream. A free morning invites for exploring the area. Passing Art-Deco decorated houses we reach Lincoln Road, to enjoy a lazy walk.
What kind of sport you do it is quite important to have a completely fit body. We spend more time on fitness training than playing tennis. This is important to not suffer injuries and increase the success playing tennis. I have made the same experience during my stay in a Kickboxcamp (you can read about that experience here). The Kickboxing itself came second.
We plan all other activities around the sports program. Since we have already been to Florida several times, the touristic stuff becomes more and more background. But nevertheless Florida has a lot of attractions. I still always enjoy boat trips. Let it be in Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America, passing luxurious, extraordinary villas, totally glamorous, or in the Everglades National Park. In the Everglades, one of the biggest wetlands on the planet, there are crocodiles; so hold on and cover your ears because of the extraordinary noise of the boat’s engine. The Universal Studio in Orlando is also very interesting. There I learnt how film sets are created and produced. Orlando offers a lot more. Besides the Universal Studios there is a Water park and Sea World with spectacular shows and finally Walt Disney World. A visit of the Kennedy Space Center, learning about dolphins’ life in the Dolphin Research Center or crossing many bridges to the Keys and the southernmost point Key West, are visitors’ standard program in Florida.
An all-time highlight is a visit of a football or basketball game in America. I am fascinated by the general hype about sports – performers or spectators. My favorite place in Florida is until now Key Biscayne. It is not only the location of the annual Miami Open in the Crandon Park Tennis Center, but also there, on the other side of the lighthouse, we found a wonderful beach, perfect for setting up our beach tennis net.
That this kind of lifestyle does not last forever, is a pity. But that’s how it is. For this trip we have to save money for quite a long time, but it is worth spending very little money on clothes all year, so that you can spend your money in the Malls and Outlet Centers there. I really enjoy every single minute of my Florida trips and I am always looking forward to the next tennis trip.
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What do you think about Miami and Florida? Where is your favorite beach in Florida? How about shopping in Florida?