INDIANAPOLIS—Being in Hawaii come late January has been a frequent occurrence for Reggie Wayne.
While a knee injury cut Wayne's 2013 campaign short by half a season, and therefore any chance to make his seventh Pro Bowl, the 13-year veteran has still learned a lot this season.
On Wayne's radio show this week, he was asked what he would tell his sons about the 2013 campaign.
"It was a season that their dad had to sit back and really appreciate and be grateful for all the things that he had before that season actually happened. That's kind of really how it was for me all year," Wayne said earlier this week on WNDE.
"You really take a lot of things for granted but at any second, the thing that you love, can be taken away from you instantly. You have to cherish every moment, take it in stride and take it for what it's worth."
When Wayne went down on Oct. 20, the Colts were about to place their fifth offensive starter on injured reserve and head into the bye week with a 5-2 record.
The Colts were forced to adapt to attrition and, through some ups and downs, they made the transition quite well.
The Colts went 6-3 without Wayne and company. Yet, they still took the next step in winning their first playoff game since the 2009 season.
"It was a team that fought through a ton of adversity," Wayne said of the 2013 Colts.
"One of the best teams that I've been a part of, a young team that really a lot of people really doubted. They were able to fight through the hard times and they ended up making it a great season, a great run."
Wayne knows that the pieces that made up the 2013 run will inevitably change next season.
It's life in the NFL and Wayne himself had to deal with such uncertainty during the 2012 offseason.
The Colts were coming off a 2-14 season and the roster was undergoing some serious turnover as Wayne hit the free agent market.
Earlier this week, Wayne looked back on the free agent process and how grateful he is to not be going through that again this spring.
"It was somewhat flattering a little bit, just having teams on you. At some point in time though, I started to feel like a piece of meat," he said.
"It got really old. It started becoming a little nerve-racking because it's a big decision for you and the unknown of whether you fit there, will the team be good, all that stuff, you really don't know."
In the end though, thanks to some persuasion from his college coach in Chuck Pagano, Wayne knew where his heart ultimately lie despite some persistent pursuers.
"There were quite a few teams that were pulling at me, some were better than others, some Colts fans would love for me to not go to but it was something I couldn't wait for to get over fast," Wayne said.
"I ended up coming to the decision that staying here in Indianapolis was the best decision for me."*
Yesterday on Colts.com, Wayne talked about his rehab process and when he will begin running again.**
Check back next week on Colts.com for Wayne's thoughts on the Colts young wide receivers and his outlook for 2014.*