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Walking Slowly and Running

December 29, 2007

This morning I woke up late, opening my eyes and then closing them again as I decided numerous times between 9:40 and 10:40 to continue sleeping.
I laid around reading, Garlic and Sapphires and the fiction issue of The New Yorker until I had to get dressed and meet Matt for lunch. I gave myself enough time to walk leisurely down to 74th st. I decided that I wanted to try and walk slowly, relax as I strolled to lunch, I hit up Starbucks, popped in my ear buds and was ready to go.
At first I found myself hustling along with the rest of the Saturday afternoon crowds, but I forced to myself to slow my pace and got in to a great rhythmic stroll. I didn’t worry about elderly women on walkers I could see ahead of me, I didn’t bump in to anyone maneuvering to pass them and oncoming pedestrians. I wasn’t passing anyone, and it was okay.
“I can walk slowly!” I thought excitedly to myself. “This feels great!”
I glanced at myself in store windows as I passed by, dark jeans, black fleece, white headphones, black sunglasses. “I look so chic!” I thought. This slow walking thing was turning out great. My confidence was boosted. Walking slowly gave me time to think about how good I felt in myself, how happy I was in the moment. I wasn’t worrying about getting somewhere, in fact I was so nonchalant, I walked down to 2nd by mistake and when I reached 70th st. realized I was on the wrong avenue and had walked too far south. Oh well!
After returning from lunch, my nails freshly painted and a catch-up convo with Mom under my belt I decided it was time to do something I had been wanting to do since we moved and had only done once with Mom- run around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir. It is the perfect place to run in the city and since it was so unseasonably warm today, the perfect day to do it. I suited up and headed out, my new workout mix pumping in my headphones. I ran light and strong, I felt good. I had been nervous leaving to do it alone, especially since the sky was darkening by the time I left my building, but I knew there’d be others on the paths and that it was about time I took advantage of such a great running area so close to home.
After the first mile I finally reached and surpassed a man that had been running in front of my from the beginning. I felt great. My confidence was boosted again, the lightness from earlier in the morning hadn’t left me and before I knew it I had run both loops and was exiting the park. The views were breathtaking. As you loop around the inner track of the reservoir you see the skyline of the city lit up in front of you, all the buildings bunched together in that perspective light up the sky with a brilliance that reminds me how much I love living here and how lucky I feel to be in this place, not only geographically and physically but mentally too.

Whether walking slowly and taking it in little by little or running quickly and getting it in in a breath and a look, I love New York.

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