I mentioned yesterday that our local river has won a piece of my heart. That was the inspiration for yet another river run. There is a park at the heart of our downtown that holds a few special memories for me. Back when I was a teenager, our downtown had fallen out of favor and (except during banking hours,) was almost always dead. My friends and I, with nothing better to do, would drive down and walk through the empty streets. We’d hang out at that park, sit on the edge of the fountain or on the grass, and talk about dreams, life and, (of course,) boys.
I’ve been thinking about going there to run for a while, but downtown has changed a lot since then. Now it’s a busy, thriving place. It isn’t quite as easy to find a place to park, and now the park can sometimes draw some… unsavory elements. But, it was late afternoon on Sunday, the weather was nice, and I wanted to be by the river again. So I headed over.
You know that feeling when something that was mythic in your youth suddenly becomes very small? That happened to me that day. It’s still pretty there – there’s boardwalk along the water, big pieces of sculpture and that beautiful fountain is still there, but the park is far, far smaller than it has been in my mind. I only ran 2 miles that day, but in order to make it I had to loop, backtrack, and finally, run across the bridges to the other side of the river – several times. I just couldn’t believe that those walking paths I spent hours and hours on took about 4 minutes to run.
I’m glad I went. I’ve been thinking about running there since I started running, but my guess is that I won’t be back. I have new, longer paths to run.
Photo credit: benstone410 on flickr