Running (2017)

Running, especially in the past few years, has been a solitary activity. It’s the perfect time to organize your thoughts for the day ahead (when you workout in the morning) or to reflect on the day that was (if you prefer training at night). Certain circumstances at work have caused me to abandon my routine of morning runs at the CBD in favor of evening workouts at the good ole University campus. On weekends (when I’m not hungover), early afternoon runs are the norm.

For the first time in recent memory, I’m doing nearly all my running at a place where I learned the ropes of the sport that changed my life. One cannot help but wax nostalgic at such a realization.

There has been (literally) tons of changes, with the multitude of new buildings that have sprouted the last decade. There are hardly any familiar faces anymore. Most of the students are strangers – wide-eyed and tinged with the idealism of youth.  Fr. Masterson Drive, with its long straights that I find ideal every time I switch into high gear, is a lot brighter at night, thanks to the new LED streetlight overhead. Even the very pavement that I run on has seen a revival of sorts, as the spartan concrete sidewalk of my youth gave way to brick-lined paths.

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Maybe it’s because of all the years I spent down the Hill, but I find the drivers around the campus a lot friendlier towards pedestrians and runners alike compared to my student days. This is certainly a welcome surprise.

I am greeted with the familiar at every turn. Years spent running circles (squares and rectangles, actually) has ingrained the nuances of my well-trodden running route. I know just about when to speed up or coast to enjoy the scenery. With each landmark that I pass, a certain fondness for bygone times comes forth.

When you’re at the wrong side of thirty, the illusions of immortality and boundless youth so vivid at twenty have taken a turn towards reality. Like good ole Father Nebres, I could probably keep on running well into my eighties or switch to triathlon or golf like some of my friends. But I digress.

For now, I am pretty much content with staying fit and keeping fast.

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