Watch Out For That. . . . . . . . .

     It’s Summer time and I’m annoyed. You see, I have this love/hate relationship with running/power walking. Why? When it’s really cold out, I have to suit up properly or I’ll freeze something I need off, or when it’s raining, ugh. The bones get stiff and I need a BenGay bath. . . . .

     But, most of the time, I love running because it gets me out of the house, away from the computer, away from the job, and the clamoring and hubbub. It’s my own special quiet time to meditate or work out plot lines for my stories. So, imagine my chagrin when I found the hubbub has even encroached upon my personal training time. Yes, it gets much worse during the Summer. . . .

     How can that be, you ask. Here a few examples.

     I’ve noticed an increasing number of runners/joggers running with their cellphones. If that wasn’t bad enough, they are either running and talking on their cellphones, or they (the silly fools) have stopped dead smack in the middle of the roadway to pontificate on the cellphone or text! Sometimes you don’t notice them until almost the last second. . . . . Eeeeeeeep! Splat!

     My question is, couldn’t you spend at least one hour alone in the sunshine and the fresh air without that confounded contraption? What in heavens name are you going to miss if you leave the thing home or OFF? After all, you are not POTUS (the President Of The United States).

     Another distraction is those what I call “running buggies”. They are special strollers that have been designed for mothers (and occasionally fathers) to run/jog and push their little ones along in front of them. Most of them are going at a decent clip too.

     I’m such an awful klutz. I can just see myself tripping, falling, then both me and my poor legacy lying in the roadway somewhere.

    Actually, those strollers used to be all the rage about two years ago, but I barely see them now. I guess some mothers/fathers have come to the same conclusion. Hey, these darned things are DANGEROUS. . . . . .

     The running trail has clearly defined areas marked out for runners/joggers/power walkers/pedestrians on one side and bicyclists on the other. Why? You wouldn’t want people to be flattened by bicyclists. Naturally no one pays attention to the markings and there are near misses all the time. Especially when you have cyclists sailing through the park like Lance Armstrong on the Tour De France. . . . . .

     Next up, the Touristas. That’s what I call the “tourists” which come to my area. They come by the charter bus load, to off load and snap multiple photos of the Brooklyn Bridge, and pictures of them standing near the bridge. If I happen to run by, I’m part of the native fauna and they grab a shot of me too. Is it any wonder I wear Snookie-like sunglasses when I run . . .

     What shall I say about the sidewalk surfers? What are those you ask? They are the hoards of teens and young adults who are of the skateboarding set. For some reason they just love our park. Perhaps it’s the smooth surface, but they turn up in groups of twenty to thirty. As always in a group that large, there is a videographer or two filming the events for posterity or to post on You-Tube.

     Movie and or model shoots. You’d be surprised. The Brooklyn Bridge is the hottest backdrop ever. I just love (said snarkily) when movie companies come in and close off whole sections of the park. With nowhere to run, you are forced to share the Roosevelt Drive with the cars . . . . . . .

     The most memorable intrusion was when Will Smith filmed “I Am Legend” at our park, and he had all of the benches removed! I, like most runners, use the benches to do my stretches and my pushups, and it was like. “Wait a minute, there is something missing here. . . .” It was like that for three months. Ever hear of someone being elated that the benches were re-installed in the park?? I was!

     The Ghetto Barbeque. Oh no, what the dickens. . . .? This is the Lower East Side version of having a back yard barbeque without the backyard, grass and trees. Instead they merely set up shop in the park and use the benches as seating. Imagine running by and espying portable tables laden with barbeque chicken, ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and even more stuff on the grill. . . . . . Hey, fix me up a plate of that to go please?

    This is a great distraction when one is trying to maintain ones DIET. Not fun at all having to go home to tuna fish, whole grain bread, and bean sprouts. . . . . . . .

     Construction is the next bane of my existence. All Winter there were problems with the storm gutters in the park, and nothing was done. Last week they set up multiple construction barriers, brought out the back hoes and started digging. Imagine my utter and sheer delight that I must now run an obstacle course around said barriers and equipment. No telling when this will be finished. . . . . .

     This last distraction is not so bad. In fact it’s not bad at all. I live in Chinatown so if you are up really early in the morning you’d witness a cultural phoneme. Hundreds of Chinese women and men come out to do their Tia-Chi. They do it in groups of ten, twenty or more and it’s all synchronized. Some do it either to music, or they have a leader.

     I love to watch when the women either use the giant red fans or the swords. Though Tia-Chi looks so calm and relaxing that it doesn’t look like exercise, but I’ve been told by friends, don’t be fooled. It is considered to be a whole body exercise. You may breeze through it, but you will definitely feel it later. One of these days I’d like to learn Tia-Chi.

     With all of the hubbub, you don’t have to wonder why sometimes I love running during the Winter.


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