Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why I Never Want to Leave Madison

Even when I went to Mexico over the winter, I was looking forward to returning to our snowy city. I am not exaggerating when I say that every morning, I am thankful to be here. And the biggest reason is because of my fondness for being outdoors. I do realize that it is fantastic to be outdoors on a beach in Mexico, but my idea of being outside involves a good pair of tennis shoes and a lot of athletes surrounding you.

Because my morning runs involve a lot of introspection, I have been debating for quite some time a trip back to Cleveland. When I first moved to Madison, I didn't want to go back to Cleveland because my folks (who both live there) continued to come here. So, there was no point. Of course there are some friends and family members I would like to see. But the family mostly comes here. And then I think that my friends are spread out all over the country, really. I have to make an effort to see them at some point. But to spend the money to fly to Cleveland doesn't make sense to me right now. And I think about it every morning when I am running because I think the running in Cleveland just doesn't compare to what I have here.

In Madison, there are new paths discovered all of the time. I am constantly given the right of way and other runners give you the "runners greeting" - the head nod or a wave. There is a world of respect and appreciation that I didn't have before. Am I passionate about my running? Yes. When taking into consideration any trip, I contemplate what my running will be like. And dreading a run is no good.

So, when I think about going to Cleveland, I am filled with these memories of procrastination. Because there wasn't anything enjoyable about my running there. I tried various things. I attempted to run to places to do an errand. I tried the parks, by the water, different neighborhoods (not the West side, though - I wish now, that I had). However, what is the point in driving somewhere to go for a run???? Doesn't that sort of contradict the purpose?

In my new city, I run with a purpose. I have run to pick up my car, while it was being repaired, I have run to people's houses, to social gatherings, to post signs, to the market, etc. That is one of Madison's compact benefits. And along the way, people are friendly. And you are bound to pass many more runners. Regardless of the weather.

I have run in other places: (I realize some of these are states and some are cities) New York, Chicago, Boston, Cape Cod, Columbus, New Hampshire, Cincinnati, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Maine, and Toronto. And none of them are as satisfying to me.

Have I left Madison? Of course I have. In fact, I was able to escape this weekend for a little while. But, then, upon my return, I started to read "The Isthmus" and thought to myself, "There is so much to do here this summer. How am I going to pick and choose?"

I suppose I should start planning a trip to Cleveland. Although, it's mainly because I need to have the Japanese straightening done to my hair again. And they don't do it in Madison. This is my home now.

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