Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Riverfront Path = My Cheers

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And, sometimes it occurs to you out of the blue,  this is it – your ownUnknown

A strip of running path bordered by grass mediums, trees, picnic tables and sculptures,

photo credit: flikrhivemind.net

photo credit: flikrhivemind.net

the river and a lower running path to my right, and wide one-way Front Street on my left, this is my Cheers.

photo credit: peace.maripo.com

photo credit: peace.maripo.com, this is my Cheers.

 

I hear someone call “Hey, Mar…” and see a waving arm out the window, recognizing the vehicle with marathon placards on the tailgate. Several minutes later a light tap on a horn and a wave, my husband on his way to a meeting or, depending on the day, off to pick up the Sunday NY Times.

Approaching from a block away, another runner is calling out “Mary Lou.” I recognize him by his gait. Moving in opposite directions, briefly we share a few words and we’re off again.IMG_0813 - Version 2

Everybody knows their names: Becky and Carol on a marathon training run.

Everybody knows their names: Becky and Carol on a marathon training run.

A trio of young women emerge up a ramp from the lower path. I’m acquainted with two of them and we exchange information on surface conditions on the path.

The cast of characters on that much loved sitcom covered a wide demographic. Runners at my Cheers include surgeons and mailmen, bureaucrats and politicians, fitness instructors and educators. Although many that I recognize along the path and who recognize me are in their 30’s and 40’s, there are plenty of us much younger and much older.

Not everybody knows my name. Like Cheers, there are the background characters. During a mid-day run, I make my way through a tag game among children and teacher out for recess. On a Sunday morning, a few couples walking arm-in-arm to one of the nearby churches. Almost anytime during the day, I will pass the occasional homeless folk. 

They along with a few downtown workforce taking a bag lunch and a break in the park, are not the main characters but are a backdrop to my Cheers. I know their faces, they know mine. Add to that tourists who flag me to take their photo with the Susquehanna in the background and the stage set to my Cheers is complete.

I didn’t expect a slice of riverside land would weasel itself into the fabric of my life, but there it is. A place where almost everybody knows my name, and I know their name, their gait, their pace and their friendship. IMG_1240 - Version 2Sometimes it takes a frigid winter morning to know you are at your Cheers.

 

And you, where have you found your Unknown

 

 

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6 Comments»

  Joe Church wrote @

Nice description!

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks, Joe. It was good to see you at My Cheers this weekend.

  Lynda Hasper wrote @

Great post. Coincidentally Joanne and I were talking about how the running community is like Cheers during our drive to run along the river yesterday.

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks. Clearly we were on the same thought wave. Not a bad morning for a run, even though the Greenbelt will make us wait another week or two.

  Just a Running Chick wrote @

Wow – I wish we had as little snow as you do! Really nice post. 🙂

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks. Yes, this year we have been on the cusp of most storms, but our paths and trails are frozen over and quite treacherous. I noticed you have been doing a good job of maintaining your schedule in spite of the snow. Take care on your runs.


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