Monday, September 12, 2011

Runners and "Secret" Spots

[not THOSE “secret spots” ya perv!!!]

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Maybe it's just a surfy thing, and I apologize for that.

YouTube Killed the Secret Spot

Now that we appear to be in the middle of another Running Boom, we can see more people enjoying this sport than ever before; or at least since the 70s or so.

People we'd never seen before are running around our neighborhoods, parks, bike paths, etc. Granted, these public places belong to everyone, and certainly should be shared. That's what they're for. Plus, it's good sportsmanship and camaraderie, to trot along and perhaps strike up a conversation with a stranger with whom you know you have at least one thing in common.

More and more, though, D'Kid or I will see someone running and say "Hey! They're running on MY Road!!!" Which brings me [as a surfer] back around to the concept of "The Secret Spot" ... do you have a place which is - as far as you know - JUST YOURS???

Is there a hill that you claim as just your own? A climb that you do battle with, one on one, on a regular basis? Maybe, to your knowledge, you were the first to runner conquer it?

Perhaps there's a stretch of road that passes by a secluded pond, far away from the busy-ness of the developments, which offers a tiny place of Zen, where you can escape the troubles of the day?

I mean, all surfers know the story of Jeff Clark, who surfed Maverick's alone for 15 years ... not because he was the only one who knew it was there, but because no one else thought it could be done.

I read an article in Runner's World or something years ago, about some dude who had a mountain in his backyard in VT or NH or ME or someplace, and he'd run up & back down every morning, for years.

But, I guess that's different from the "Secret Spot" thing I'm thinking about.

“I think it's silly to think that you have a space that somehow only you are entitled to. I will absolutely share any run or hike that I think others might appreciate. I roll my eyes a little bit whenever anyone mentions keeping a place a secret so that other people can't enjoy it, whether it concerns running, surfing or anything else.” – Cool Foot Luke

Yes, Localism blows in any form; that's what keeps me off some pretty decent trails down here in Wharton State Forest, because I never know when some drunk and/or high dirt-bikers or quads are gonna flex their Piney muscles and run me down.

The expression "Dad! Someone's running on your road!!!" is more a reaction to seeing another runner outside of the developments. The race results said there's maybe a half a dozen runners in my town who did Broad Street this year, but I'm always surprised to see anyone else training down here in Farm Country. Doing anything outdoors that doesn't involve alcohol, gasoline or gunpowder [or any combination thereof] is not well regarded. Self-propelled recreation [running or cycling], for its own sake or for the betterment of one's self ... Well, that's certainly suspect.

I've done my best to recruit those joggers I've met [their term, not mine] through school, church or on my cool-down walks through the neighborhood. I've always invited them along and shared my routes, "Go over 30, past the cemetery, make a right to go around and back; that's about three miles"

Never seen anyone else out there ...

1 comment:

Theia said...

I share all the time, and I ask friends to select or recommend routes so I get to see more options. Yes, it's a solitary sport we've chosen for ourselves, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes I like the solitude and alone-ness. Most times, I love the company... even if it's just a nod or smile to someone I don't really know but see every week on my long run.