Seeing things

Why I kinda love running in the city

I love trails. I love being alone or with close friends in the wilderness, far away from cars and people and roads. Give me wild and rugged over bustling and urbane any day. That stuff feeds my soul.

But, I live in the Bay Area and I work in San Francisco and, during the week, most of my runs are on sidewalks, not dirt. I dodge tourists and techies and cars instead of hopping over rocks and dashing through creeks. And you know what? It’s awesome.

I usually just turn up my music and zone out until something catches my eye that reminds me that wild and rugged is literally everywhere. On Monday I was running down the Embarcadero when I noticed a large shape in a tree. A Peregrine Falcon. I slowed a little and turned down my music to hear a flock of parrots squawking in protest from another nearby tree. (Bonus tip: If you want to see the wild parrots in San Francisco you have to listen, not look.)

Today I was running up Columbus Avenue toward Fisherman’s Wharf when I noticed the just-past-full moon above Chinatown. The bright reds and greens of the signs up and down the street were a stark contrast to the faint blues and pale yellows of the early morning light and faded moon. It really was beautiful. And bustling.

So, what’s my point? Honestly, I’m not sure. I was just struck by how, even though I’m always dreaming about mountain adventures and focused on training to run in the Himalayas, I don’t have to go half-way around the globe to experience something special.

It’s really easy to take the things (and people) in our lives for granted. To just assume that they will always be there. To overlook how special they are because we’re so busy dreaming of other things and focused on ourselves. To run past them without ever really seeing them. Don’t do that. You’ll miss some really awesome things (and people) if you do.

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