Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Urban Runner vs. Trail Runner, Sharks vs. Jets

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.--Marcus Aurelius

Everyone who loves running trails move to the right side of the room. All of my urban runners move to the left side of the room. Now look across the great divide. Do you all realize that you were standing in the same place, only moments ago, void of segregation? Now that we know some folks here run trails and others run the streets, we feel compelled to form an opinion and take a side.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I started running in the parks of Manhattan and later in the streets of every borough. I never had any desire to run trails because frankly, I didn't really know that trails existed. And if they did, why would I run on them. Young Black boys in Brooklyn aren't known for running through the woods. For nearly 15 years, I ran almost exclusively in the streets and on sidewalks or in local parks. I ran a cross country race about 10 years ago and it was awesome but I didn't live near Van Cortlandt park, nor did I see the point of taking a train to the last stop in the Bronx in order to run through the woods.

Just this year, I moved to Atlanta and with that move came the desire to delve deeper into my running. My goal was not only to run more but to run better and learn more about the hobby, in which, I find such joy. I began to seek out trails. I loved them so much. Running trails will teach you about yourself in a way that running in the street cannot. It's almost like you become part of nature so you care more about it. You care more about your place in nature. I guess I should say one becomes a part of nature because it is assumptive to say that all runners have the same experiences.

Now, my point. I love taking pictures when I run. I've taken beautiful pictures of Times Square and street signs. I've taken great pictures of majestic trees and endless water views. I've tripped over roots on the trail and I've tripped over massive protruding screws where a street light used to be. Running is a beautiful sport that is beautiful in many different ways. Differences in viewpoint doesn't qualify necessarily as opposition. Just like people, running's beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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