Monday, August 3, 2009


When I got to NYU freshmen year, I had managed to keep a memento of my high school career with me pretty well. Running was a passion of mine and a stress reliever, a cathartic activity. I often wrote about this act or running along the West Side Highway at 3AM in my writing classes (see writing the essay). I believe I even had a script and, sophomore year I did a sight and sound film project about it, which I lost somewhere in the steinbeck lab. It was through this activity, this stress reliever, that I developed a sort of relationship with the city. I was introduced to different places at odd hours and rewarded with a view at the empty and naked streets of Manhattan and the beauty that comes from underneath the hustle and bustle a normal day brings.

I ran quite frequently freshmen year, during all seasons; fall, winter, spring, summer. A lot of it stemmed from my desire not to sleep and the lack of alternative activities I could do. It was a wonderful thing, when I think about it.

However, sophomore year I ran less, maybe managing to get out once or twice a month. I still loved running but it wasn't something that was immediately on my mind. I was often busy with other things and it was no longer a need that I felt. Plus, my roommate was a very light sleeper, which left me sleeping a little earlier (at least occasionally).

Junior year and senior year I didn't run at all. Well, that's not entirely true. There was a brief stint of me running in the Czech Republic on my summer study abroad in Prague, which was an amazing idea and one which I am glad I did. Additionally there were times I made my way to the gym and ran on a treadmill and hated myself for it. For some reason, maybe because Junior year I was rarely in my dorm and senior year I was always busy working on other things, I never got myself to go running again. I guess I could make up a million excuses as to why in particular I couldn't go running, but the bottom line is that I was too lazy, and even though I knew I would really enjoy the experience once I started, I couldn't get myself out of my seat to go and actually get started.

This brings me to today, or rather, tonight. I had promised myself, before I got back into the NYU dorms for the Tisch Summer High School Program, that I would do my night run at least one more time before I moved back home. This run would, in a way, represent a closer for me, the end of a particular chapter of my life, my goodbye to living freely in NYC. So tonight I changed into a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt I use for running or sleeping, rubber banded my I.D. to my phone and left my doors unlocked. As I laced on my running shoes I marvled at the lightness in their weight. They felt like nothing compared to the boots I had been wearing for the past two years.

As I set out I felt myself explode. The wind raced through my hair and my feet glided over the pavement; I was off.

From this experience I realized two things:

1.) I need to remember how to pace myself better.
2.) I'm out of shape.

I guess I also realized that I should make sure I'm well hydrated, but that doesn't count because I wasn't poorly hydrated.

This run has been good for me. I have rediscovered a part of New York that was lost to me and I have once again realized that I don't want to leave it. Tonight I didn't want to come back.

I hope to do more of these runs, even if I have to do them at home on the streets of Bloomfield. There's a peacefulness in running by yourself and I'm glad I rediscovered it. I feel as though this may have been the answer to my focus issues.

Lastly, along my run I was able to visit my favorite spot in NYC: (actually, one that I discovered on my earlier runs freshmen year) South Cove. I took some shitty photos on my phone and will post them if I can figure out how to get them onto a computer. Maybe I'll go there with a real camera next time (or at least a slightly less fake one).


  1. chaochao;
    while i find it slightly alarming that you go running at 3 am in the big bad city, i totally understand. used to do the same thing up at amherst, round about midnight. except then it got too cold and my lungs started icing over.
    recently started running again at brookdale park. also discovered your two points.

    being in love with the city is the best way to be in love. infinitely more personal than all other affairs.