Staying Alive

Unknown-2.jpeg Despite the horrors of COVID-19 ravaging New York City, I still, every day go for my morning run…more of a grace than I can say.

Marc from sorryless.com had asked me to share what I think about during my run. At the time, I gave him a virtual shrug, thinking, gee…I dunno, not much, but then decided to pay more attention.

For starters, the moment I hit the air, my spirits rise. It’s dark, only a few other runners far and wide, with the moon to keep us company.

I briskly walk the four blocks to Fifth entering the Park on 91st. I’ll see the same Waspy woman with Betsy, her little mutt/mix, already coming back, along with a very fit Nigerian man, stretching, something I marvel at, since it’s barely 6 a.m..

Mustn’t forget the girl in the box, still sleeping as I pass, making the familiar, for better or worse, comforting during this very surreal time.

Running north, picking up speed, passing the outdoor hospital on my right that one now expects, I silently pray for the sick and their noble caretakers soldiering on. Unknown-1.jpeg

The light, about to break, beckons me to continue towards 110th, a mile of road I omit when it’s still too dark. I’ll remember the Central Park jogger who didn’t make the same decision, but today, tag along with a group of four, running six feet apart.

It’s been raining, so the air smells sweet, while the trees glisten, looking like they’ve just stepped from the shower.

Squirrels gallop between daffodils that since yesterday, have perked up, the rain refreshing their stems.

I know how they feel, my hair, now damp, brushed back by a gentle wind.

Birds croon.

A raccoon tap dances across the road.

A hawk sits on a lamp post keeping her eye on things.

Coming down the hill, circling the West Side, I wave to a neighbor, then yoga boy in Warrior Pose and a man with a pit, called Apollo.

These sights reassure me that life continues, as I make my way around to the the Park’s cutoff that will lead me home.

The Irish Setters, Bud and Lou, run to greet me, while their master, never very friendly, now smiles since our crisis began.

I think how strange and sad, that it took hundreds of lives to humble thousands of New Yorkers, not to mention everyone in our wounded world, but then, like the daffodils, perk up, finding myself in front of 1040 Fifth, Jackie’s old building thinking, how great it would be to see her in one of her turtlenecks and sunglasses,   along with John walking his dog, Friday.

My reverie continues, grateful to have been in Nature’s care, restored, to make it through one more day as that gentle wind whispers, this too shall pass.

SB

Thanks Marc.

About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Beauty, Culture, Faith, fitness, grace, Gratitude, Health, History, humanity, inspiration, nature, New York City, words, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Staying Alive

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Nature has the power to refresh and restore us. Aren’t you amazed at how many people look at but don’t see the same beauty and comfort?
    A few years ago I told Pookie that if I ever become incapacitated I want to be wheeled up to a window with a bird feeder. He got a little freaked that I would even be thinking of something like that, I didn’t know where the thought came from myself. They bring therapy dogs into nursing homes, but how many bird feeders sit outside their windows?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Nice tour. The freshness of morning air is special. Wondering. Have you noticed an improvement in air quality? Keep smiling and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marvelous! I loved running with you without moving my feet. You are always so aware of everything around you, and your skill as a writer paints a lovely, detailed picture for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate Howell says:

    Excellent 😎

    ~Hal Rubenstein From my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kingmidget says:

    Running is a weird and beautiful thing — you see things and think things and feel things that you never would have if you hadn’t gone for that run. Thank you for sharing the beauty and life you see along your run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you’re a runner too. I love that all you need is you and a pair’a sneaks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        I’ve been running for about fifteen years, although I’ve developed a knee issue that is currently keeping me from it. But yes, the best thing about running is the ease. Just shoes and walk out the door.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Can you still walk? Put a band around your knee? Unless it’s a torn ligament you may have runner’s knee. You can strengthen your quads that will fix that. Leg lifts. Daily. I do them without fail and they seem to do the trick. Then of course it could be something else. Just a running thin girl’s 2 cents.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        For months, the docs were telling me that it was inflammation caused by calcium deposits. The sports doc finally decided there may be a problem with the meniscus and scheduled me for an MRI. On April 5. Due to the virus, the appt was moved back a month. There are times when it is so bad, I can barely walk. Right now, it is relatively calm. I’ve been walking almost every day for the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, a little over three miles and I slow jogged about 2/3 of a mile. Woohoo!! The knee is achy, but not so much that it’s affecting my ability to walk. I have PT exercises, but most things for my quads implicate my knee at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so sorry. But at least you’re walking. That’s happened to me where I couldn’t run. It makes you love it all the more. Do you like pineapple? Great anti inflammatory over the counter healer. Let’s hope you can have that MRI soon. I love knowing you’re an athlete 👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        We frequently have pineapple. Have some fresh pineapple in the fridge right now. Mostly I’ve been eating a lot of berries these days. Can’t seem to get enough of them.

        I’ve road cycled off and on over the years. Last spring I started it again with the idea that I would gradually transition to that as a replacement for running. As easy as running is, I am not a “comfortable” runner. Every run involves pain somewhere. Knee, calf, hip, foot – some combination of all of the above and mystery pains that show up all too frequently. And with my retirement that arrived a couple of months ago, I have a lot more time for cycling. But the knee kind of ruined those plans. Sigh.

        As for being an athlete, I just believe in trying to stay healthy and good, hard exercise is one of the things that contributes to health, not just physical, but mental and emotional also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. And this is temporary remember. Injuries happen to all athletes whether you’re Michael Jordan in his hey day, or you. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        I know. I ran a handful of half marathons a number of years ago. The last one I ran with a torn groin muscle. I haven’t been the same since. Longer runs are out of the question, but after years of struggling with the muscle tear, I was finally in a good place with running 3-5 miles three or four times a week. And then I was incorporating a 30-40 mile bike ride. All was going good for a few months. And then … bam! I’m working on it. ;). Thank you for the encouragement!!

        Like

      • That’s all I run. 3-4. It’s just enough. I think one’s body appreciate’s the lesser distance. I’m always amazed I’m still running. Grateful as all hell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        Yes. Far easier on the body, and it’s really all that’s needed to remain fit and healthy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I hope your knee feels better, and thanks always for writing to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        I enjoy the back and forth.

        Like

  6. Thanks for sharing your run today. Thoughtful sights.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Running..or in my case with running days a thing of the past…the important thing is to get outside in some way. Enjoy your jog!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorryless says:

    This is beautiful, SB. I’m glad I asked you and I’m really, really glad you shared this.

    My runs have taken on a completely different identity since COVID shushed us all inside. It feels to me like I’m trespassing back to the time before, as if my legs can quiet all that has happened since the world changed course. Of course, there are always reminders, depending on which path I decide to take. If I go by the park, it’s quiet. A reminder that things are different in the now. But if I take one of the back roads that lead me through some farmland, I get the Amish buggies passing by. They always wave. I find myself going their way more often these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that they wave to you. They’re such peaceful people. Yes, I know things are different, but Nature stays the same. I try hard to lean on her for support and comfort since she rarely disappoints. We have to believe life will resume again, just with fresh, replenished hearts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        Me too. They have such an erstwhile brevity to their daily lives. The simplicity is inspiring.

        Nature and gravel. The latter is something I run on when I drive over to a nearby college campus which is empty nowadays. I park outside the gates since they close off the parking lots now. The lot is grass and gravel and I love that crunching sound, it’s as if my steps have been gifted a narrator.

        As for nature, I see deer every now and again when I ran at the campus. There is bittersweet irony in this, as it’s because of over development that we have come under the gun when it comes to viruses.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nature and Gravel…has a really nice sound to it. I can picture you driving up…parking…getting out, stretching your hamstrings then taking off crunching as you go. A very clear image.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        Nature and Gravel has a really nice feel to it too.

        Another thing I’ve started doing? No music. I just want to Zen out with the sounds I come across. It’s funny because music used to be a rhythmic solution, a pleasurable accompaniment. Now, I prefer to go without.

        The little things. I think we’ve come to appreciate them more than ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll say. I just got an email saying anytime you leave my building as you pass through the lobby you must cover your face. It’s like Iran. Sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        Who’s the Hiya-tollah in charge?

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so disconcerting. The residents, mostly rich and more freaked out than the average Joe, if you will, were nuts already. Now it’s gone up a notch. Every time I open my door to leave, my heart pounds. Masks to me are tortuous. I feel for all the essential workers who wear them all day. Here’s to nature and gravel.

        Like

  9. Dale says:

    This was lovely, Susannah. I’m glad Marc asked you to share your thoughts which made you pay attention to said thoughts and sights and feelings.
    Truly lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s so great that live close enough to the park to be able to run there and that you have the discipline to do it. I admire that about you. I try but I am so not a morning and that is the best time for me to exercise. Thanks for bringing us all along on your run. Sounds like a great time of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s incredible what we’re able to see when we pay attention. I feel like I was there, less the heavy breathing.
    Last year I visited Central Park and was taken back by the rows of yellow & orange tulips gracing the entrance. Talk about a welcome wagon!

    Liked by 1 person

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