Wednesday 30 September 2020

Different speeds on two feet in the park

Every little step I take

Stepping out at the break of dawn, the morning breaks with a chill and the morning dew, the weather turning as you make your way almost too far from home for you to turn around, as the need for shelter is lost to the quest to complete a quota before you resume for work.

Briskly, as you set your walking exercise, the tracker on your wrist buzzes reading your heart rate as you set out to either break personal records or just have it on the record. In the business district, you weave, and you are notified of the first kilometre.

The doorways or the nooks of large shops have sleepers, the homeless whose stories we know little of, whether they are warm enough, or will have a supply for the day and can dream of a future, we do not know. Yet, fortitude and providence does raise people from the strangest places to make a fantastic story, maybe we can angels in that journey too.

A river of curls

Reaching the edge of the city centre, you have crossed the River Irwell twice and the industrial suburb beckons for your second kilometre, though your third crossing of the river is a few hundred metres short of your third kilometre and you are well into the City of Salford.

Your fourth crossing of the river and soon after then fifth is leaves your fourth kilometre between, and the park is just in view where the circuit you walk is just about 2.2 kilometres. When you begin to make your way home by another route on a busier road, there is probably another two crossings of River Irwell and you realise this is a river that meanders through Manchester, though its course is unlikely to change in the near future.

The people of the park

The park begins to come alive as the light of day bathes it with a welcome giving you the sight of others roused to move. An elderly lady with two male companions take a walk she speaks, they nod, it is the first morning greeting, as she feeds the birds, the ducks and the geese with bread crumbs.

Further on, one man and his dog on a leash, then another man with his two dogs, one dog walking into my path whilst the other is taking him for a walk, pulling hard and demanding of motion. The lady in a hijab, sometimes walking and other times running, says good morning, we smile and she’s gone.

It’s in the family

A father pushing a perambulator combining baby-sitting with running, whether it is fun or not, the baby remains in deep slumber, as would I if I have the rocking motion of a vehicle to comfort me.

A mother brings her son to the park, he rides his bicycle as she goes for a run, then over the bridge, two kids on their scooters arrive with their dad, they make for the children’s play area, but it is still in the quiet of the day. Eschewing the cacophony that comes with music from my headphones, I take in the sounds of nature, the river rolling over rocks, the leaves rustling in the trees, the birds making different sounds a haven of the variety of life.

Another few people visit the park to run, each with a different circuit, all of different sizes and have I just recognised a face from one of those profiles of idle distraction, not that I venture a confirmation of my curiosity. The many greetings I make turn into a short conversation with a couple that walks through the park, each time noticing how different I was from the day before. It is a quick chat; I might get to know their names.

Then I return

As I leave, I have 9 kilometres in my trek and three more to go for my doorway. People walk or run, but none are doing the brisk walk I do. I can’t run and yet, I work up a good sweat that calls for my flannel at certain times.

Workmen sauntering to work are surprised at my hurried passing, I am only held back at the traffic crossings until one of them picks up a traffic cone and bellows out to me about exceeding the speed limit. I acknowledge him with a wave and 20 minutes later, I am at home.

This blog covers the subject of the blog I lost yesterday; I do not know if it is as good as the original but getting it out of my system means I can go on to other things.

Blog - A lost blog inspiration

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