For those of us old enough to remember, this posting title may revive memories of the horrific crime of rape and assault on 4/19/89 referred to in the press as "The Central Park Jogger" case. This is not the intention of this piece.
I have previously referred to Central Park as a "Vortex Site" by linking it to other locations around this country and the world in which individuals subjectively perceive a powerful attractive "energy" which leads to feelings of harmony and healing.
But clearly the Park is the home of literally thousands of joggers. It may be the most heavily jogged site in the country if not the world. But strangely for me, as a former jogger, I have never been able to run there.
I recall nearly five years ago when my wife and I moved into our apartment near the park and I automatically donned my running shoes and entered the park in order to jog.
I soon found that I was unable to jog and pay attention to the scene that opened up before my eyes. There was something about the up and down jarring effects of jogging that interfered with my experience. I have subsequently only been able to walk through the park.
Walking allows me to scan the beauty of the natural setting while gazing at the people, pets, vegetation. Each experience is unique. I have never been bored or uninspired by any outing. How could I? Everything changes– from the light, seasons, people, events. I notice how nearly every pathway in the Park is curved not straight. This is by design. It is the "anti-City" experience of right angles, of longitude and latitude. Walking allows me to appreciate that the designers Olmstead and Vaux were true artists as well as architects.
I am able to inhale the copious quantities of oxygen being released by all the photosynthesizing greenery while allowing my mind free reign over its inner machinations. This invisible gas of life emanates outward to the rest of the City.
I guess my brain is more sensitive to the jarring nature of running than it should be.
I am sure there are numerous joggers who would vehemently disagree with my perceptions. But in truth, when I observe the many who run past me, they seem focused only on the path in front of them. Many are listening to music, others talking to other joggers, many panting and sweating.
Perhaps I have less ability than they to be "in the Park" while running through it.
But I will continue to enjoy the experience my way–an ex-jogger, but energetic blogger.