This morning I braved the Manhattan heat, tossed on my running shoes and walked to the end of 88th street at 5th. Right away, I saw what I was about to indulge in: a MECCA for runners. Hardbodies everywhere, a party for fitness-lovers. This was to be one of the most enjoyable runs of my career. There is a concrete path along the water, a dirt path a bit further away, and then a road that is completely shut down for cyclists and runners flying along it. I chose the dirt path, which was perfectly spongy and lovely for the knees. My run itself, in terms of athleticism, could have been better. I am not a long-distance runner by any means. I run for my heart, for my brain, because it feels amazing and keeps my cardiovascular shape in check for anytime I must train a client for a half marathon or a 10K... I am not competitive when it comes to distance or time. It's just not in me. But, I was still a bit disappointed in my endurance, though I know its source is the half banana I chose before heading out. Tomorrow I will add some grains before venture #2.

What kept me going past the point where my body said, "Eat something, woman!" was the intermittent blinding light from the sun through the trees, the Kenyan marathon woman who passed me twice, the man running with his 4 year-old little girl, the older couples giving their poor Dachshunds the wobble of their lives... I heard their grunts and the exasperated gulps for air, and I became a part of their Saturday morning ritual for a day.

This run made me love New York. Fitting in this beautiful chunk of nature and community and exercise, to their big city lives. Hell, I think even Jude Law ran past me breaking a sweat. Whether it was him or his twin, I am okay with the contribution to the scenery... This is what I love about big cities - first Toronto, and now New York. There is an effort to bring the leisure and beauty of the country to the middle of the Metropolitan. It almost gives those who dwell in large cities this emphasized amount of soul, as the passion for the outdoors must match the chaos of their (our) lives. Power, through contrast.

If I were to live here, this park leisure would be MY ritual. And so it will be, for the next four days.