Catching a Glimpse of the Wind-Whipped Beauty

Calm is craving DayGlo sneaker at night.

By day I’m a business reporter. My beat, the health and beauty industry, is brimming with action today. I love action. But with it come a few necessary evils: I’m harried. I’m bossy. I’m stressed.

Fifteen or so rushed quote-seeking phone calls and twice as many emails later, I stream in my favorite radio station (Philly’s WXPN) to still my mind and commence with writing.

Immediately my ears are met with the opening notes of “Multiply” by Jamie Lidell. This song, the uplifting number seven on my iPod’s “long run” playlist, inspires a Pavlovian reaction.

If I really want calm, I need to run, soon.

I pound furiously at my keyboard and in under an hour my feet are pounding through 20-degree air over the Williamsburg Bridge, linking Brooklyn to Manhattan.

It’s approaching dusk and the DayGlo yellow of my sneakers announces my presence to no one. The sky is amethyst over the city’s sparkling buildings. Because of the cold, I’m the only one out here to see it.

The biting wind forces me to look down at my feet. I adore my New Balance 872 trail runners even though the color borders on obnoxious and Bushwick Avenue doesn’t exactly count as a trail. These shoes add some life to the dull grays of my semi-industrial neighborhood. To run here is to be part of a moving landscape.
Another woman jogs towards me, her golden retriever bounding ahead of her. We’re the only signs of life.

I smile from under my oversize hoodie.

The woman smiles back as if to say, “How ridiculous is this? How lucky are we?”

I pass just three other bundled up runners, all bearing the same grin of solidarity. It’s hard to smile back since my face is burning with cold, but I manage.


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January 2008
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