I pulled my car into the same hotel parking spot I’d vacated thirty minutes prior. I’d been on a wild goose chase for a trail head to the “greenways” in Wisconsin. I wished I had applied those thirty minutes to running on the sidewalk outside the hotel instead. The sun’s initial descent was punctuated by the dimmed daylight. Those thirty minutes lost in a wild goose chase would have been treasured running minutes under full daylight.
Regardless of greenway or greyway, I was going to run before dusk expired too. For a sidewalk, the environment wasn’t too awful, although, the grey concrete hadn’t absorbed enough sunlight bringing a halt to running bare. Shoes on, I then found myself impeded by a busy intersection. Being impatient with precious dusklight minutes passing by, I turned right to enter the rear drive of a shopping mall. There was no busy traffic but, the sidewalk also dematerialized.
Leery of cars that might turn right at the intersection behind me and might also not take note of a person running on the edge, I sprung up on the curb for a spell. It triggered an Anne Shirley memory.
“I knew a girl in Marysville who could walk the ridge-pole of a roof.” “I don’t believe it,” said Josie flatly. “I don’t believe anyone could walk a ridge-pole. You couldn’t anyhow.” “Couldn’t I?” cried Annie rashly. “Then I dare you to do it,” said Josie defiantly.
Well, we couldn’t let Josie Pye get the best of us. I accepted the dare minus the height of the house and Anne’s boots plus I would run across the curbs. Diana, Anne’s bosom friend, might have called me a silly goose.
Auspiciously, I didn’t crash through a tangle of Virginia creeper like Anne did. Positive circumstances such as wearing my Merrell minimalist shoes, being only 6 inches off the ground, and having grass on the left side kept me upright. No doubt, I had a lot more fun on the curb than Anne had on the ridge-pole.
While I may have regularly employed the ground to correct my balance, I found stabilizing my body as I ran over the curbs rewarding and smiley ;). It was invigorating to engage muscles all over my body. I concentrated without really thinking. When the curbs curved, I followed them in pointless pursuit. The more the run seemed directionless the more meaningful it became because it was fun.
I confess that I only ran on the curbs for 90% of the run. I also took advantage of my urban surroundings. I serpentined through a series of stately bushes and trees marshaling a parking lot. I leaped across a set of stone seats encircling a wobbly concrete table that shuddered gravely when I hopped away. I sprung off small boulders enriching a university parking lot. I imagined I was skate boarding down a ramp. Then rebelliously chuckled when I glimpsed a “No Skate Boarding Trespass” sign. Would anyone dare fine a runner? Dare to even scold one?
I passed people walking out to their cars at the end of a day’s work. They stared at me as they unlocked their cars or as they drove away. Despite the witnesses and the “Do Not” signs, I continued to run, bounce, jump, and balance. I have no doubt the beholders observing my antics concluded that I was a Silly Goose.