A Morning in the Park

So I decided to start a concerted exercise routine again. This consists of me parking in one of the spaces at night that force me to move my car at 7 am. Since I have to move it anyway, what more effort is it to move it all the way to Silverlake Reservoir and go for a walk, with even a couple slight inclines thrown in?

So that’s what I do. Sometimes I even get a parking spot where I don’t need to move until 8 am, but I prefer the 7 am crowd better.

At 7, I get to see the cute guy with the baby stroller. At 7 am, most of the other walkers are focused on walking or running, with our iPods plugged into our ears and just concentrating on waking up and getting our days started. At 7 am, I get to see my favorite black lab, with a pink collar and clutching her pink stuffed animal in her jaw. She ignores her fellow dog being walked, and when her owner doesn’t give her the stuffed animal quickly enough, her sad eyes just patiently watch until she gets her toy. She reminds me of Eeyore: sad, plodding and patient. All her focus is on that stuffed animal. It isn’t even a dog toy, it’s actually a very popular children’s toy, and when you see her devotion to it, you know this is her personal security blanket, her favorite dolly that if she doesn’t have in her possession, you know she is feeling anxious. My day is made complete when I see her. She makes me smile. She’s my personal security blanket. I know I am around the 7 am crowd when I see her.

The 7 am crowd come out regardless of the weather. It was cold from wind the other day, and yet many of us had our gloves and hats on, we came prepared. We are focused. The goal for me is to wake up. It’s a bonus that it is actual exercise.  The old man that walks very slowly that I pass by easily at my speed of walk then passes me by later as he has now sped up to a jog. We nod at one another as we pass by, or mainly we just keep looking ahead.

The 8 am crowd, they are less focused and more social. This is the time when 3 or more people meet to go for a walk, and often that means a stroll. They often have a cup of coffee in their hands as they walk the dog or baby. And often, they take up the entire path width, making it hard to pass them by as they walk at a speed comfortable enough to talk. This crowd also seems to have less regulars, but a rotating cast of characters.

I prefer the 7 am crowd. We move faster, and seem to be more dedicated. We are loners, we don’t mind the cold, and we don’t get in each others’ way. I look forward to my black lab with the matching pink collar and stuffed toy, the cute guy with the baby stroller and the old man with the slow walk but the fast jog. My day is complete when I see my peeps are out too.

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