Sunday, January 27, 2013
We have a local basketball court, which happens to be on Center Road, called Center Courts. Above the courts is a sort of balcony that goes all the way around, which is used as an indoor walking/jogging track. Nine and a half laps equals a mile. It's convenient, it's safe, and it's free, and I've been walking there for a couple of months now. I love it; it's for sure the best deal in town.
I crank up my playlist and wiggle-walk around and around. I walk alone and, in the beginning, barely noticed anything around me. Now that I'm walking enough to need several 'cool down' laps, I've finally begun to look around. All sorts of people go there. A lot of the time the court is mostly used by single women: some of them walk slowly, while some – like me – are clearly there to releave stress, and the tension shows in our bodies when we begin. We show up in everything from shorts and tees to business suits. But other times the track is dominated by single men, or older people using canes, or young kids, or couples. If there is a pattern of use, I haven't found it yet.
Lately I am really noticing the couples. There are young couples who run laps around each other, and middle-aged couples where the women join other women and the men walk with the men. But most touching to me are the older couples, the ones who seem to know that there isn't much time left. One or the other adjusts their gait so that they stay side by side as the walk, and there is no impatience evident in either the more able bodied or the more frail of the two. They rarely touch in this public arena, and often they don't even talk, but the clarity of their bond and intimacy sometimes takes my breath away.