Monday, April 29, 2019

Welcoming


I took this picture. 
If I were asked to describe the New York City Road. Runners Club Open Run program in one word it would be welcoming.

Welcoming because at every park I went to I felt welcomed by the race director and all the other participants. There was never a moment where I felt like I was a burden to anyone because of my disability.I don't always feel comfortable asking for help but there was never a moment where I hesitated to ask someone to help me with safety pins or other items that might've required fine motor skills.

I also felt welcomed into everyone's park. Everyone seemed very proud of their open run and was happy that I was visiting. Everybody for their park with the best pork will be open runs. So messed my opinion on which I thought was the best park. I always go people they got the chance to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, the sunsets would be worth the trip. At a couple of parks everybody was talking Spanish to each other until I opened my mouth. Then everyone switched to English is for me.

At one park I had to very carefully extract my own foot from my mouth. I stupidly mentioned that I was in a neighborhood that my parents would never have let me go to when I was a kid. I was trying to say how far the neighborhood had come. But I got a few sideways looks from people mentioning that they had lived through the 70s and 80s in the same neighborhood. Later they welcomed me by telling me which buildings had their bodies and their doorways "back in the day".

The participants in the open run program don't just welcome new people to their neighborhoods. Through this program experience runners or welcoming new runners to the world of running. There was a general theme going on it will be runs I went to. People would show off their metals from recent races and they made it pretty clear to the runners who didn't earn them that they will. Nor runners were always asking advice from the more experience runners and the experience runners were glad to share it. Please note that I'm talking about experience runners and novice runners as opposed to fast and slow.

Also, these regularly scheduled runs are places where people who been living in a neighborhood for a while get to welcome their new neighbors to the neighborhood. At a few runs it was clear to me that some of the people there were new to the neighborhood and young and they were being greeted warmly by some of the old-timers in the neighborhood. I really got the impression that this is where they met



Larry took these photos 
So dear reader, you might be wondering why I'm talking about the open run program now. Well, to the right is a picture of me participating in the 17th of the 17 open runs. That was last Thursday evening and on Sunday I participated in the new open run in Crocheron Park.

Below is the old map. It does not include the newest open run in Crocheron Park or the one that opened a few weeks earlier in Jersey City. If your knowledge of New York City is based on TV shows or tourist attractions you think New York is all skyscrapers and brownstones. I think I truly saw what makes New York great. Visiting these parks I have see New York City's beauty in all seasons and I've gotten to meet people in every corner of New York City.

So if you're just visiting New York where you'd like to visit another part of New York I urge you to put on your comfortable shoes and run or walk at the next open run you can. https://openrun.nyrr.org/
some of them were in busy parks like Brooklyn Bridge Park or Morningside Park. Or you can head out to Conference House Park in Staten Island where I was warned to look out for dear.


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