My first jog around the Charles River in Boston

I went for a 6-mile jog today. I experienced the late Saturday morning jogging scene during a mild Boston winter.

The frozen river. The crowded jogging paths along it. The empty park benches. The brown leaves sitting on the brown grass. The sun making it all look pretty.

Some people smiling and talking, other people serious about their jaunt, nearly suffering it seemed. Suffering for pleasure. Maybe obsessed. Hard to tell.

Runner stuff.

I took it less seriously, tried to smile. Listened to some wave music. Black over-ear headphones. iPhone strapped to my arm. Black beanie.

I started walking when I hit the Harvard Bridge, wanted to soak some of Boston in. I put my hands on the railing, stretched, spotted where the ice met the water, took a picture.

This is a beautiful day for Boston, I thought. Maybe the best we’ll have all winter. I’m going to stop and capture this moment.

View from Harvard Bridge overlooking the Charles River in Boston
View from Harvard Bridge overlooking the icy Charles River in Boston in January 2018

I walked the rest of the bridge and started jogging when I hit the other end. Went for two miles. Hit the entrance to the bridge that goes over the river and past the Museum of science, to my apartment, but I could see the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.

It looked inviting. I wanted to see if I could cross it. So I kept going. And when I learned that you can’t cross that bridge on foot, I went further, looking for the next bridge.

For all I know, it was an unnamed bridge. And rightfully so. No one should have their name tied to it.

It brought me back to the dirt of life. Construction. Cars rushing past me. Forty-mile-per-hour wind kicking up grit into my eyes from nearby construction.

I stopped to rub it out. Brought my teeth together. Could taste it. Felt a sandy crunch. I kept going though. It will get better, right? It always does.

Not on this jog.

I went from heaven to hell. Pavement. Empty parking lots. Traffic. Zero runners. Except me. The sun was still out though acting as a reminder that life can be bright. Above the industry and facade of progression — build, build, build — there’s something pure. Something that doesn’t need to change and progress. It’s content staying where it’s at as we spin around it.

And then another bridge. The Gilmore Bridge.

Heavy wind. More construction. More grit in my eyes. More sand in my mouth. I kept my head down toward the pavement to avoid it.

Will we ever leave land be?

No. We must always build. Just like I must always exercise. To stay busy, to stay sane.

6-mile jogging route around Charles River

Of course, I’m being dramatic. I’m sure they’re building something that is just dandy and necessary for our survival, comfort, or enjoyment. Much better than a grassy plot of land.
(Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

Leave a Reply