Have I told you lately how much I hate running? Oh I do. Muchly. In times past I've sought to convince myself that I like to run, and in every case have ended with trembling legs, sprained lungs (you laugh, but I know what a sprain feels like), my teeth awash with the tart taste of bile and failure. Running sucks. I don't think you suck if you enjoy running, understand, but the act itself sucks the very suckness of suckitude.
One time, awhile back, I even attempted to run the stairs of Mt. Tabor Park. My reasoning, so like many other wannabe fitness warriors, was that if the effort was over-the-top strenuous but performed outdoors in idyllic surroundings, the distraction of Holy Nature together with sheer will would allow me to transcend the brutal punishment of the act. I'd be like Kwai Chang Caine, but sweating and wheezing instead of carrying a cauldron of glowing coals between my wrists.
We're led to believe that Caine doesn't end up weeping in a fetal position, so yeah, didn't work the way I wanted.
Anyway, have you visited Mt. Tabor Park? Pretty freakin' nice. It's a dormant volcano, which is fortunate, since active volcanoes make generally poor venues for outdoor recreation. It's one of only three such geologic features in the U. S. to be found within city limits (the others are in Bend, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi; the whole city of Jackson rests atop an “extinct” volcano, another example of how we humans enjoy playing slap-and-tickle with Fate). Mt. Tabor is part of the Boring Lava Field, which, you know, doesn't anybody ever think twice about how they name stuff?
Never mind that it “used to be” a volcano. Go because the views of Portland and the surrounding neighborhoods and greenery are gorgeous. Go because your dog(s) will love you for it. Go because playing B-ball and tennis outdoors under towering trees beats Hell out of a gym any day. Go because your bike sometimes likes to go UP. Go because picnics in the park with the kids are a great way to get some much-needed family time.
And you don't have to run up the stairs. A brisk walk, on the stairs and throughout the park, is a fine workout, and you can enjoy the scenery so much more when you aren't bleeding from the eyes.
Just please don't litter. Or urinate in the reservoir. Thanks!