Ever since running shifted away from a flight mechanism by which we eluded predators and became an integral component of an active lifestyle runners have vacillated between modalities. From the oval high school track, the ol’ “around the block” and the indoor treadmill, people have taken up the dutiful practice of walking, jogging and running en masse. Passing on the track and the neighborhood block, let us consider for a moment the less-than-wholistic innovation of the treadmill.
Treadmills are a gym staple and eliminate altogether the variability of weather in all of its fickle moodiness. They normalize the daily ritual by extracting rain, snow and hailstorms, the inclement winter cold and the shadowy creepiness of nightfall. Treadmills also multifunction to satisfy many demands of the modern fitness enthusiast. They incline, alternate speeds and record heart rates in addition to a manifold of other functions by which you seamlessly calculate output and pursue specific results. They’re remarkable for so many reasons not the least of which is bringing a fundamental aerobic exercise into the home. And I absolutely loathe them.
Bringing a naturally ambient practice to a solitary station is counterintuitive. We become devoid of the abundance of aesthetics of our connective landscapes as we completely negate the transitory continuum of an object in motion. Whether darting and dodging through the urban jungle (think Parkour) or romping through forests, traversing rivers and valleys (as in trail running) there is much beauty and emotive imagery that is lost upon a treadmill. I regard it as the human equivalent of a hamster wheel.
The secret in a real, nonlinear, life in motion, is to find- or carve out- an unique path which brings you joy and challenges you. I have several within my locale, each with their own distinctive journey or adventure. Because it is my desire to create more vigorous runs with diverse landscapes by which to engage spiritually and mentally as well as physically, I have sought out courses with rugged topography and dramatic backdrops so I am not lulled into desultory ennui.
Here is one I have enjoyed especially for its middle section which draws you up to the top of Grady Gammage Auditorium- a noteworthy Frank Lloyd Wright design- on ASU campus. It’s brief repose at the top of the ornate walkways has yielded marvelous views at dusk and dawn and has dared me into venturing out on the roof for some quick and risky (and possibly illegal) strength training exercises.
There are also some precarious transitions which call for nifty maneuvering as well as a couple obstacles that excite the Freerunner out of their linear doldrums. I like to call the experience “Terraining”, but it would likely fit into the Freerunning department. Take a close look at the specs and the videos and then consider what your neighborhood has similarly that might create an extraordinary running experience for yourself.
Runagaders! Mount up!
Data for the fitness dorks
Name: The World is a Gammage
Activity type: running
Description: North on College, up and around Gammage Auditorium, south on Mill Ave, up the bleachers, along the train tracks and back down College to the start.
Total distance: 4.88 km (3.0 mi)
Total time: 26:46
Moving time: 26:46
Average speed: 10.93 km/h (6.8 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 10.93 km/h (6.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 24.30 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 5:29 min/km (8:50 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 5:29 min/km (8:50 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 2:28 min/km (3:58 min/mi)
Max elevation: 353 m (1158 ft)
Min elevation: 326 m (1071 ft)
Elevation gain: 68 m (222 ft)
Max grade: 10 %
Min grade: -10 %
Recorded: 1/16/2015 7:13 AM
And for the finale, a PowerPointPrez…