New view. Those two words summarize why my favorite thing to do on vacation or on business trips is to go running. However, it took some new friends to help me understand why I and other runners like me enjoy new locales so much.
As part of my spring training trip to Phoenix this year, my girlfriend Kristi wanted to visit a friend from work days gone by, Gina. Gina and her husband, Bill, live in Buckeye, Arizona, about 36 miles west of Phoenix along Interstate 10. That’s roughly a 45-minute drive on most days, maybe an hour with traffic. I’m guessing. When we were there, we were driving against the grain and during the middle of the day, so it was cake.
So, we got to Buckeye, and it was quintessential Arizona with all the houses in some variation of stucco. I quite liked it, but I particularly liked (whether I was a fan of stucco or not) that there was a theme to the neighborhoods, architecturally. Some houses were big, some small, but they were all stucco.
We pulled up to Gina and Bill’s place, and while Kristi and Gina chatted out by the pool, I went running. Whenever I go running in a new city or neighborhood, I take photos. It’s not that I’m a good photographer although I’d love to be. It’s that I’m appreciating my “new view.”
Alas, upon returning from my 3-4 mile run in Buckeye, I was describing to Gina why I enjoyed running in every new town I visited, and she immediately and confidently said, “New view. I totally get it. You get to see a new view.”
Of course, philosophically speaking, “new view” can mean what I’m seeing along the way or a new perspective achieved through the peaceful pace of a long run. Many folks listen to music while they run, and I used to do that until a colleague from Philadelphia explained how to get the most out of running mentally through meditation and keeping one’s ears attuned to the environment.
Gina’s husband, Bill, is a golfer, and I suspect that aspect of his golfing enjoyment is similar to my running pleasure. Half the fun of golfing is being outside and enjoying the beauty of the course. That’s the same way I feel about each run in a new place, and in the case of Buckeye, Arizona, I found it to be quintessentially Southwestern but peaceful like the moon.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard anywhere except the thoughts bouncing around my brain and the first-time sights hitting my eyes, both new views to me. I wanted to share those sights with you.