Sunday, March 6, 2011

Running to IJburg and Back:

It has been so sunny in the Netherlands for the past few days. I'm anticipating spring like never before. These long, dark, European–winters can be totally depressing. So, needless to say, while it was sunny yesterday, I seized the opprotunity to go for a run. A long run. All the way to IJburg from the Indische Buurt. About 10K in all. And, the route included one of my favorite bridges here in Amsterdam. I just bought a brand-new iPod Shuffle (a runner's best friend in my mind). And at only 47 Euros, totally worth it. While running over this pedestrian and bike bridge which connects IJburg to Diemerpark, and subsequently, the Indische Buurt, the setting sun aligned exactly with the bridge. What interests me most about running is the mental challenge it produces. At some point while running, if you can train your body mind to do it, your legs and the signals they send your brain, separate. No longer does running seem like a challenge or a feat, but a meditative trance that allows you to observe the world passing by you at a frenzied pace–while you run through it. Just you, some great music, the setting Northern European (almost-spring) sun–and since this is Amsterdam, lots and lots of water. Running in this city is stunning. Mostly because of the diverse settings that are possible to run through all in the course of one route. First city and sidewalk, then bridges, then polders, then reclaimed islands, dijks, and then back to civilization–all in the course of 10K. It's so nice to be able to run (outside) again without turning into an icicle upon walking out the front door. Sun, please keep your transition into spring going strong.