I’ve been bad about exercise of late. There is a litany of excuses of course, but it boils down to not making the time and effort. So of course when one is out of shape and the weather is getting cold, what can you do? I hashed!
The temperature was in the 40’s and it was long past twilight when my co-worker and I showed up at the nominal start, Hooter’s at Broadway and 56th Street. We went inside to warm our eyes (funny but there were a bunch of male hashers inside, but none of the women…) and after drinking a two dollar pint of American beer, we headed outside for the run. My lungs in anticipation of the coming stress, immediately began to tighten up. After zigging over to 6th Avenue my lungs were wheezing and my muscles were seezing.
Despite the physical stress of running in the cold, my mind began to relax as we entered Central Park. Now hashing in Central Park at night is never easy. Unless the hares are very careful about placing marks close to a light source, finding the trail can be an ordeal. And this was no exception. Specially since we have gotten out of the habit of looking for flour on trail. But there it was on the bridal path and off we went.
Now once we hit the park I could feel the tension of the work day and of the street leave my mind. Central Park is filled with deciduous trees. With the cold weather of fall comes the opening of a vista as the leaves fall from the trees leaving behind a growing vista. What emerges are the lights of the building surrounding the park and the night sky. Running up and down rocks, along a dirt trail, dodging in and out of trees, running on grass instead of concrete all contribute to a change of attitude.
At any rate, we wove through the park, out into the upper east side, back into the park and out the westside ending on Amsterdam Ave and Jake’s Dilemma. A nice evening run through the park and a friendly on-in.
So, we drank, we make fun of the virgins, Bottom made us sing his new songs, the visitor from the mid-west tried to impose his traditional hash values on ours, and we were suitably amused.
There is a human connection with open spaces and things that grow. Living in the city does not extingish the need to see the stars or watch something that grows. It does make satisfying the need harder. Indeed many of us often forget or loose sight of it and then wonder what is missing. It is also often used as an excuse for other things that go wrong in our lives.
But one anecdote for all that in New York City is to hash. It gets us out, even in the cold, providing the opportunity to look at trees and stars. And run and drink…