Run!

Hello runners! A reminder of the rewards of doing up your shoelaces and getting out there

Running in the park

After a run in Volkspark Freidrichshain. My husband made me redraw this several times because my arms were so weird. © Laura Eades 2013

To the Japanese guy with the tiny cap and shorts over trousers.

To the man in the red shirt and kneehigh black socks who lapped me 3 and 1/2 times in an hour and a half

To the woman who smiled,

and the other woman who really really smiled,

and the very very tall man who smiled so much the second time round he actually spoke.

To the headhigh nettles,

and the yellow maple leaf in mid air, falling,

and the tantalising thought of orange juice.

And the sparrows with their acorn breakfast

and the hip hop hooded crows having a crowfest in the same spot, jumping, cheering my every circuit.

To the elderly and enthusiastic Asian nordic walkers,

and the couple with their child on a bike beside them like a tiny pink personal trainer,

and the dogwalking woman who wouldn’t let suspicion crack her face into a smile (it must be hard being German),

and the little dogs with squirrels’ tails,

and the big dogs drinking in puddles, left with soggy beards.

To Fujiya and Miyagi on my ipod.

To the man who can’t touch his toes

either, yet tries to in public when I hardly dare in private.

To the three lads doing monkeybars with a stopwatch.

To hi-viz man – don’t worry, I won’t crash into you!

To the woman rollerblading through her menopause.

To my lungs and my ongoingness.

To Retta in London’s marshes, and Elli in Ally Pally, and Rachel in Denmark Hill.

And all the ones with their prams and all the ones who push their bodies out before them as if pushing a pram away.

And all the ones going slower than me and faster than me,

the ones who are leaner and more streamlined,

and the ones who have more work to do but are still working it out,

And to the woman I passed at exactly the same place the next time around – we must be the same speed!

To everyone who acknowledged my fleeting, my plodding, my passing presence,

and the one who winked,

Good morning! Guten Morgen! And thank you for the run.