Decisions, decisions, decisions. Do we want to run out to the iconic Iron Horse Bridge, or the newer “Over the Pipe” Bridge? These are the choices we can have in when we are out running in Santa Clarita, CA. And there are many other places we can go in our beautiful valley, just north of Los Angeles.
The City of Santa Clarita has done a masterful job of building a trail system through our valley. My body may like when I ride my bike through our valley, but there is a freedom in running, that I don’t get riding the bike. This is not knock on cycling, which is awesome and far easier on the body, but there is something special about running. I can go wherever my running shoes will take me.
I’m slow. VERY slow. Buy it doesn’t matter. The charm is in getting out and moving. That includes all kinds of fun activities, hiking, swimming, cycling, walking and running.
I’ve been reflecting on an experience I had when my wife wanted to show me her gym, which is near where she works. We had some time to kill between dinner and a movie, so I thought it would be nice to take a look at Golds Gym. Golds is right next to the movie theaters. Interestingly (and sadly) this building used to be a huge Barnes and Noble bookstore.
I belong to LA Fitness on the side of town where I work. We also are active at Cycleup, a high-end spin studio, and are involved with a couple of running groups. My wife and I stay pretty active. Being active is what birthed SuccessFit4Life! a program to encourage people on their wellness journey. We do not lack for fitness options.
I thought we would be able to go through Gold’s Gym on our own with my wife showing me around. But, it turned out we need to do this with a fitness consultant. Dang, I thought! Geez, I have to get a gym sales pitch to see this place! I mumble to my wife that I wasn’t really up to timeshare type pitch. But, we had time to kill and figured I would suck it up. I wanted to see the gym.
It turns out this was a very productive time; not just seeing how beautiful the place is. Cardio Theater playing movies on a massive screen while working out on treadmills was pretty cool. Our gym tour guide was sincere in wanting to learn more about me, and of course how Gold Gym could benefit my life.
He started with questions. What are your goals? What are your challenges? How do you determine what exercises are best for your situation? A problem for me is pain. As an older person, who is somewhat active, pain is a part of life. Of course, most runners tend to be consistently dealing with pain and injuries. It’s just how it is.
One eye-opening point he made had to do with addressing that I love to run. As noted, I enjoy being outside getting to a destination we choose. We can go wherever we want, and there is a freedom in that. I love the people we run with, and I can take my dog with me. Afterward, we hang out for coffee. It’s part of our lifestyle.
In our conversation, he noted that what I love to do, with people I love to do it with is not great for my body and pain. Right. Pounding on a hard surface is not as good for me as being on a treadmill. The thing is, I don’t think Gold’s Gym wants dogs on treadmills. (Although I think it’s a pretty cool thing.)
Beyond the freedom of running is the blessing of the relationships that are developed. By nature, it seems the fitness community is a nurturing group. We find ourselves encouraging each other, and strong friendships are developed. We have relationships with Team Runners Lane, the Santa Clarita Runners…and a small subgroup we’ve dubbed The Misfit Runners. I’ve also got to give a shout out to my Cycleup community. These people are awesome as well.
The conversation at Golds Gym got me thinking. While running on hard surfaces may not be the best thing for my old body, I’m choosing to be wise and go shorter distances. I still get the benefits of running and hanging out with my running community friends.
Everyone needs to make the choices that are best for them. That includes choices in our personal and our business lives. For me, when it comes to running, my choice may simply be, where do I want to go? Iron Horse Bridge or the Over the Pipe Bridge? I can go wherever I want. That's the freedom of running.