Jogging routes

No matter how hard I pick my brains, I can’t think of anything I really want to write about. Since inspiration won’t come naturally, I’ll work on completing some of the drafts I’ve jotted down over the past year.

In our first clinical rotation as students, I remember the intern at the time saying they ran laps around the lake each day, because it didn’t make sense to give advice to patients about healthy living and not to do it at all ourselves. In the later months of last year, when the sun set later, and I left the hospital earlier, I thought I should exercise a bit more, and found it surprisingly relaxing. Mainly because I realised that if you listen to music while running, time doesn’t seem so excruciatingly slow, and you don’t notice the discomfort of breathlessness or sore calves as much. One day I was thinking (too much) about why you go back to some running routes regularly, and never revisit others. I’ll summarise them under a few headings.

1. Natural scenery and landscape:
– greenery including gardens and leafy trees because green isn’t often a common or even pleasant colour indoors
– flowers for variety and good mobile or Instagram snaps
– gentle slopes and hills both as viewing platforms and for variety in incline
– some form of water (lake, sea, waterfronts) to reflect everything else, or sit by when you take a break

2. Cityscape
– appropriately spaced traffic lights so you don’t stop too frequently or infrequently
– interesting buildings and street art to look at
– big clear windows, office buildings are less interesting than residential ones
– buildings far apart enough for visible skies
– not too many carparks and driveways so that you can safely tune out to your surroundings
– take note of landmarks to avoid, for example workplace or areas with lots of rowdy drunken clubs

3. Comfort and safety
– people density that is not too few to be creepy, yet not too many to bump into familiar faces
– same with car density but generally less is better, crossing the road should not be as hard as playing Frogger and pollution is unpleasant
– good artificial lighting at night for the days you don’t get off work on time
– somewhere close and convenient
– proper paths are better than wading through dirt and puddles, after a rainy day
– seaside breeze and decent shade are important for summers

I think this has been a long enough exercise in writing for today.


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