Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nature v. nurture

.... had a very odd thought this morning, 6:21 a.m. EST, standing outside my condo waiting for the street car. It happened on a silent dark street, only the stray vehicle motoring by just before the morning rush. There they were, left and right, everywhere I looked. One runner heading east toward the central waterfront area. Three runners heading west, jogging and talking. Two runners, going south, hooking up with the trail that is planted right at the base of my home. Then across the street, a woman exited her condo's entrance, and began the first steps of her run. I counted 10 in the span of four minutes before my street car arrived.

Which got me thinking, is my environment encourage running, or would I run anywhere? I tend to think that having a trail outside my door has a lot to do with it. There's water, there's uninterrupted trails, there are runners and cyclists. It's the perfect environment.

I've read more than a few articles ("Why don't Americans walk anymore," for example) that say suburbs are really bad for encouraging healthy communities. There are no sideways, no obvious places to like parks. In these poorly planned areas, there is no neighbourhoods to the point where cars, not shoes, are needed to do even the simpliest things.

In my neighbourhood, I walk a lot, and I run a lot, because it's easy, and it makes sense. Which brings me back to my thought....

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