One thing I always promised myself I would make time for after becoming a parent is running. With a full time job, John’s navy schedule, and the baby, I’ve had to get creative about when running, or any exercise, happens. If John is working nights, it’s a yoga DVD after the baby goes to sleep. If John is working days, sometimes I can sneak away before I make dinner and spin for 45 minutes. If John is working days and is helping with dinner (what??), I put on a barre dvd and use the baby as a wiggling weight (her favorite). If John is working afternoons, it’s the Bob stroller and the baby on a 5-miles-is-as-far-as-her-patience-takes-us run in circles around the neighborhood.
Since my maternity leave ended, trying to manage being mom with a husband who usually isn’t home and trying to handle a job that often requires out of office work, I’ve relied more and more on that miniscule part of my day where I can clear my head, pound my feet, push pedals or get lost in a flow. My lunch break from work starting seeming like a magic ‘me hour.’ I can do anything I want for sixty minutes. Alone. Go grocery shopping, go real shopping, or, go running.
When I started running at lunch it was mid-summer and between the intense heat, humidity and glaring noon sun, it wasn’t always the best plan to run then try to return, read faced and sweaty, to work. Now that the weather is cooler, running is actually enjoyable and I don’t look, or smell, like I just ran a marathon. It breaks up the workday and alleviates the anxiety of trying to fit in a workout between an hour commute both ways, cooking dinner and spending time with my baby. And it’s cheaper than shopping.
There’s a tiny little community by my work, I’0n. It’s one of the nicer communities in the already nicest part of Charleston. It’s where the Joneses live. And Darius Rucker. I love it because it’s quiet, it’s scenic and there’s a perpetual fall feeling with shaded streets, rustling trees and spacious porches.
It’s easy to get lost in I’on. Streets seem to run into each other at random and the lifted, southern style houses, blend together in beautiful pastels. In the middle of the community though, there’s a small lake with a gravel trail. It takes ten minutes to get back to the office from the lake, and it’s usually the last place I go to stretch and relax before returning to work.
It was a perfect day to go running. There was a hint of crispness in the air and the slight smell of fire places leftover from the colder weekend, but the temperature was nearing 70. It was one of the first times in a while where I forgot to look down at the clock.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about living in the south. But this community embodies everything I imagined the south on the coast would be. Beautiful southern homes, quiet streets, small coffee shops and pubs, light breezes and warm, fall sun. Honestly it feels less like the south and more like the northeast, especially as the weather changes.
Of course, no matter how classy a neighborhood, you can’t escape one of these.