There are so many amazing ways to exercise, which is why this is always a dilemma for me: Should I spend more time running or physically training other parts of my body?
Fortunately (never thought I’d say that), my strained toe made that decision for me on Monday morning. To make a long story short, my pointer toe – the one on my right foot – is stilled taped, is still achy, and is still somewhat out of order. I was determined to run, if only for my own sanity, but given the circumstances, I scaled back to 3 miles—max.
Rather than my usual 5-mile loop through Central Park, my ultimate goal was to run 1.5 miles to the 59th Street Bridge, where I’d spend about 15 to 20 minutes doing intense sculpting exercises (spoiler: my interpretation of intense really isn’t that intense) before heading back home.
I set out around 7 a.m., filled with energy and excitement. Knowing that I only had to make it 1.5 miles, or between 4 and 5 songs on my iPhone, meant I could increase my speed just a bit, and so I started off at a faster-than-usual pace, making my way toward 1st Avenue.
The views were instantly stunning, and I was met with a sunrise that rivaled any lazy morning in bed. The streets were still somewhat empty, and I was free to roam back and forth across the avenue, weaving from east to west depending on the traffic lights and where my camera took me. It was the first of many perfect New York moments I’d have on Monday morning.
The first half of my too-short run flew by, taking me past the U.N. Building in all its glory…
…and that cool sphere just past the U.N. Building, which looked especially mysterious in the dim lighting…
…until I made it to Sutton Place. Maybe it was the warm, still air or the general tranquility of the East Side, but as I approached the Queensboro Bridge, I felt the urge to push myself. So, just because I could, I did and raced up the hill from 54th Street to about 59th until I arrived at this.
I’m not exactly sure when I discovered these little alcoves off the East Side of Manhattan, but sometime in the last two years or so, I stumbled upon these small outlets on Sutton Place that overlook the river. They’re quiet and surrounded by these quaint, luxurious brownstones that I’ll never get to live in. They’re also absolutely perfect for stealing away from the world, even if only for a short period of time.
On Monday, I shared the space with a construction worker who was enjoying his morning coffee. Not quite the private setting that I was hoping for, but there were plenty of pretty views for the both of us, as I saw it. Ahead of us:
To our right:
To our left:
And down below:
Can you think of any better place to spend 20 minutes every morning? Visions like these can instantly reset your soul – something that’s especially important on a day when I can’t commit to a longer run.
I won’t bore you with the details of my “total body workout.” I’m not that committed to strength training, and it went something like this: 50 jumping jacks, 30 lunges, a bunch of push-ups, some tri-dips, squats, leg lifts, more squats, more leg lifts, and some other stuff. In all honesty, while I know it’s important to do these kinds of exercises too, I was more entranced by the fact that spring was literally blossoming before my eyes and that I was standing there in a short sleeve shirt.
I’m not typically one to meditate (actually, I’m the one who’s fidgeting with her bracelet clasp at the end of yoga while everyone else is sitting cross-legged). But before I left my East Side haven, I took one more moment to take it all in.
Not a bad way to spend your Monday morning, if you ask me.