Wilmington, NC: Active living and running buddies

Ever have trouble going out for a run? Know how much easier that gets when your good friend hits the road with you? Partly because you’re talking, partly because you’re just happy to see each other.

This week in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, doing some rezoning work for a community just across the river, I had the same experience, but without the person. It reminded me of when I first met my friend, Jim, years ago. Back then I thought I couldn’t run, because of the usual aches and pains that come from getting started. Our first run together, he ran backwards because I was running so slowly.

With good company and mentorship, I was soon running longer distances. When I run now, I often hear Jim’s instructions, “Relax your hands to hip level.” “Hello friend stitch.” “Lengthen that stride.” “Most emotions are based in either fear or love. Learn to love the run.”

I rarely missed an early morning run because I knew he’d show up at my front door, and insist that I go. Larger groups of our friends would get together every Saturday for long runs and before long a much higher level of activity became a lifestyle and logging 25 miles a week an achievable goal.

This week in Wilmington, I feel that same set of pulls, but this time from a great city instead of a great friend. Regardless of how late we’ve stayed up in the charrette studio the night before, it feels like the city knocks on my door and beckons until I get up.

Reminds me of my recent ruminations on the Healthy Place Index, and how great places tempt us to live more outdoors. So meet my running buddy for the week — Wilmington, North Carolina — through this lovely set of photos by Andrew von Maur.

Here’s to all of us doing what we can to nurture more walkable — and runable — places that make for healthy, happy people.



Hazel Borys

If PlaceShakers is our soapbox, our Facebook page is where we step down, grab a drink and enjoy a little conversation. Looking for a heads-up on the latest community-building news and perspective from around the web? Click through and “Like” us and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Comments

  1. Some lovely pictures of the streetscape in Wilmington, but where are all the people?

  2. Good question, Ann! They were definitely there, but Andrew was shooting early morning and late evening, before and after our design studio, so the streets were somewhat bare. Wilmington is a city of around 100,000, so not your sort of Vancouver crowds anyway.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] this month, as Hazel mentioned in her city-as-running-buddy post last week, our travels took us to Wilmington, North Carolina, where we were doing some long-term [...]

  2. [...] satisfying lifestyles. The photo-essay accompanying that conversation was on the urbanity of Wilmington, North Carolina. Last week, we were in another North Carolina town, Fuquay-Varina, working to [...]

Join the Conversation

*

Confirm that you are not a bot - select a man with raised hand: