It’s hard, it makes us get out of our cozy beds in the morning, and it hurts– but despite all that, so many people run. Some people might run to lose weight, to train for a race, to spend time with a friend, or to get fit for free. These all are all great reasons, but this past year, running has become so much more to me.
When we first moved to Sydney, I would use my run to get out and explore this beautiful, new city. The possibilities of where to go were endless. I eventually found a 4 mile route and it soon became routine, I started losing the wide-eyed fascination I once felt. Today, however, I decided to take pictures along the way, instead of just letting my mind wander like it usually does. I hope this post will encourage and inspire YOU to run and see what is out there… explore your surroundings! Take off your headphones and actually pay attention to the sights and sounds around you! For the past year now, I run without music (unless I’m running on the dreadmill, praying for Jesus to return and save me from my misery), which has made a huge difference for me. I now notice the man sitting under a tree, painting. I smile when I see business men taking naps in the gardens. I hear the obnoxious squawks from the cockatoos. Listen to street performers as I run by them. Watch the “mums and bubs” at the park. There is so much going on around you if you make the effort to notice.
Running in Sydney
My route starts with weaving in and out of people on the sidewalk, waiting for the lights to turn green. After a few blocks, I cross the street into Hyde Park. There’s an Anzac Memorial building, a view of the city and a canopy of trees overhead.
How amazing is that?? JESUS 4 EVA. I continue on my run, making my way towards Sydney Harbor. I run through “The Domain,” a park that hosts free concerts in the summer. I pass a cafe, the New South Wales Art Museum and an entrance to the Royal Botanical Gardens. No matter the time of day, there are always people out walking, jogging, taking fitness classes outside, enjoying a coffee, taking a nap… these people know how to take advantage of their lunch break and enjoy life!
I look up and see another message in the sky, Cross = Love. Hillsong Church used this symbol to spread a simple, but powerful message of the gospel at Easter.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
I run until I reach the bottom of Fleet Steps… and up 100+ steps I go!
After a winded walk down the steps, I continue along the Harbor Path and get a perfect view of Sydney, the Opera House and The Harbor Bridge.
In the summer, I would climb out onto some rocks in the water and just sit there, taking in this view. I begin to loop back alongside the Royal Australian Navy and one of Russell Crowe’s houses (the massive pier/building all the way to the right).
Yes, Sydney is an incredible place. But that doesn’t make your city any less incredible. Find the hidden lakes, the quiet paths, the deserted mental hospital houses (like I did in Boston)! Throw out the mentality of “let’s get this over with” and use your run/walk to explore and appreciate your surroundings.