A Few Moments in the Park

by cunningstuff

I was on the opposite end of the park, I swear.

I stopped for munchies today and ordered a calzone with marinara sauce, made with mushrooms and capsicums. I would normally order the double or triple meat, with extra cheese, but it is the lifestyle choices I am learning to make.  It’s not like a calzone with or without meat makes all the difference in the world, but standing outside, I saw why I made the decision. I have a body again! It is so powerful to see, yes I am still fat, yes I am out of shape in many ways, and in a shallow, vapid town like Denver I get called fat ass as I ride my bike along the road.  I am still on a long road to recovery, I am proud to see the difference for the first time in a long time. The calzone place had some blacked out windows, and while smoking outside I was admiring my new profile in the window. I also have a neck again, so many thanks to my working out and making healthier choices. Anyways, this was before my ride, and the calzone was for lunch afterwards.

I geared up to ride today, and found the heat wave had broken with some thunderstorms coming in from the southeast. I took advantage of this and headed out to Cheesman Park. I had not been there in several years, and I thought this would be fun to see today. I had been worried about the heat, I didn’t want to stray to far from home, or push to hard, but since it was fine out, so was my plan. I took an alleyway that had this really steep hill on it, if you looked down the alley from about where I lived, the asphalt of the alley looks like the roof on a house obstructing the path. I don’t know how most people motivate themselves to tackle obstacles, but the hard push up the side of a hill followed by the easy, breezy, cool ride down is something I am really coming to like. It is the hills that make me glad I didn’t get a stationary exercise bike, because what fun it is to ride as fast as a car, the sweat cooling you off immediately, no matter how hot is. I don’t see how you can get that in a gym.  I hit the hill with a determined pump, only lowering the gear when it became to hard on my legs and I knew I would end up blowing out. I made it over the hill, and awwwww, no ride down except for the rest of the half block. I grinned though, picked up some speed on the slope and hit the road east towards the park. Which was pretty much all incline. I had to laugh, but it was going to be a challenge, since I kinda pushed up that two block hill behind me. I took it easy, and found inclines are not the problems they were, even two weeks ago. My leg muscles are responding well to bike riding! I know the park is around 2km all the way around, it is not a very big park, so I figured, 3 times around on a bike.

Two times around later, I was out of breath, but happy. It took 2 km to get here, and it will be 2km home, so in all honesty, I did do over 7 km today. I sat down and ate my calzone, and watched around me. Cheesman is a gay pride park, aside from the city people side, which is where the play ground and picnic tables are. I was sitting on one of the picnic tables when I noticed, about four tables away, a gay man with his little half shirt looking at every male in the park. I stopped looking before his eyes swung my way. Directly in front of me, about 100 meters away, a homeless man was sprawled out on the grass, fast asleep. At least I hope he was drunk and asleep, cause laying in the full sun on any summers day in long sleeve shirts and a jacket must be uncomfortable.  As I had rode up to the loneliest table, I had spied three to five children, sprinting as fast as they could through the grass to the playground. They now made enough noise for 5-7, and were rambunctious as young kids can only be. It provided a nice counterpoint to the continuous traffic that goes around the park. Lots of yuppies jogging, not one of the twenty or so I spied without the “I spent 45 dollars on my Apple Nano Headphones so I can have a bright neon color string.” headphones on. Kill me if I ever become one of those.

Out in the main park where the grass is, there were various couples and menses throwing frisbee. I was actually surprised, but then again, I was on the “straight” side of the park. I am terribly unhappy when someone is blasting gay disco at high volumes to play volleyball with. No instead, it was peaceful, aside from the toy like shrieks of the kids, and fairly quiet. Occasionally three yuppie moms would gossip by while power walking, but even that did not annoy me. The sky was cloudy with bits of blue here and there, the calzone was tasty if the marinara was bit bland, and I was pleasantly cooling off from a decent 4 km ride over hills and up inclines, as the park is essentially built on the half of a hill, east side being the highest. I had achieved 66% of my goal, I was outside, not inside stuck to this screen I am staring at now, and I got to be a part of humanity for a change. I can never return the inspiration and motivation my lovely lady has given me, and I find I am actually liking myself and the world a lot more now. The bored but sexually suggestive pose of the gay man, the sprawl of the sleeping dead homeless, the genuine relaxed throw of a half-hearted frisbee game, the easy buzz of traffic, and the carnival like shouts and squeaks of children at the playground, you could say it was a good day.