It’s sad to think about how much harm humans have done to the Earth. There is so much beauty on this planet but sadly I worry if we can protect it enough so all my kids can enjoy it as much as I have.
One great childhood memory is how much time we spent outdoors. In middle school, when I didn’t have sports, I would go home and then hang out with neighborhood friends outside until it either got dark or was dinner time and we knew we had to head home. I was lucky I lived across the street from a park which was often where we met and hung out. We almost always rode our bikes and would meet up and just talk or play. We didn’t have electronics, no cell phones, we stayed out of trouble and had a great time. Life was a lot simpler than.
I got to spend a lot of time outdoors through sports whether it was soccer in the fall when I was younger, then softball in the spring. Cross country allowed me to run on many beautiful trails at many different parks and is one of the best things about the sport. Exploring new trails was something I loved about training for xc. I’m lucky to live close to so many local parks including Washington Crossing, Princeton Battlefield, Rosedale Park, Mercer County Park, Vets Park, the towpath, which are all easy to get to and explore.
The fun or dread, depending on how hard and hilly a course was, was getting to run on different xc courses. Regionals my senior year was at Letchworth State Park in New York, which was known as “the Grand Canyon of the East” and had beautiful gorges and waterfalls. We got to run a beautiful course along the Long Island Sound in a meet hosted by Connecticut College also in my senior year.
Some other memorable places I’ve run include along the Golden Gate Bridge on my honeymoon. The scenery and views in San Fran are spectacular and something that made the hilly runs worth it. I’ve run in Iowa in open corn fields (no it’s not a stereotype, there’s a lot of freaking corn fields) where it’s very windy because of the lack of trees. I’ve run in New Mexico on dusty paths where tumbleweeds blow by. I’ve run along the Jersey shore, one of my absolute favorite spots to run or walk.
Earth Day is just one day out of the year when we recognize and appreciate all this planet has to offer. But we must do this every day if want this planet to survive. I have been fortunate to experience many beautiful areas and parks and just being outdoors.
I hope my children can do the same and that the Earth will be in good shape. To do that we all need to start doing our part and caring about the Earth and checking out all this beautiful planet has to offer.