Be Active!

The Rite2Run theme is running, but it’s not all about the running. It’s about staying active, physically and mentally. And it’s about staying active socially.

For runners, especially young ones, the running part is easy; lace up and go for an eight-mile run – no problem. Running invigorates the runner, but chances of becoming a lifelong runner increase when fitness is practice holistically, that means living a lifestyle that keeps the entire self fit. Choose activities that invigorate the entire being; mind, body and spirit.

Peloton on Kelly Drive

This past Sunday, I spent the day at The Tour de Philly, officially known as the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. I didn’t go just to watch a bike race; I went to breath in the experience of professional cyclists compete in one of the top ranked cycling events in the United States. 

No Stopping - Any Time

I went to feel the breeze of the peloton; that impossibly-crammed pack of one hundred-plus cyclists, as it whizzed passed on Kelly Drive during the 156-mile race.   

I went to socialize with characters, many who’d attended the largest cycling race in the United States each year of its twenty-seven-year history.

Ape For Cycling at the Manayunk Wall

And I went to feel the Mardi Gras-like atmosphere of The Wall, the famous hill that rises up Lyceum Avenue from Main Street in Manayunk.

Climbing The Wall in Manayunk

I rode my bike to various locations along the route, so I was physically active. I read about the race and learned about many of the cyclists, and spoke with spectators to get a sense of their experience, so my mind was active. And I communed with all sorts of characters, I was socially active. By the end of the day, I lived an experience that invigorated every part of my being.

View of the famous arched bridge that symbolizes Manayunk

The Tour de Philly is more than a race, it’s an experience. It’s what you make from it, just as with any experience. Get out and attend an event this weekend. It can be local, or in the next town. Or maybe just work in the garden, plant some tomatoes and research the best way to fertilize them. If all else fails, go for a run. But whatever you do, Be Active!


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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