Stories of an Everyday Runner: Taiwan

It had been a few days since my last run. Actually, it had been a few weeks. The time leading up to my trip to Taiwan was too insanely busy to even think about lacing up my running shoes. Once I found myself on the soil of a new country, I was too busy working and exploring to make time.

Finally, I found myself with a free morning. The sun was just starting to light the day and it was already hot and humid, but I was itching to hit the pavement. I would brave the tropical island heat of Taiwan.

I headed down to the front desk of my hotel. The individuals at the front desk are usually a great source of information about the area and I needed to find a good running route. After talking to the nice woman who told me there was a park nearby, I was armed with directions and a map to begin my run.

I walked out the front of the hotel and followed the directions to the park. The park was beautiful, just like everything Taiwan. However, running the perimeter of the park didn’t add up to very many miles. Actually, I’m not sure it added up to one mile. I didn’t have a way to track my miles, but my experience told me it wasn’t far enough to be a mile.

Either that, or my few weeks off from running made me incredibly fit and tolerant of heat and humidity so three miles felt like one. Yeah, no. I’m pretty sure it was less than a mile. I made another loop around the park and, in the process, made an interesting observation.

On one side of the park was lined with exercise equipment. Equipment to work arms, mostly, but also other areas of the body. I was surprised, but apparently it is a growing trend to install outdoor fitness equipment in parks.

More interesting was every single exercise machine was in use. It was exciting to see so many people out early in the morning, braving the heat and humidity (it was pushing 90⁰ Fahrenheit, or 31⁰ Celsius), and exercising.

Though I was the only runner, as far as I know, it was fun to have others out exercising with me. It made me feel connected in a place a long way from home.

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