Friday, August 1, 2014

How I Found my Way in New York

I have learned to navigate the awkward response I get when asked where I’m from (South Dakota, followed by an awkward "ohh...."). I've learned to navigate the streets of New York—by subway and on foot. Navigating the streets on foot is how I've come to find where I belong here. Through running, I've also learned that even though it is a big city, it’s a small world.
In my first few homesick days here, I wasn't sure what to do. As an avid runner, I wasn't sure where to go and wasn't ready to navigate the crowded streets. Central Park is far away from the East Village.  Then I found the Hudson River Greenway, and the view of the downtown skyline and the Statue of Liberty, which put me at ease. I found myself lacing up my shoes in the mornings to get a little peace of mind before the city truly came to life and I had to dodge and weave in and out of throngs of people on my morning commute.
Then I started getting up and making the commute to Central Park during the weekend to run. There I found a fabulous view; an amazing running track and plenty of other people who share the same passion I do. The dirt path also welcomes relief from the constant pavement pounding I do on my usual runs and my commute.

My shoes have seen a lot of miles and I wasn't sure where to go to get shoes in New York. I always like to get my shoes at a local running shop when I’m home, so it felt wrong as I ducked into the nearest Foot Locker. Thanks to my iPhone, I found a few local options and decided to try one out. When I walked into the store, I was greeted warmly and I forgot I was in the Big Apple. It felt like any other local running store. I walked barefoot, ran on the treadmill and tested out shoe after shoe until I found the right one, just like home. When I was checking out, the lady offered to put me on the email list but I declined, explaining that I was only in the city for about two more weeks. She asked what I was doing and I told her I am interning at Inc., which I was sure she hadn't heard of. She told me she loved the magazine and reads the website all the time. She also said if I ever wanted to do anything at the store, let her know.
Going into the running store, I expected to get my shoes and get out. Instead, I got a reminder that no matter where you are, if you are passionate about something, chances are other people are. You have to seek them out and when you find them it is a refreshing experience. It also showed me what a small world it really is. Someone else out there loves running and has an interest in the magazine I am interning at. 
What I've learned over the summer is that no matter where you go, if you look in the right place, or stumble in by accident, you can find a way to make it feel like home.

Written by, Jordan Smith, South Dakota State University, Inc.
Edited by, Maya Allen, Howard University, Woman's Day 


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  2. Good blog! Keep writing and running. Steve