Running the same route squeezed between the Potomac and the parkway to the tourist filled monuments isn’t exactly escapism. It’s beautiful and enjoyable, but it doesn’t remove you from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown.
If you really want a brief reprieve from all the chaos of campus, or even if you just want to take a different path, turn left out of the Medical School entrance onto Reservoir Road. If you run just a few blocks, you will find the entrance to the Glover-Archbold Park trail on your left…and on your right too.
The trail cuts through the woods and stretches all the way from the Potomac River to Tenley Circle. If you make a left, the path will carry you behind Georgetown toward the Capital Crescent trail along the Potomac.
But if you really want an escape, take a right. Within one hundred feet, you will be completely surrounded by tall arching trees and removed from all the streets, houses, and people. Even though most of the trees have already shed their leaves, the entire scene is picturesque. Everything is still and serene. It all looks uninterrupted, untouched.
As I ran this trail for the first time, I wanted to take it all in at once. As much as it pained me to part with upbeat running playlist, I forced myself to take my headphones off. I let my hair down and rolled my sleeves back.
I loved feeling the wind brush past my cheeks and push back my hair. I loved listening to my footsteps slice into the silence of the wintry morning as leaves crackled beneath my feet. I suddenly felt as though I had infinite levels of energy. I sprinted across bridges and in-between trees, feeling as though I was soaring.
When I came across a fork in the trail, I decided to follow one of the offshoots away from everything. I followed it up toward a couple of fallen trees next to trickle of a stream. I decided that I had enough time to break. I climbed over the fallen limbs of the trees. I didn’t know what to do with all of my newfound pent up energy. I wanted to jump and scream and yell and dance. Dance.
I looked around and saw no one in sight. I flipped through my songs and then decided on “I’m Ready” by AJR. Feeling slightly embarrassed for myself, I danced alone. I thought about how crazy I must have looked, but chose only to feel liberated. After all, nobody was watching.
Feeling elated, I sprinted almost the entire way around Garfield Street and Foxhall Road back to Henle. I entered my apartment, breathing heavily through my teeth, but feeling indescribably light and ready to reenter the rush of Georgetown.
Running isn’t just a form of escapism, it’s also a form of liberation.