Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Run Around Rokko Island

Most people who live on Rokko Island have a love-hate relationship with it.

I love that my kids are safe and can move around pretty independently.  I love that we have used our bikes as our main mode of transportation for the past 7 years. I can get to the grocery store and to work within a 10 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride.

Rokko Island has seen our family grow.  Our babies have grown up here to be little people. At this point,  Rokko Island is home. We are closing a chapter on a big stage of our lives. A stage that wasn't always easy.  Raising two energetic kids as two full-time working parents is no short order, as many of you can attest to.

But, life "on-island" can be boring.  I can't easily get a gift or a new pair of shoes or buy a shirt a few hours before Maximo's concert because I realized he has outgrown everything since the last time he had to dress up. You often run into the same people on island and most days it doesn't feel very Japanese.

There are some decent restaurants on island.  But, we've eaten at all of them and you can only go back to Ritza so many times (their Salty Dogs will continue to draw me in with cool hand-chipped ice and fresh grapefruit juice).

When they were little, the kids were pretty happy just roaming to different playgrounds and hanging out at the River Mall.  While, they still are entertained with this, it's harder to fun tons of fun on island.

But, this post is about The Greenbelt. The greenbelt has been my unlikely oasis for the past 7 years. It often provides me with the only time I have for myself all week.  Sometimes it's only a 5k run once a week.  On a good week, in a good month, I'm lucky to double or triple my kilometers.

It's my sanity, my space, my time to meet with friends or rock out to my running mix and figure things out or just breathe.

I have made some of my best friends through running.  I am a much more consistent runner with a running buddy.  I love that so much can be shared on those runs or nothing at all.  I love that one of us could have the best run in years and the other maybe struggling to put one foot in front of the other, but we are all glad that we did it when we are done with our run and we are ready to start our day.

Today, I got out early for the first time in a long time, on a work day, which doesn't happen that much anymore.  I stopped to take pictures and enjoy my favorite views on my run because I will only run this loop a few more times. I may never run this path again after June 12th.

And I don't ever want to forget what it has given me.

Overgrown path - only scheduled mowings here, regardless of rain or season

Shipping cranes guarding the island

Palm trees!  Living somewhere with palm trees is always good for my soul.
Beautiful view of early morning on the South end of the Island

More Wild Cranes
Early Bird Bathroom Break
Our train stop (facing the opposite way due to the sun).
Usually my last sprint of my run.
Often the starting point to really fun nights out and adventures in Japan.

My cool down walk home
5K Greenbelt Loop on Rokko Island

So, I'll enjoy my last few runs on Rokko Island to keep my sanity and enjoy the beautiful weather over the next few weeks... And hope for a new running oasis in Beijing.


Liz said...

This was nice to read, Julie. Some of your pics gave me a new perspective on the look of the gb. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jason Mc Cary said...

Funny the things that impact as we leave one home for another. I still remember our walks around bribing our children with M&M's and Shannon's phone so that we could get some exercise. I always liked walking by the sports fields and hearing the endless chatter, the stretch where the cherry trees would almost grown into the perfect canopy (before they would inevitably trim them back), and the trees in the northwest corner by the wall that would turn the most incredible shades in the fall. Thanks for the read and the memories and I completely understand your juxtaposition of Rokko Island and sometimes I still miss its simplicity. Enjoy your time left and please have some Chu-Hi's for Shannon.

Linda Dabley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Dabley said...

Dear Julie,

What a beautiful was nostalgic and brought both a tear to my eye and a smile to my face!!! I remember the sanity the GB brought to me.....never boring of it because it always changed with the seasons, with the weather, sunset, twilight. I never forget running around it with my buddies.....the company, the chats the camaraderie. Living here in Vientiane has made me miss the GB, long for it actually, it may have only been 5km but it was 5km of wonderful on so many levels. Thank you for sharing :)

SPholidays said...

nice one

مؤسسة الحرمين said...

شركة عزل اسطح بالقطيف