Blog Post 6 CSLC – Running to Notre Dame

I like to run. I throw on my headphones, put on some punk rock, and clear my mind. When I was in Paris last summer, I was never able to establish a running routine, but this year, I created a habit of running before dinner. I would walk down Rue de Pontoise onto Quai de la Tournelle and then down onto the banks of the Seine. The run east was always interesting. I would run past people dancing by the banks, and people meeting up for picnics with their friends. I would run under bridges that always smelled bad. I would see restaurants and boats with houses, restaurants, and even a boat converted into a swimming pool, Piscine Joséphine Baker. All of these were true in Paris. I would see other people out for a run, all going about their day-to-day life. I was not an American Tourist when I would go for a run. I was just another weirdo trying out this new trend called jogging!

The return trip, however, was the best part of the day. I would be exhausted from running, and pain in my ankles thanks to the uneven cobblestone of the banks, but then I would see Notre Dame de Paris on the horizon. It was my beacon home. Once I saw the cathedral, I knew my run was almost over. It was one of the coolest feelings I experienced in Paris. I had gone beyond just being a tourist, but that cathedral would consistently take my breath away. To be able to enter into the routineness of a daily jog, but allow it to be highlighted by the beauty of Paris, this showed me I had made it. 

These runs were my victory lap. They proved that I could belong in Paris, and as of today, a week since my return, I miss those runs the most. They were nothing special but showed me that I could be a normal Parisian. Running is not always easy, but every time I saw Notre Dame in view, I would start to smile. Suddenly, I was not just running to stay in shape, I was running to be a part of the city. On the last run I took, I could not help to think how reflective each run was of my own Parisian experience. It was all just one big journey away from Notre Dame, and in a few short days, I will be back under the Golden Dome.