I ran across the street, past the tourists and onto the sidewalk that would guide me along both the harbor and the edges of the North End. Ryan Adams was singing his love anthem to New York into my earbuds, the sun was shining and the breeze was coming off the water and onto my face.

I could taste salt and the sweetness of the sports drink I was carrying around with me. My legs felt great, my pace was steady and I was free to listen to the music and look around the city I love so much. I saw the small crowd of people in lawn chairs watching what I’d originally thought to be a simple pickup basketball game. I watched mothers looking after the children playing in a shallow pool. I passed people enjoying ice cream cones or adjusting their camera straps. I saw folded city maps and resident stickers on cars, Red Sox shirts and visitors trying so hard to blend in that they stood out all the more.

I felt strong and connected to the movement taking place around me. As I made my way to the Aquarium before I started my long loop back home, I wished that the friends who don’t understand “the running thing” could be there with me, experiencing how I felt.

I felt invincible and magically, insanely, joyously content.

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