Erin and I dared to go for a run. I attempted to dress in the most culturally appropriate athletic attire that I owned, which comprised of an old soccer jersey and baggy black capris. Wearing significantly more clothing than required at McMaster’s The Pulse, which often causes frustration because its rule forbidding sleeveless shirts, we set off down the beach. Running in significantly more clothes under a significantly hotter sun made it slightly unpleasant. A diet consisting primarily of bread and secondarily of pastries and a schedule for the past 2 weeks lacking in any real physical activity made it horrendously more difficult than usual.
Overall I had expected a worse experience. After leaving my apartment while on the short walk to the Acima I was greeted by a rather aggressive Bonne soire which seemed to be prompted by my outfit. This lead me to expect the worse. While on the run, many people stared, and understandably so, as we were the only obvious female foreigners running in the area. Some made comments as we passed, which for the most part just provided entertainment. One individual decided to carefully flick his soccer ball into Erin path, which she proceeded to gracefully jumped over. For the most part we were ignored and it was greatly appreciated. Our fellow joggers even gave that subtle head nod of acknowledgment that so often occurs on Toronto streets.
It was perhaps the traffic and lack of side walk at certain sections which provided the most significant hazards. The sidewalk turned into a collection of jagged rocks loosely stuck in the sandy soil providing ample opportunity to turn an ankle. The most difficult aspect of the entire experience, besides the large hill at the end of the beach, was crossing the 6 lane of traffic just to get to the appropriate sidewalk.
I am happy we ran; it just makes me wish we had started sooner.