Fast feet push the ground, but I cannot hear the thud-thud-thud because of the music in my headphones, a different kind of thud-thud-thud. I push up Terwilliger, a hill that seems so hidden, so unknown. Then I look to the left and I see the view of Portland, and I know that I have been here before. I am taken back to that moment. I return in my mind to that evening, as my feet press forward.
Two weeks after I got off the airplane from Oklahoma City in Seattle, I took the bus down to Portland to view an apartment I had an inquiry in for. I stayed with my friends Lindsay and Evan. Their apartment seemed bigger without a Christmas Tree. In the evening, we got into Evan’s truck to drive down to Multnomah Village. Windows rolled down, the cool evening air as we drove 405 to Barbur. I think. I do not remember where, I just remember the crisp smell in the air, the feeling of newness and possibility and hope.
Evan and I drank a beer while Lindsay went to her ballet lesson. Sasquatch Brewery, a crisp IPA on the patio took just the right amount of time. Then we were driving again. “I think we’ll take Terwilliger,” Evan said. I saw the downhill side of Terwilliger, as the sun set on the city, as walkers and runners and bicyclists went by in both directions as we drove. We stopped to take pictures of this beautiful city. The sun was setting, and a perfect purple-pink hue dominated the background of a city, a true city.
What I love about Portland is that anything is possible, that almost anywhere is possible and I can walk there. I can run up hills, I can run through forests, I can walk through urban density and explore suburban sprawl. All within the comfort of my city.
My feet push me up Terwilliger, and I wonder “was this the spot I took that photo?” “am I close to the top of the hill?” “How long do I have to keep going?” “How far have I made it?”
The Nike Run App tells me I have made it another mile. I receive another cheer from someone liking a post on Facebook. Yeah, I set up my running app to let my friends cheer for me while I run.
As I run up this hill, as I bend around the corners, I wonder which turnout was the one I took pictures of the city from. As I run, I realize I am doing a thing I have imagined since I moved to the city, but never dreamed of being able to do. Running up Terwilliger.
One step at a time.