Catching of the Dog

Since I have moved to the East Village, I have almost always spent a portion of my runs going along the East River. I like running in the city sometimes as well, but for longer distances it is nice to run without having to weave through walkers, stop at red lights, or get lost following green ones. To get to the East River, there a number of highway overpasses that can be taken to cross over the FDR Drive. When crossing over from E Houston Street, however, the crossing is not an overpass but rather a crossable roundabout with a number of traffic lights and a down ramp on the far side that runs down to the East River parks and running path.

This morning, I crossed over from E Houston Street and as I got to the ramp and began running down, a dog was running my way with its owner running behind it. This was not a coordinated run between canine and master. This was the canine escaping the master, and running right towards one of the busiest roundabouts in Manhattan. Noise-cancelling airpods still in, I got into a defensive stance and blocked the dogs path, eventually grabbing it when it tried to make its move, and holding it where it was up until the owner caught up.

Now, I do not want to sound too heroic. Whatever dog you may be picturing in your imagination, I am reluctant to admit that it was only one of those small chihuahua-looking things. Still, it might well have been a dead chihuahua-looking thing if I was not turning onto that ramp at the moment that I did, which would have been the case if the traffic lights led me to taking the 5th Street overpass instead of the E Houston St. crossing, or if I did not take the extra minute to take a big empty shipping box down from my 5th floor apartment to the 1st floor garbage area this morning. Today’s catching of the dog came down to a lot of luck and a little bit of having some awareness in the moment, as well as a decently imposing defensive stance, mostly due to my size, which is also mostly due to luck. This is a great example by which one can appreciate the butterfly effects of seemingly small and insignificant happenings, which I wrote about previously in my post called “No such thing as good or bad”.

This morning I woke up at 7:55, did my fourth day of an introductory meditation series on this new app called Waking Up by Sam Harris (which I learned about through Tim Ferriss), drank a 32 ounce cup of water, wrote a page in my journal, ran 7 miles, listened to this podcast with Laura Deming about extending the human healthspan while I ran, and might have even saved a dog’s life. Now I have also written my blog for the day, and it is still just before noon as I finish writing.

I will close with the words that I so often write in my journal to kick things off in a positive way.

Today is a good day.