Running Mount Royal

True story, unedited to make me appear less strange, so no judgement please. I’ve just devoured a vegan orange infused chocolate croissant (after breakfast) and I think it’s a good idea to adventure on Mount Royal. I start to walk up sidewalks, through downtown Montreal, until I get to stairs, a clear path up the mountain. With a burst of energy, I leap up the stairs, two at a time, taking off layers as the evasive sun shines through the clouds. The redish orange scenery is breathtaking as bits of the buildings peak through, reminding me that I’m still in a city.

I get the sudden urge, the need to run. Runners pass by me and climbing is no longer sufficient. I duck into a chalet at the mountain top and slip into a bathroom, slyly leaving my tattered old coat behind, the only thing preventing me from running freely. Outside of the chalet, I spot someone running past me and I follow him, keeping his pace, no idea where I am, but the sheer pleasure of running warms me. Despite my scarf hitting my face, my awkward small bag, the puffer vest, I fall into stride.

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The runner takes a sharp turn and unprepared, I continue straight on the path. I run into a cemetery, unsure of where to go. Once I become aware I’m a lone runner in a big cemetery, I turn around and spot another runner, another path. Falling in step, we run up hills, down trails, past tourists, can they tell I’m a tourist too? A spontaneous runner, who is not prepared or dressed for the occasion aside from my running shoes I happened to put on this morning? I take pleasure in being utterly lost on this mountain, following the crowd, running towards something unknown.

Passing my pace keeper I descend, faster and faster down the mountain. Down winding, gravel paths, I hear music and I run towards it. The music gets louder and I continue to run down hill, increasing my pace and suddenly I run into an open field, a music festival of sorts. Drummers contregate by a large, imposing statue, people leisurely spread out on the lawn, food trucks line the street, and I collapse into the grass. Feeling the steady beating of my heart, the warm if the sun, and energy of the people around me, I settle into this space that I later will find out is called Tam Tam. I have no clue how far I’ve run, how long I’ve been running, a hour maybe? I don’t need to know, for I’ve loved the experience, and I know I will not forget running on Mount Royal.

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