Exercising

Free therapy in the Forest Preserve

Ten deer, a blue jay, a dozen retirees and me. Oh, and my sleeping baby. We were the only ones in the Forest Preserve this past Friday morning.

I hadn’t planned to seek out the tranquility of the Forest Preserve, but I couldn’t help but feel rejuvenated. When I decided to add another run to my weekly regimen, I found the best way to squeeze it in was to tack it on to my Friday morning errands. The Forest Preserve is just west of my kids’ school, and while I love running on the beach, there’s no route in Chicago that I know of that is more serene than the endless miles of Forest Preserve.

In the four miles that I traversed last Friday, the only sounds were the wildlife and moving water along the Chicago River. With no one on a phone or even an iPod, even the passersby were silent. I couldn’t help but wonder if my generation will know how to be alone in such quiet when we’re retirees.

So do yourself a favor. Take a walk, run or bike ride by yourself through the Forest Preserve sometime before you reach retirement age. You might find the calm amidst the chaos of your everyday life is exactly what you need.

The Forest Preserve is generally along both sides of the Chicago River, but to reach the best trails, be sure you’re on the west side of the Chicago River. Park near Dempster and Lehigh and head south for a great route.

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