Greenways Connect Us to Each Other
By Kurt Larson, Ozark Greenways member
Much has been written about the health benefits of getting outside and exercising, but very little has been written about how using the trails can dramatically improve your social life. In my experience, a commitment to regular use of our greenways can produce long-lasting friendships, and could lead you to falling head over heals (or running shoes) in love with someone you meet along the way, like I did. I am living proof that the trails are not just a remedy for the physical and mental drain from the rigors of our busy lives, but also a solution to improving your social health.
It turns out training on the trails is a good way to begin a relationship, a good way to test one, and a good way to help one thrive. As the years pass by us, it has become clear to Sally and I that we are at our best together on Springfield’s trails. Life’s challenging issues and pivotal decisions get their proper consideration during long, slow conversations on runs, walks and bike rides on the trails. As our marriage evolves over the years, the greenways remain our refuge from the world, untethered to a cell phone and without all the distractions of life inside four walls.
If you’re reading this and have a tendency to withdraw from the world and people in it, I encourage you to venture out onto the Ozark Greenways trails and discover what they have to offer you. Trail users are generally a friendly bunch. I think the are softened by the environment around them. The eye contact is better. The friendly waves are more frequent. The trail vibe is generally very relaxed. Give it a shot. You may find, like I did, that the quality of your life improves by making some lasting friends along the trails.