Holiday season inspires a Greenway way of life

Posted 1/7/17

This time of year it’s a reminder no one wants to hear; that’s because it’s a reminder everyone needs to hear.

Yes, the holiday season — with all its indulgences — has come to a …

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Holiday season inspires a Greenway way of life

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This time of year it’s a reminder no one wants to hear; that’s because it’s a reminder everyone needs to hear.

Yes, the holiday season — with all its indulgences — has come to a close.

When we say “indulgences,” we’re not talking about all the smiles, cheer, goodwill and fellowship. We’re talking about all those rich casseroles, the yummy desserts, the boxes of candy and cookies and cakes ... and the extra calories that come with all.

Yes, the holiday season has come to a close. And speaking of “close,” here’s a homonym of interest: Thanks to all the snacking, nibbling and second servings, how many of us are finding it a little more difficult to fit into our “clothes?”

As we said, it’s that time of year.

For those who’d like, call it a resolution. For those who don’t, just call it a return to normalcy. Regardless of term, it’s time to shed a few of those pounds that Grandmom’s downhome cooking or recipes made possible in a hometown kind of way.

But don’t panic. It doesn’t have to come overnight. It can take — and it probably will take — several days to undo what the sense of taste has done.

Might we suggest the Cleveland/Bradley Greenway, a four-mile gift to the people of Cleveland and Bradley County that is intended for the well-being of the people of Cleveland and Bradley County?

We last wrote about it 13 months ago, three days after the sweet-potato casseroles and pumpkin pies of Thanksgiving and a couple weeks ahead of the first Christmas gathering whose tables were as full of delicacies as the Christmas trees were surrounded by colorful packages.

Then, we encouraged moderation at the table as well as consideration of a regime in movement. We suggested the Greenway. And we do so again.

Why do people choose the Greenway? Why do we recommend the Greenway?

For one thing, it’s free. No fees. No contracts. No budget allocation nor discretionary spending. And although it’s free, it’s still good for you.

Why do people use the Greenway?

Have a seat. Let’s talk.

Some folks use the Greenway because they love to walk.

Some folks use the Greenway because they love to run.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s a rare blend; they get to socialize with friends and loved ones while reaping the benefits of motion.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s a direct route from Point A to Point B, whether they’re traveling by foot or bicycle or skateboard.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s a great reliever of stress at day’s end.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s an invigorating start to a day and it takes the edge off problems that await at the office.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s heart-healthy, it releases all those marvelous hormones called endorphins, and it keeps the bones and muscles limber and loose.

Some folks use the Greenway because it clears the mind and frees the spirit.

Some folks use the Greenway because they know they overate and now they’re trying to return a proper balance to their lifestyle.

Some folks use the Greenway because they’re tired; that’s right, they understand the value of physical exercise in restoring lost strength and drained energy.

Some folks use the Greenway because they enjoy fresh air.

Some folks use the Greenway because they tire of being cooped up in the office all day only to get home to be cooped up in the house all night.

Some folks use the Greenway because its path now stretches for more than four miles of freedom.

Some folks use the Greenway because its amenities have grown over the past 14 years; we refer to conveniences and assets like restrooms, water fountains, benches, informative historic markers, works of art, a public stage and pavilion, plenty of shade and ample sunlight, and even a dog park. All are maintained by city crews, which is yet another linear park plus.

Some folks use the Greenway because — literally — it is a gift to its users, and future users, by local, state and federal governments, and civic, business, nonprofit and church leaders who understand how it enhances our homegrown quality of life.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s a safe place to walk their dogs and a safe passage to a park of their own.

Some folks use the Greenway because they’ve heard all the hype; now, they want to see it, and use it, for themselves.

Some folks use the Greenway because it’s a connector, a reliable route to retail and shops and restaurants offering ample parking and dependable access.

People of all shapes and sizes, genders and persuasions, and customs and cultures use the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.

They use it because it’s theirs.

They use it because it’s a part of life in a community they love.

They use it because it’s another reason for living, and for staying, in “The City With Spirit.”

We hope you’ll join them ... even if you didn’t overindulge during the holidays.

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