Friday’s Five Favourite things . . . the Emancipation Park

Been a while, eh?!

Today I thought it would be nice to highlight my favourite things about the park in which I go jogging. Most, if not all of you will have heard me mention my evening jogs and my long-standing endeavour to run a 5k from start to finish without pausing to catch my breath mid-race. This year I plan to participate in as many 5k’s as humanly possible not because I have anything to prove but just because it’s my way of ensuring that I maintain a lifestyle that includes vigorous exercise.

A friend and I were discussing the other day our fitness levels, and she mentioned how she detested jogging/running. Like, she really hates jogging. I couldn’t help but smile as she said this as I too, once hated jogging. I remember a while back when I could jog 10 laps the Emancipation Park (which has a 500m track . . . yes!) and I still put on weight. That was a very disappointing moment for me, to learn that jogging does nothing for me with regards to loosing weight. But I’ve now gotten to the point where I jog because it’s good for the heart as a cardiovascular exercise, it promotes strong bones, it doesn’t cost anything, and I like running past people on the track or in the race. I don’t know why, I just love that feeling of overtaking and running lef’ smaddy.

Yesterday, as I made my way to the Emancipation Park I began thinking about the things I liked about the Park and why I’m thrilled we have a park such as this to facilitate us joggers and other fitness nuts in Kingston.

Location

The Emancipation Park is smack dab in the middle of Kingston, accessible from 3 different directions, and in close proximity to the New Kingston business district. As most sit in traffic inching their way out of the New Kingston area on their way home, many others make their way to the park to put in an hour of much needed exercise which is a much better waste of time than sitting in traffic.

Meeting place

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Redemption Song statue

On any given night the park is almost crowded with all sorts of people from all walks of life. There are the joggers and walkers making their way around the tracks. There are the bystanders who stroll through the park, some sit to have a chat with their friends, others sit to watch everybody else, some come to study, some come to practise some song or dance for their upcoming performance, and a couple of others come to play table tennis (there are 2 newly installed tables) with their audience watching on.

Food

Now, although I have food as one of the good things about the park’s location, in truth I hate that there is an ice-cream outlet right across the road from the entrance of the park. So every time I go to jog I have resist the temptation of stopping for some ice-cream either before or after. It just aint conducive for a jogger like myself. I oft times see the regular patrons of the park enjoying their cone of ice-cream and I get a serious bout of jealousy. But they probably feel the same way about me and my jogging (at least I hope ;). There is also a great jerk pit beside the ice-cream place across the road from the park. They are another story all together. It aint nice to be jogging merrily along and the sweet sweet smell of some jerk chicken box you dung, you wudda run go ova deh fi even a likkle jerk chicken wing. Jerk food smell good you see. Also not conducive for the jogger in me.

Events

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One entrance leading up to the amphitheatre

The Emancipation Park has proven to be one central ground with capacity to host a public event any night of the week. And I love the fact that regardless of the event, the jogging track is always open. So even though finding parking can be tricky because of the number of patrons for the event, I like the possibility to jogging to some live music at the park. That is a very nice aspect I don’t think many realise. During this month – Reggae Month & Black History Month, there is bound to be some live music at the park at least once a week and that to me is beautiful.

Sunsets

The last thing but by no means the least, there are evenings when the setting sun illuminates the sky and it is beyond beautiful. Many an evening I’ve had to stop jogging just to capture a picture of the setting sun. The sky goes orange, the clouds like a painting, and the glow across the grounds is spectacular. It amazes me whenever I am greeted with a sunset like that from the park which is on the flat of Kingston; I can only imagine what that sunset looks like from the hills.

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How could I not stop to take a pic?

Beautifully awesome and breathtaking.

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Reflection of the sunset
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I remember thinking “the sky is on fire tonight!”

So yeah, the Emancipation Park a shot!

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