When I moved to Sarasota in 2004, I lived in a well-kept apartment complex off an ugly street with a misleading name: Fruitville Road.
Other than the fact that if you took it due west, you’d run into the Gulf of Mexico, there were only two charming things about the corridor when I lived off it : 1.) When you exited the interstate, you could spot slow-moving cattle on what little ranch land remains in Sarasota. 2.) There was this guy who resembled Danny Glover circa Lethal Weapon 3 who jogged up and down Fruitville in gray sweats.
And Jesus, did he break a sweat; stains the size of Montana.
I was insanely jealous of his dedication and dogged determination. From what I could see, he wasn’t a fast runner and he didn’t wear Spandex or tricked out sneakers. He was just a guy in gray, running the same stretch of Fruitville around 9 a.m. every weekday. His consistency, like all consistent things, gave cadence to my day. I never met him in person and I have no idea where he lived.
After living in my tidy apartment for a year, I decided to schlep all my Goodwill furnishings to a downtown Sarasota bungalow, thus changing my work commute and the frequency in which I spied the Fruitville jogger.
Up until recently, I didn’t give his absence much thought. Not until I spotted him last week huffing it down Fruitville Road in the same gray sweats.
Nearly six years have passed since I saw him and I don’t know why I have these kind of reactions to seemingly meaningless things, but my heart fluttered when I saw him. I was on my way to a 10 a.m. interview and maybe I caught him at just the right time. His 9:30 run.
I often wonder why it is people find sunsets beautiful. Sunrises too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of both, but it’s the human things I find more moving. A lot of things can change in a person’s life to disrupt routines and still the sun will rise and the sun will set. But Danny Glover, sweaty as ever, still jogging down Fruitville Road? That’s impressive.