This is one of those "This is why we can't have nice things" kind of columns.
The reason this time – lazy people. I'm calling out the fans of the kids playing on the back fields of the Minden Recreation Complex.
Let me rewind a bit. I knew when I left the Shreveport area, one of the main things I would miss is the running path along Clyde Fant Parkway. Well lit, marked, several miles long, limited to pedestrian/bicycle traffic only, I could run any distance, anytime with my noise cancelling headphones with (mostly) no worries of getting hit by a crazy driver. The therapy of asphalt pounding.
Not so much the case in Minden. I started making laps around downtown, but there are alleys, speeding drivers, drivers who don't pay attention to pedestrian crossings... It was just a matter of time before someone was writing a news story about me.
Then I had the "aha" moment – there's a multi-million recreation complex right around the corner. How had I forgotten the running path encircling the dozen or so fields that I had written about so many times in the past?
My first outing was Tuesday evening. There was a softball game in the back quadrant of fields. My first thought was – "Those poor kids. There's no one there to cheer for them." After all, there were no cars in the parking lot.
I rounded the fields on the east side, following the path across the end of the parking lot to between the back two fields.
And found where the fans were parked.
I first nearly tripped into a muddy crater of busted asphalt, obviously caused by too much vehicle traffic on a pedestrian path. Then I was nearly backed over – twice – because there are no designated spaces or lanes for vehicles.
Those incidents I can forgive. Who wants to actually get a little bit of exercise at a recreation complex by walking across a parking lot when they're only there as spectators? I mean, 50 yards is a really, really, excruciatingly long way to walk after a stressful day of work.
It was after making it through softball-mom-parking-gauntlet, that I became rather irritated. It was the (insert expletive of choice) in a gray Chevy pick-up following me. On the running path.
On my right-of-way. He eventually veered onto the grass and sped away.
You, Mr. Chevy, are why we can't have nice things. You, Mom-too-Lazy-to-Walk-Across-the-Parking-Lot, are why we can't have nice things. You, Man-who-Blocks-Everyone-Else-In, are why we can't have nice things.
Now, I know we're a little redneck in north Louisiana and are accustomed to making our own parking spaces should the need arise. But there are dozens of painted spaces on asphalt.
I write this as a person who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the gym then runs several miles a day after work – park in the parking lot and walk, the exercise will probably do you good.
Kristi Martin is an award winning journalist and reporter for the Press-Herald. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @WrittenNRed.