Life Life

14/07/2020 - 21:26

Doing Exercises by the Perfume River

If you are visiting the walking paths along the banks of the Huong River in the early morning, whether in late afternoon or even at noon, you will see a bit of life color painted by the vibrant sportive atmosphere here.

The spacious pedestrian street along the Huong River

The path is merely short and narrow but showcases almost every type of physical activity. The first one was the walking group. Some were in a composed manner, others are in haste, seemingly being afraid of getting behind the clock. But generally, they were all moving around talking lively while swinging their hands in the air, which, with a little bit of notice, we would hear the cracking sounds of their colliding joints, which seemed to introduce a relaxing state on their face.

Next to the walking troop was the running gang. The people in this group showed up with neat clothes, their shoes matched their socks, equipped with earphones and watches that can count their heart rate or running miles... Of course, there were also plenty of people who hit the place with comfortable outfits such as sleeper shirts or shorts. Their stress was clearly put on the run.

Some people ran leisurely in combination with hand swinging while some who ran marathon while listening to music. The group sometimes made a turn when passing the static groups or speeding up to overpass the walkers. In such moments, many people turned their heads back to greet the people they saw as if they were friends. But when being asked, it appeared that they had no ideas about each other’s name, though knowing mutually by face as they had come across each other here too often.

The next in the list, after the walkers and runners, was the in-place exercisers. They stood practicing deep breathing, stretching their arms, rubbing their hands, and moving their legs, all together to heat their limbs in the loud shouts of the group leader. After the warm-up time, they got in the stance to form the base of support, bending their torso and then slowly moved along the tai chi posture while looking far ahead with dreamy eyes.

Also, spreading in the area were the colorful boards of yoga lovers. They sat, lied, stood, and kneed according to the yoga movement, separating themselves from the surrounding hustle.

Of course, there are more activities apart from running or movement therapy taking place in the paths along the banks of the Perfume River. Since the installation of multifunctional exercise machines thanks to the socialization movement of physical activities, this street has become more and more bustling, vibrant, and full of life colors as hundreds, thousands of people come here every early morning, late afternoon, and even noon time to practice their own gyms.

Single and parallel bar stations in the area where multifunctional exercise machines are located

At the place where these machines are located, there was a man “planting a banana tree” (up-side-down using his shoulders) on parallel bars. While he was flexing his arm and belly muscles with his face turning red and about to make a landing off the bars, his wife suddenly encouraged him to hold it for a little bit longer, just for her to shoot a great photo to post on Facebook.

He thought she wanted to shoot him from distance to capture the “banana tree” he planted on the bars, but it turned out the wife came closer and suggested some close-up selfies. After just two or three shots, the husband was already out of breaths, asking for approval to “conclude”. But she shook her head, saying that as his face looked horrible in the photos, he had to do it again, but this time with a bright smile, so as the pictures would be worthy of the post.

Some meters from the parallel bar situates a waist exercise machine (I do not know if it is correct, kind of a gear where people stand on it and twist their hip). Here, a woman was twisting really hard on the disc while urging a friend who was holding the phone to quickly click the camera button or else she would soon get... dizzy. Yet, after those shots, she asked the man to retake the pictures, as she looked so sweaty and her hair was tangled up – which was not appropriate for being shown on Facebook’s wall. This suddenly got the man into confusion as he threw his eyes all around yet could not find a towel or a comb to “embellish” the appearance of his spontaneous “fitness model”.

The atmosphere of physical exercises on this path simply could not be wrapped up in what has been pictured above. There is much more than that. In the ambient music of Zumba or Chachacha, etc., are groups of women and girls, mothers and children with eye-catching costumes, who some of them, even in the early morning, still did not forget to apply some lipstick and powder, moving along with the music in tandem with a professional manner.

Next to them were the men whose body looked like that of Arnold Schwarzenegger. These bodybuilders were showing off their muscles in gestures that would not be comprehensible for those who are not familiar with the sport. Via some questions, it was learned that these men were bored of locking themselves in the gym club, so they organized these kinds of “extra-curriculum” sections to find new airs and at the same time promote the benefits of bodybuilding to a broader public.

It would be a big flaw not to mention the cycling team. On the luxurious stone-paved road, some were separating themselves from the team to sprint to the lead, some were riding leisurely in parallel and chatting. Of course, we could also see some people, whose bikes had been parked by the trees, lying and sitting on the grass and resting their hands on the forehead to contemplate the river. Some were taking the time to swing their arms and legs and inhale the fresh morning air and now and then got startled by the greeting sound from the of the SUP (stand-up paddle board) group sailing on the poetic Huong River.

* * *

Now, on top of the places for physical activities and sports in Ngo Mon Square, Ham Nghi Square, Truong Tien Bridge, the square in front of Quoc Hoc School for the Gifted and so on, the people of the ancient capital city have had one more great place to enjoy the value of life through practicing physical activities – that is the walking path along the two banks of the Perfume River. This vibrant atmosphere of physical activities has made it more evident that Hue has become a more and more dynamic and livable city.

Story and photos: HAN DANG

Share