Portrait Project, day 45: A push up in the park

Anybody who truly knows me knows my odd obsession with running hills.  Maybe it's because I've lived at the top of hills most of my life.  The street I grew up on, Chamberlain Rd., was the steepest hill in Pasadena.  We lived at the very top.  When I would beg my dad to pick me up from school so that I didn't have to walk up our hill he would say, "You've got two Cadillacs on the ends of those legs!".  So, maybe it wasn't something I was born with, but I grew to love any spot that was high above... Ironically, I have worked as a flight attendant soaring 39,000 feet above the earth for nine years.  

Buena Vista park is just a hop skip from my apartment in the Castro, and it's filled with dozens of pathways that all include hills or stairs.  Normally when I run through BV I see loads of amazing photo ops, and I always wish I had remembered my camera.  Today, I grabbed my little green Fuji and held it in my hand, hoping to cross paths with someone interesting.  Two times around the hill and it was like the Twilight Zone episode where everyone vanished and the guy was trying to figure out what happened.  I decided that I would not give up though, and made a pact that I would keep running until I got my portrait.  It was looking like I would be on a very long run... I decided to turn up the stairs instead of continue on the paved path, and half way up I see a man in red pants dart out in front of me and shout out "Come on! You can do it!"  I said back "aww, I'm just gunna walk these today."   He kept running up and egged me on to follow him, so I kicked it into full gear and ran after him.  At the top, I saw his client on the grass doing push ups, and he called out "10!  9!  8!...."  He looked at me as if to say "You. Get down too!"  So I fell to the ground and joined in for the last count... "7!  6! 5!..."  I got this shot of Shua just before he leapt away with his client for more drills, and I thanked him for the kick in the butt.  He made me promise I'd keep doing the push ups for the rest of my run.  Now, how could I say no to a face like that?  


Jason just wanted to enjoy a day off of work free from lines and crowds. Unfortunately, he lives in San Francisco.