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Reasons For Running

            Why is it that you go running? For most people the answer to this question is to get exercise. In the poems The ABC of Aerobics by Peter Meinke and Mexicans Begin Jogging by Gary Soto the characters run but they run for different reasons. The poems differ in ways and are similar in ways because of the characters, setting, and tone present.
             The main characters in each poem ran for a reason. Who they were is what the deciding factor in their running was. In The ABC of Aerobics the protagonist was running for exercise. He was concerned about his health. The line "everyone's jogging through Edgemont Park" goes to show that he is not the only one thinking about bettering his health. Even while running though this person dreamed of a life where his running is not necessary and where he is already in shape. In Mexicans Begin Jogging this guy was running to escape the border patrol. He was running for his life not for exercise. Even though he was an American he ran because he was told to do so. He figured there would be too much complication if he didn't. While running both men in the poems had other things on their minds. They were both dreaming of other things while running. Dreaming of a life with out the need for exercise is what the character was doing in The ABC of Aerobics. In Mexicans Begin Jogging he was dreaming about the reactions of the people along the street who were watching him run. The same action was being preformed but each man was doing that action for different reasons. .
             Location can make a big difference in why a person may be running or how they are reacting to the running. Each man in the two poems was outdoors. They were running down the street and through a park past others either looking on or running themselves. In the ABC of Aerobics the man was running through a park. He was outside surrounded by others running for exercise as well. Like others looking for exercise a park was a good place to get it.

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