Monday, February 4, 2013

The "Baltimore" Way

After the Ravens won the Super Bowl last night both the quarterback and the coach were interviewed (as, I am sure, were many other player and people related to the team(.  What caught my attention were similar comments made by the quarterback and the coach.  Each said, essentially, that the win was not pretty or easy but that it was a win and what was the way things were done in Baltimore.

Why did this catch my attention?  Well, as I look back and look ahead, I think of what I used to think symbolized my life and my running.  Growing up outside Philadelphia, I used to take a lot of inspiration from the Rocky movies (particularly the original and the first sequel--not so much the rest).  What I took away was the underdog, the almost getting something, the fact that the almost getting something still involved an incredible process, and the coming back to succeed on a second try.  

Looking ahead, I think of my career since undergrad.  There were steps that I took that were not the most obvious and didn't always make things the easiest.  Switching away from a comfortable major in undergrad.  Taking on a double program in graduate school with one of the two being something that was still kind of new to me.  Taking on a position at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with no prior grant experience.  Failing to take the "simplest" path to promotion.  Deciding after reaching full professor that teaching was my passion.  And now taking on a position for which I think I am ready but for which even my new boss (i.e., the Dean of the Business School at JHU) has said there are some things I will need to do that I have not demonstrated before.  Even in my running--I have always had the ability and the talent but I took nearly 20 years off and then came back.  I have come back to a combination of different challenges but carried on.  Even in my music, I decided to take on a new instrument in my mid 30's to join a worship band.

Each example, I have not done things the most obvious way, the prettiest way, or the easiest way, but I have succeeded despite the less than obvious choices.  Hopefully this will continue to describe my adult hometown football team.  Hopefully this may describe my adult hometown as it tries to bring itself to a greater sense of economic and general well-being.  And hopefully it will continue to describe my own life.

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