Monday, March 17, 2014

Many Bridges to Cross

32 hours since I’ve run. 

I’m now thousands of miles away.  I am in Brisbane on the way to Sydney for a research project for work. 

In some ways I can’t believe it has been only 32 hours since I ran.  In that time, I showered, packed, helped Daniel change the cat’s litter, took two of my kids grocery shopping, took Christopher to and from his piano lesson, got gas, gave the car to Christopher for the week, made Sherry and me omelets with provolone and pancetta, got picked up by my sister-in-law, took the long way around to BWI, met serendipitously with my research associate who is on the same trip, chatted, was on an interesting flight to Dallas that included an unintended stop in Little Rock, and then had a very long flight from Dallas to Brisbane.

This week I will get to run in Australia again.

Yesterday, back home (or two days ago on the calendar here as it is already Monday morning in Australia), I did a 14 mile run alone.  I was hoping to run with one of my training partners, but her father-in-law is in ad particularly bad state at the moment.  I have not heard from her since Saturday afternoon to know whether he has lost his battle or not.

The run was a nice one.  I left home, ran across Lake to Bellona, down to Melrose, across to Charles, down to Northern, across to Roland, down to 40th, back to University, down to 33rd, over to Harford (via 31st), up to Argonne, over to Hillen, up to Cold Spring, over to Loch Raven, up to Woodbourne, across to York, up to Walker, and then wound around my neighborhood to get to 14.  A great big loop finishing with many twists sand turns to get to my desired outcome.

Total for the year so far: 428.5 miles.  Where does that put me?  Continuing along US 22 West approaching the Cincinnati area.

With 14 miles run at a pace of a bit more than 8 minutes per mile, what did I have time to ponder.  First, the beauty of running streams.  While there was little sign of water in the first half of the run, I ran within site of Lake Montebello and then crossed a number of streams as I wound my way back up to and around my neighborhood. 

But more important than streams is the setting of bridges.  What bridges?  Not just any bridges.  But the bridge on Harford running up from 31st to Argonne that overlooks a stream and a park.  The bridge on Argonne that crosses what is presumably the same stream as I headed west approaching the Morgan State campus.  The bridge on Woodbourne as I traversed from the area just south of Good Samaritan to the businesses of Govans.  And the bridge in my own neighborhood over the little stream near Chinquapin. 

Why is the theme of bridges important?  So much of my job is about building them.  Not constructing them (although we do have a real estate AND infrastructure program at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School).  But building symbolic bridges.  Meaning?  Well, of course, it is similar to the theme of connecting the dots.  I have to find ways to bring together people who need to come together for something that is greater than either side by itself.  I have to find ways to bring people together who might otherwise not be very cooperative with one another.  I have to find ways to get past problems and continue in a positive light.  I love it.  It is one of the reasons that being in a second level management job is the right thing for right now.  And life is good. 

Plus, I like seeing how the bridges hold up.  It brings back memories of running over bridges in Upper Darby in high school. 

Also there are amazingly variable bridges.  Different widths. Some with guard rails and fences.  Some where pedestrians are better protected from cars than others.  But when I am running alone all make me think.  And all give me some idea of what it might be like in a movie about someone just plugging along.

It focuses me on why connections are important.

Looks like I will miss an extra day of running due to luggage that got left behind. 

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