Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Very Good Day

I had A Very Good Day. It started with this morning's run (well, it actually started with a *looong* overdue conversation last night, but that...that story's just for the conversation's participants right now). I spent the entire drive in debating whether I should do the easy thing, and run on the treadmill, or take a chance, dare do something new and find my way outside to run along the waterfront. It looked like it would be warm enough and light enough to run outside. But I hadn't looked at a map of where to go, just had a general idea of where might offer a good trail. And oddly enough, I was a little intimidated by the idea of how the badge/building security thing worked going out the loading dock door. I decided that was a *lame* excuse for not taking advantage of light and temperate conditions. The guard looked a little annoyed at my uninformed fumblings, but I made my way out with minimal difficulties.

It was still pretty dark when I left the building, with the eastern sky barely shifting to deep purple. It occurred to me somewhere about half-way up 2nd St, that this really wasn't the best neighborhood and it probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done to be running in the barely-light by myself. I'll carry my knife next time. The waterfront was deserted, and the fish market quiet. I hung a left under the bridges, and took the path around to the Jefferson Memorial.

I haven't spent nearly enough time out in the history of this city, so I was gleefully delighted to find myself in the midst of three beautiful memorials on the banks of the Tidal Basin this morning. I paused for a moment to appreciate Jefferson, silhouetted against the sky streaked with the early pink and gold of dawn. Then I made my way, backwards through the FDR Memorial, so I saw Eleanor first in the "Fourth Term" section, then FDR in his wheelchair, and the fountain. I loved the weathered patina of this memorial. A little further on was the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial, which I slowed to walk through because there were signs that said no running. And I wouldn't have wanted to run anyway...I would have missed the inspiring quotes along the marble sides that built to the mountain of despair, from which the stone of hope had separated.

As cheesy as it sounds, I walked out of that space refreshed and, (ugh, really?) rejuvenated.

The whole run was a good reminder that sometimes (lotsa times, I think -- many more than we usually realize), it's better just to dare.

The day in the office passed with a smile on my face. I even think I did a decent job on an analysis of a proposed initiative (though not without significant input from discussions with my sponsor and office-mate (two separate people) and the XO). And there was cake...from a birthday celebration for a couple of the ladies across the hall.

The only minor frustration with the day was leaving...lots of other folks in the office had huge worklists for a meeting planned for tomorrow afternoon. And as much as I wanted to and offered to help, there was really no way for me to usefully contribute. I finally decided the best way I could add to the effort was to get out of everybody's hair and go home...That made more sense when I said it to myself. Now it just sounds like a pathetic excuse to leave.

But, all in all, A Very Good Day.


Azulao said...

So glad you had a good day!

And, what a great story...I loved my last visit to DC, with the sense of History and Nation pervading the area. It's easy to forget that this nation, with all its troubles, is a grand experiment in being the best humans we can be; a visit to the Capitol helped remind me. The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite, for that reason. It's nice that they don't allow running in the MLKJr memorial. Show the respect of attention.

Nah, if you can't contribute, get out. You're taking up oxygen. ;-)

Sassenach said...

"Not the best neighborhood..." In 1996, I witnessed a murder in broad daylight just two blocks from HQ. In fall of 2001, having worked late, and in the company of two others, narrowly avoided a robbery as we walked (and then ran) to a car parked a block away. I know of two occasions where lunch-time joggers found bodies.

The morning jog is probably safer, since most criminals aren't early risers, but there are better routes to run alone.

Haven't been at HQ in a while, but Coasties used to be able to gain access to the back gate of Fort McNair and run through to the main gate, which lets out on to the riverfront area. There are also a lot of soldiers out running that time of day, so you'll have some company.