Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bridges


Displaying 20140410_121947.jpgThe Verrazano Narrows Bridge is my favorite bridge to run across -- this is where the NYC Marathon begins.  This November, I will toe the starting line on the Verrazano for the fifteenth time.  The funny thing is that standing on this bridge, waiting for the cannon to go off never gets old.  The bridge and the view are both beautiful, the fireworks are amazing, and running to Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York is so inspiring.  During the NYC Marathon, runners also cross over four other bridges that connect the boroughs of the Big Apple.

Symbolically, bridges represent transitional periods in our lives - we are crossing from one place to another.  Every time I run a marathon, I am changed by the events that happen during my 26.2 mile journey.  Inevitably, there will be several significant occurrences during each marathon that become indelibly ingrained in my memory.  

I have witnessed injured runners literally crawl through the finish line.  I have observed the bond between fellow runners when one ceases up with a hamstring cramp and the other stops to massage his muscle so that they can continue to run together, as a unified force, pushing each other to the finish.  I have watched a very special father-son duo complete many marathons that I have participated in -- dad runs as he pushes his disabled son in a special wheelchair. Then, there was one NYC Marathon, when I was running across the Queensborough Bridge and everyone suddenly came to a virtual standstill -- we did not know why until we saw a blind runner who became detached from his guide, unsure of where he was going; our mission then shifted to reuniting the blind man with his guide before we continued our own races.

Bridges are a passage -- they connect us from one place to another. We as runners are all connected through our common goal to get to the finish line. Completing our trek is our rite of passage.