Thursday, March 22, 2007

Time

I first met this fellow back in ‘89/’90, when I was a young consultant, called up to Washington DC to do whatever the partner needed. My business suit hardly masked my inexperience, which contrasted sharply with two distinguished gentlemen on the team, former Air Force Colonels, 40 years my senior and several worlds of experience wiser than I. They were kind enough to take us kids to dinner, followed by a trip to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, with a final stop to see him. I still remember Colonel Bill Neill remarking that this was his favorite monument in the city, which has no shortage of them.

I never knew where he was, until this morning when lo and behold, I ran right into him. From Dupont Circle, I had planned to run to the Lincoln Memorial and back, and as I was waiting to cross Constitution Ave, I saw him tucked away behind the bushes. I went back around, and for a few minutes, it was just me and Al alone again, looking just like he did that night some 17 years ago.

At times like these, I invariably start reflecting back: Where has all the time gone? What did I do all these years? Did I make the right decisions? Did I use every opportunity? Hell, who knows? No, I never regret any decisions, but no, I also surely didn’t make full use of everything that life threw at me. Nothing to do now but move forward anyway.

So move forward I did. Literally that is. I was motoring up 23rd street on my way back, when across from the State Department, I finally bit it. In my short running career, I’ve come close several times but I’ve never gone down. Today, I hit an unmarked, poorly repaired pothole that was now bulging with asphalt. I went down on all fours at full speed (well, my full speed), and luckily only 100-150 people were there to witness it. I had gloves and long pants on, so injuries of the physical kind were nothing to write about.


Onward.

10 comments:

susie said...

We pull inspiration from a variety of sources, don't we? I've realized that we must continue to take what life throws at us and make the best of it--always. Thanks for reminding me! glad you are ok, by the way

peter said...

Ouch! The only time I went down like that was when I was running in the dark on a broad smooth sidewalk alongside a lit road at 4 am on a trip to Denver once (6 am "my" time) and I started thinking, Wasn't there a construction zone on this sidewalk when I ran by yesterday afternoon? That was the instant I hit at speed the three foot high construction tape stretched between two construction sawhorses with no low blinking marker lights. I went down hard in the dark, fortunately nothing was broken but my pride but I really abraided my knuckles. Double fortunately, no one saw it.

You should have shouted out you were still here, Rich, we could have run National's already infamous Calvert Climb out of Rock Creek Park a mile north of Dupont Circle that I'll have to tackle tomorrow at MP 19; 200 feet elevation in 1/10 mile. The best advice I've heard for it so far is--hope there's a water stop at the bottom and walk up it drinking your cup.

Anne said...

I get the same rush when I stumble upon the Balto statue in Central Park. Thanks for the descriptive journey through D.C....and your past.

jeanne said...

A lot of people trip and fall here in D.C. :) Glad you are OK.

And that's one of my favorite statues too. As you say, all we can do is move forward, doing the best we know how to do.

David said...

You earned a face planter demerit badge with red faced clusters!

Glad you're able to write about it.

Richard Maas LMT, MTI said...

sounds like you came out of that fall pretty much okay. sure is scarey though, as i haven't had a fall yet. it's probably just a matter of time.

Ginger Breadman said...

interesting reflection on what makes you think back in time, sometimes. Lovely fall - interesting comparison to getting back up and moving forward, vs. moving forward in life and reflecting on the past. cool post.

Yvonne said...

omg - do I know what that feels like! I've done, hmm, let's see, about 5 or 6 times now :\

Josh said...

Interesting post... All these years later, do you feel more wise?

On your fall, think of it this way: We're all going to trip and fall at some point. You were lucky enough to do it infront of a large group of people. Had you been hurt someone would have helped!

Rae said...

Isn't it crazy how time flies??? Where does it all go? Crazy.

Maybe you made at least one tourist's photo blog as "the guy who bit it in DC". =)