Tuesday, April 28, 2020
As the days of our current situation march on, I have heard a lot about the “upside”. For parents with kids in college, it is really nice to have everyone home. It is a strange feeling. They should not be home and you wish they were not at home and you feel some guilt about being glad they are. Of course, there are moments in every week when you wish that your kids were at school and your college kids were away.
It is also nice that life is a little slower and people are a little nicer to one another. It seems that for some reason things need to be bad for us to be really nice. I have enjoyed watching people be really nice. It pains me that civility and kindness are ever mistaken for weakness.
The upside has also meant running a lot again. Over the years because of one major injury and life, my running had decreased. It was never less than twice a week and I did something 5-6 times a week, but it has been a while since I ran every day and now I am. Like many of you, I do it for my sanity, my health and my opportunity to be alone.
The Live Give Run virtual race forced me to stretch my distance a bit and since I have slowed down, a half marathon in Towson would not do. I used to love to run downtown for my long runs even though returning north was always a little bit painful. Last Saturday I told Kara I was running to the Locust Point store and asked if she could pick me up there. She said she would. It was a little on the cool and windy side but I was committed. I had a ride.
My next hour and forty some minutes were pure joy for me. I will not let my legs answer. I was at peace and I was constantly reminded how much more we see on foot. I ran by GBMC and wondered what the folks making the left from Charles had in store for them that day. I turned left on Bellona and then made a right on Stevenson. I thought about Dave Cooley the founder of Charm City Run Events and wondered how he was feeling. I have not been able to visit him. I remembered I needed to call him.
I ran by the beautiful campuses of Friends, Notre Dame and Loyola and thought about the seniors. I made the soft left on St. Paul Street and headed into Charles Village. It is so awesome to see how Hopkins life has expanded onto St. Paul. I made my way back up to Charles and enjoyed the new boulevard and landscaping that is there in front of Hopkins.
I passed WYPR and was sorry that I had not been listening more but I just cannot. I remembered doing a spot with Nathan Sterner. Of course, I cannot remember my keys and wallet but I remember the shoes he buys. I got to the Washington Monument and could not believe I was running on the street right next to it. I saw Dooby’s and hoped they were hanging in there. I saw the Walters Art Gallery. My grandfather and step-dad served on the board. I thought about what both men had done for me.
I passed the Basilica and Pope John Paul II’s Garden and I passed the start of the Shamrock race where I had addressed a 5,500 person sea of green for 16 straight years. I remembered constantly telling people to get to the start because a 5,500-person mass of humanity was about to start running south, and it would stop for no one. I remember Will taking over for me in doing most of the pre-race ceremony and how proud I was of him and what he had done for the race and our whole Events business.
I passed in between the back of the Hyatt and the Convention Center and wondered why we could not do better than that large concrete island. I passed Cross Street Market and Mother’s and wondered how many times I had been there before Ravens and Orioles games. The energy in both places is and always will be amazing. I passed Ostend and thought about the first house I shared with Kara, how much fun we had had in Federal Hill and how cold it was walking home at night after passing the house six times trying to find a parking spot. I thought about how cold the house was period.
I took the left on Fort Ave and thought about all the history at Fort McHenry, the coffees at Koba with my accountant and the delicious lunches at Baba’s. I did not have enough distance so it only seemed right to swing by Under Armour. This town needs ten Under Armours. I thanked Kevin Plank for keeping Under Armour in the city and for all they had done for Charm City Run and Baltimore. I thought about all those meetings in Cheer and waiting in the Station House. I marveled at Key Highway extension and how beautiful it was now compared to the gravel parking lot it used to be.
I crossed the train tracks to Domino Sugar and laughed remembering when there was a train blocking the final stretch of the Charles Street 12. I thought about how amazing the Charles Street 12 was when we moved the finish to Under Armour and wondered if we would have the 2020 event. I hope so. There is just so much joy present on that day…a great Baltimore day.
I turned back into McHenry Row and finished at the store. This could have been a Saturday when we would have had 250 people running from that store. I probably would not have been there. I would have been driving kids around or working another event or just relaxing from a jam-packed week, but today I got to run my history and momentarily forget about the PPP, when we would open, and how to keep this thing going. I just got to be grateful for a great Baltimore day.
This Saturday Ben my college freshman finished his Live Give Run half marathon. We met him at the Locust Point store and he said… “Not to sound like dad but it is amazing all the cool stuff you see running down Charles Street.”
I hope you can enjoy the “upside” and have a great Baltimore or Maryland day.
All the best,
– Josh & Kara & Charm City Run Nation