Thinking about Sweet Briar College on my Brooklyn run this morning. Amherst, Virginia, where I spent the better part of my childhood, was just down the road from Sweet Briar. The college was where I learned to play soccer, where I took piano lessons, where I saw Jesus Christ Superstar & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band & my first chamber music concert.
Sweet Briar was the reason our tiny Episcopal church had beautiful music. I learned about the value of a local dairy from Sweet Briar, because the college dairy provided our yogurt and milk. I learned my first lesson about oligarchy from Sweet Briar, because George Steinbrenner’s daughter was a student there in those days. I learned how to jimmy a vending machine in the Sweet Briar laundry room. The memories I have of that place are too numerous to count, I’m sure, and I’m willing to bet I’m the saddest man in Brooklyn over the news of their closing.
The great thing about running is that even when the marathon you’ve spent 4 months preparing for is canceled 20 minutes before it starts, by the first mile of your consolation lap your disappointment is washed away by the simple act of running: it was a beautiful day to run 15 miles as training for some yet-to-be-determined challenge. #whyirun #whyirace #centralparkmarathon #running (thanks @runsmartproject & @brooklynrunningco for getting me ready!) #sorrytheressomefuckedupgrammarinthisbuticantfeelmyfingers (at Central Park In Manhattan)
Like its animal-kingdom analogues, cockroaches and rats, wintry mix showed up in the big city, looked around, and saw that it had found its spiritual home. It is in cahoots with cabbies and dry cleaners. It has kin in the creepy precipitation that falls on subway…
Knocked out the first 2/3rds of a 20 miler at the @newyorkroadrunners Fred Lebow Half Marathon, then ran home from Central Park for the last 7. Two rounds of Harlem Hill with @ryan_haney egging me on made the Wmsburg Bridge seem a little desolate by comparison. #whyirun #flhm #stravaproveit #nyrr (at Central Park)
The best way to accommodate myself to bad weather, I find, is to go run in it. The sleet or rain or violent wind makes what might have been an uneventful run into an adventure. When you live in a city, it can be the only kind of natural adventure available to you.