Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Break Down Boundaries and See Where You End Up

I'm in West Virgina to keynote a conference in the morning. When I arrived today, the sun was still high enough in the sky that I could get a nice run in. And, there's no better way to explore a new city than by running through its downtown and along its riverbanks.

I left the hotel at the same time as another runner. We mutually nodded to one another, giving approval to each other's desire to end the day sweating. He headed west; I went east.

As I was making my way back, so was he. As we stood outside of the hotel stretching, I asked him what route he took. He told me he ran a short route over to the capitol and back a few times. He did a few laps and stayed close to where he was, in other words.

And me? I hit the sidewalk and ran until I felt like making a left. Then, I turned up another street, passing the courthouse, some really old buildings, running under a few bridges and then I ended up on a nice greenway, watching the people play with their dogs, walk hand-in-hand, ride bikes and skateboard.

The temperature and the breeze and the sun and the water were perfect. Charleston seems to be one of the best cities for urban running, and one of the best places to run near the water.

I had no plan and wanted to see what I could find. I came back not only having a great run, but also having taken in a lot of this fair city.

Whenever we're willing to dream beyond the boundaries, we'll be surprised what we can gain. When we're willing to challenge the status quo and question our own limitations, we'll grow like never before.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be challenging people to embrace social media as a tool for creating new advocates. Some people in attendance may have a limited view of what's possible with online communications. Here's to hoping they'll be willing to run out past the edges in order to have a experience that's meaningful for them.

Sponsored commentary:
By the way, whenever I run, I usually wear Swiftwick socks. I love them. They're breathable and I never get blisters when I wear them. Best of all, they come with a guarantee: if they're not the best socks you've ever worn, you can return them. It's that easy. Visit their online store and use coupon code SD10 and get 10% off your order today.

Comments (3)

shameless plug! &:~D

i left you a tweet on how to razz jim mckay. you can tell him it came from me.

Clearly men who exercise outside think differently than women. It would be good advice to map out your route before you leave, make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected back.
If you are out of town in a new place, it may be smart to ask if your planned route has any safety concerns.
If you are a women, a person of color, or a person concerned with hate crime than these things automatically come to mind as part of your culture already.
Interesting life lesson that our ability to "run where we want to" may not be a reality for everyone..not yet. Make maps and share them!

Good points, Nancy. I agree that the analogy breaks down, particulary for the reasons you mention. The post was more about personal development than running, of course.

That said, in our creative lives, challenging our preconceived boundaries is a great way to grow and thrive.

Even then, we need direction, but I'd trade the map for a compass.