This past weekend I joined almost 20,000 people to run the Across the Bay 10K over the Bay Bridge of the Chesapeake Bay. Despite the fact that I frequently run races, I was not looking forward to this one.
1) I hate hills. This would have a 2-mile-long hill. I was not amused.
2) It gets windy up there. What if I blew over the side? I don't like the way my car sways while I'm trying to drive the darn thing. Can a person survive if they fall over the side at the highest point?
3) 20,000 people running across a bridge seemed like a prime target for terrorism. I kept imagining that it would blow up as I was running across. I did not like this thought.
4) I'm not a terribly strong swimmer. I did, however, notice a lot of police boats and that made me feel better. I knew that if I fell or flew over the side, someone would be able to pick me up rather quickly. It was chilly that morning so I was already contemplating whether I would survive if I had to back stroke it all the way back to shore. I had images of going down like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.
I worried about having to go to the bathroom while on the bridge. I worried about having a panic attack on the bridge. I would have to stay in the dead center of the lanes to have a remote chance of making it across the more than four miles of bridge.
But here's the funny thing. It was awesome. I didn't fall over the side. In fact, I don't think anyone did. It wasn't windy at all. It was sunny and gorgeous and the perfect temperature. I was excited. I was in shape. It wasn't even really too hard. The hill did not defeat me. The bridge did not blow up. I did not run up against anyone with ebola. I didn't have to back stroke anywhere. I even stopped and looked over the side and snapped a photo. I finished in a great time. Running the bridge was infinitely less scary than driving it. Who knew I would actually love being on that bridge?