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Marathon Metaphor

This week I am writing from the pied-a-terre on Sutton place; spring is in the air and birds can be heard chirping in the early morning hours, before the traffic has begun to move.

The East River is a plethora of activity all day long with tug boats pulling barges of commodities, a random sailboat, and earlier today ten jet skis sped up river - further evidence that summer is upon us!

The most fascinating part of the Sutton view is the grandiose structure of the Queensboro bridge; these extraordinary formations are truly works of art which are often the victim of oversimplification due to their functional use. The astounding beauty of the man-made, art forms called bridges, never cease to amaze me but the sheer size and utilitarian use is the reason for the vast under-appreciation. Many city dwellers view bridges as a means to an end, a road from point A to point B, but I will never take the bridge for granted and look in awe at this sight every day when I am in town.

The New York City Marathon is my favorite time to watch the spectacle on the bridge; traffic is detoured and barricades are enforced, all to make way for the thousands of runners swarming across the upper and lower levels. The symbolism of two impressive entities can be examined: a massive steel formation designed by humans to serve a need with a cornucopia of exemplary sports enthusiasts making their way across the river - each individual is existing as a work of perfection due to their disciplined training for the event.

When reflecting on sports I can’t help but equate this to the sport of writing; I refer to it as a sport because when I think of eloquent wordsmiths, they all share similar traits with great athletes. The most profound common denominators are perseverance, stamina, razor-sharp focus, and an unrelenting goal to make it to the finish line (of the race or closing chapter). Ideally, with a medal but usually just with a calm, inner satisfaction from knowing that your training paid off and the goal was accomplished. The sun is beginning to rise and this Olympic penman-in-training, is finally ready to go to sleep.


Lora, thanks for the wonderful blog post. Reading this, I was reminded of my own marathon experience. Perhaps you have heard (or experienced yourself): Queensboro Bridge is the midway point of the marathon. The concrete there is harder than the concrete on the streets, so runners feel every step. It gets very quiet--it's the only part of the race route that isn't lined with screaming fans. Because of this (silence, concrete, midpoint), many runners feel the first pains of the race there. Adrenalin can carry you to the bridge, but then it really becomes, you know, a marathon. I say this because the comparison of sport to writing is apt (and frankly, the common denominator had a lot to do with why I ran the marathon). Anyway, we are not really talking about the marathon, or bridges (really), but you as a writer. And I absolutely appreciate your reflection here. I look forward to your next post.

- Says Professor Mason at May 29, 2016 3:52 PM

Dear Professor Mason - I am so impressed that you ran the NYC Marathon!! I pondered the idea a few years ago but chickened out. I really appreciated your insight about the bridge - I did not realize it!

- Says Lora Drasner at May 29, 2016 7:03 PM

Lora! You took me on a magic carpet ride over the city I call home. My sensory faculties were on high alert. You certainly use befitting expressions and paint a exquisite picture of a city I love. Thank you for allowing me to reminisce a once a upon a spring day on the upper east side.

- Says Neda Nickzad at May 28, 2016 3:34 PM

Neda, Thank you for your wonderful words! I am so happy you enjoyed!!

- Says Lora Drasner at May 28, 2016 8:48 PM



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