I added a bucket list item not too long ago when I started running. It was to run South Carolina's Ravenel Bridge otherwise known as the "Cooper River Bridge", which crosses over the Cooper River and connects Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. Hearing stories from others who have participated in the Cooper River Bridge run inspired me to give it a shot.
The annual bridge run, a 6.2 mile event, attracts over 50,000 people a year the first weekend in April. It is the 3rd largest 10K race and the 5th largest race in the US. With the masses of people that attend, I knew that it was not going to be my cup of tea to run in the race. I wanted to truly experience the bridge and the setting in all its glory, embracing the magnificence of the massive structure and the views. Gotta love a run with a view! So on a recent visit to my Mom's house in Mt. Pleasant, I set out to go for it.
I ventured out early one morning after sunrise to begin my quest. As I approached it, I couldn't help but be amazed! Wow! I had no idea that my run was going to turn into a museum exhibit. Looking up at the bridge, I realized that it's truly a work of architectural art as it stands so majestically over the river, as if it is protecting all that is around it. Although the bridge is massive, its size does not overpower the softness and beauty of the setting around it. It actually integrates beautifully into the scenery.
My run was a little tougher than what I had anticipated. Looks like it's a cinch in a car or off from a distance, but it's a different story when you get to looking at it from a pedestrian's point of view. The incline is quite different from my runs at home. It has a couple of hills but nothing like this continuous slope. Add the wind and you've got quite a combo! But with an incredible view of the river and Charleston's city scape gleaming in the background, it made it easy for me to push on. I did find myself several times almost running into things and tripping over my own feet as I became engrossed in taking it all in, getting lost deep in thought. One particular image that I could not take my eyes off of was the moon and the clouds that were aligned perfectly in the sky against the bridge's tower. They were so different but all shining proudly in the sky.
As I crossed over my own finish line, trying to catch my breath, a smile came over my face. It was not just for my sense of accomplishment of making it the whole way without passing out but more for being able to experience the bridge and scenery up close and personal. So many valuable correlations to be found.
The contrast between the two is such a great example of how nature and manmade structures can create a stunning scene. The blending of these two can produce beauty that is a site to behold!
Just like the bridge and nature's scenery, we are all different, but it takes embracing this combination to live harmoniously. There is a need for our "complimentary" differences in order for each individual's strengths and talents to shine, creating a beautiful landscape and making the world a better a place.
I highly recommend taking a walk or a run across the bridge when you are in the Charleston area. Be sure to check it out lit up at night too. It takes on a whole new look in the evening.
Made a trip to the bridge? Would love to get your thoughts on the visit.
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