Capital Crescent Trail -- The Rain, My Thoughts Run Free

I'm motivated today. Motivated to take my new bike out for a spin. But first things first. To bid adieu to the Bolling Air Force Base pool before it closes for the year after Labor Day.

Once I got in, didn't want to stop. Swam 32 laps in all in a 50 meter pool -- a total of about 3 miles.

For once, it wasn't monotonous -- but a nice day with a few people out tanning and enjoying the water. I just swam without thinking, almost on auto.

Then the moment I was looking forward to -- the Capitol Crescent Trail starting in Georgetown. Normally, it would be packed with runners and rollerbladers.

But since it was starting to get dark and dark clouds and thunderheads was looming overhead, the traffic was getting slim -- which allowed me to go all out.

Once at the end of the trail, the skies had opened up full bore, so I rushed to find sanctuary.

To Penangs it was for a nice meal of Hainan steamed chicken, Hainanese chicken rice and two frosty glasses of Sam Adams at the bar. I swapped stories with the owner and the manager about bikes. He had just bought a fuji and was enjoying it.

After dinner, I escaped back to the trail. It was pitch dark and some spots I could barely make out past 100 feet. Then the skies opened up again and it started pouring. I was having a blast in my Specialized triathlon bike. My Zipp 404s kept me steady despite the wind and the rain.

When riding--whether in the rain or a clear day--your mind often goes off in reflective tangents. On this particular night, the torrential storms took me back to 2007, the last time I was caught in rain this copious. I reflected over my 20 years in the Navy and my mind zoned in on one of the most interesting experiences of my time as a Public Affairs officer.

Two years ago, I was working as a press officer at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Journalists and correspondents often hovered over our cubicles, querying and interrogating us with pointed or open-ended questions that required immediate responses.

It was not easy -- an unwise or an inaccurate response could have significant repercussions – When North Korea decided to launch short range ballistic missiles, I was blasted by the White House for contradicting their statement and saying that this was "a routine exercise."

They were right-- I had not fully vetted my response with the NSC -- every reason to be reprimanded and rebuked.

These experiences, trials and tribulations have molded me and have provided me with the necessary background and insight to better understand the gist of the issue and to react methodically to several crises from several different perspectives.

In my next journey in life, I want to do more of the same yet everything different. First I want to do things that I’ve always had the urge to explore but did not have the time, resources or permission to venture due to my military restrictions and responsibilities.

Being in the military, there were things I couldn’t say or do. As a Public Affairs officer, that requirement was even more restrictive.

My thoughts rambled on, running free while I stayed faithfully on my trail.

Pretty soon, I was back in Georgetown -- by that time, the skies had cleared up -- just enough for me to run a few miles at the Mall before they opened up again. I couldn't wait for where my thoughts would take me this time.

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