Sometimes all it takes is a shake-out run to clear the body, mind, soul.

I ran an easy five through Busse Woods last night and came upon this bridge – as I often do when I run through this preserve – but it caught me differently this time.

Bridges: They’re Everywhere.

Maybe your bridge is between you and the career or the car you really want. The bridge you stand at the foot of could lead you to the money you should really save, or the relationship you really long for.

Or maybe you’ve crossed your bridge … your bridges. Maybe you wait to take a step.

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It caught me differently. I’ve been out of focus, out of touch with training this past winter/spring, with running, willingly. Everyone runner needs a mental break. But last night as I stood there faced with yet another bridge to cross, I started to think about the long road ahead and why I was there. And what I’ll overcome.

18 Weeks of Summer Marathon Training

The base-building, the speed work, the endurance training, the racing, the calculating, the nutrition, the rest, the rewards, the aches and pains, the weights, the foam-rolling, the heat, the shit workouts, the out-of-body workouts, the tempo-runs, the track intervals, the routine, the friends, the days, the minutes, the hours, the heaves, the spits, the blisters, the callouses, the breakfasts, the beers, the sunrises, the sunsets, the waves, the breezes, the breathing, the humidity, the sweat.

The taper.

The eating, the craving, the restlessness, the self-doubt, the self-reassurance, the calculations (yes, more of them), the planning, the mental preparation, the visualization, the start line, the expo, the miles, the gels, the fluids, the pounding, the passing, the fighting, the pushing, the digging, the tunnel-vision, the quieting of “the voice,” the reflection, the hurt, the steps, the fans, the turns, the chafing.

The finish.

If one is capable of making it to a marathon finish, one is capable of anything. With courage and commitment to yourself, you’ll cross any bridge you’re faced with.

Where’s your next starting line?

For more photos and inspiration, follow me on Instagram at @kevinjbaum1.