I wanted to get out of my system some thoughts related to running, fitness and travel, more or less, inspired by or experienced during my visit to Singapore.
First: Not only does (as Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills and Nash remind us) everybody smile, but some even speak the same language. Even more amazingly, some out there even look like me...or at least like some on-line newspaper editors. People have asked over the years whether I had a twin living somewhere else in the world. While I'm flattered, okay...I'm not that good-looking, I don't think I'd want to see another person who looks exactly like myself. Well, maybe someone who looks like me, but they better have a personality.
So it seems everybody apparently has a twin - or our conscience makes us see someone who looks like someone we know. Are they a 'doppelganger' or evil twin? I'm not certain.
Even funnier is when we travel thousands of miles away from home and hearth, only to run into someone we already know. And didn't expect to see.
Suzanne and I were enjoying a cup of green tea at a food stand in the Chinatown neighborhood of Singapore. We had several hours to kill before our hotel room was to be ready, and there wasn't a Starbucks in sight. We're both fans of people watching, and the Chinatown district is definitely a target-rich environment for such activities.
At first, I thought I was hallucinating. Walking past, in t-shirt and jeans, was a guy who looked strangely like one of my school instructors. He had gone on to another assignment, so it wasn't too much of a stretch for him to be somewhere else in the world at a particular place and time.
As Gary sat down to chat with us, he said he had the same 'no, that can't be...' thought as he walked by. Naturally it's fun to have a bit of "old home week" without talking about what was going on at "home." But Gary and I always had that sort of rapport during the two years we worked together; my office was always open for him to come by and chat about any topic under the sun, work included when necessary. He told Suzanne it was one of the things he valued about our working relationship; the fact I didn't talk about work or the service...or even running...all of the time.
What causes single-mindedness? For some persons it's perhaps a devotion to a particular cause. Others take up an interest in order to fill a space which opened up in their lives because of the departure or loss of another interest. Occasionally you get the contrarian out there who's bound and determined to focus on one thing just because they know it's going to upset everyone around them.
Occasionally I've been accused of a focus solely on running. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The overwhelming majority of my friends are runners, swimmers or triathletes; fitness and exercise might be the common bond between us, but the closest relationships are with the friends who have some common ground outside of running. Those who eat, breathe, and sleep a single endeavor are perhaps a little dull, at least in the minds of the rest of the world.
Take some time to look for your "twin."