On Tuesday I skipped my usual morning run, opting to run later that morning. After getting into my office, checking email, and doing my usual morning routine I grabbed my gym bag and running shoes and headed to the gym.
At 10am I was running and by the time I hit Pennsylvania Ave I spotted it. Stopping short I turned and stared.
“What are you stopping for? Keep running!” a man said to me.
I pointed toward the sky, “Look, there it is!”
“What the ?…” he began, his voice trailing off. “Why is it flying so low?”
“It’s the space shuttle Discovery,” I said, “It’s her final flight before retiring and they’re doing low flyovers of DC so people can see it.”
We stood there in silence for a moment, watching as it moved across the sky on the back of a 747, a fighter jet by its side, escorting it on its path. Once it was out of view I turned and smiled at the man who was now standing beside me and I took off running.
I would spot the shuttle three more times on my run, each time stopping and staring at it, marveling at it and breaking into a smile for no other reason than there was a space shuttle flying over our nation’s capital while I was out for run. For once I wasn’t annoyed with the tourists who were clogging the sidewalks, all of them standing and looking toward the sky. In fact, every time it flew overhead I would chat up the person next to me, each of us expressing delight over seeing it.
As I stood watching the shuttle fly through the sky I thought back to my childhood, when for a short time I wanted to be an astronaut – didn’t every kid want to be an astronaut at some point in their life? I finished my run, smiling the whole way, feeling a bit in awe of the moment and what I’d witnessed.
(A huge thanks to my friend Laurent Fox who took the above photos. Check out his work at Laurent Fox Photography.)