In a crowd of hundreds, no one was wearing a mask

I was working in downtown Nashville last night. On a typical Friday night there’s a span of about 5 blocks that would be swarming with people. It’s on Broadway from 1st Ave up to 5th Ave. Now, I know since the coronavirus, downtown has changed quite a bit, even if temporarily. In fact, here’s a video showing how eery it was when no one was around… 

So as I said, I was downtown Friday night. The crowds are back. Not quite as full as it will be, or as it used to be, but still crowded with tourists, locals, people enjoying a pleasant evening with music, food, and shopping. 

The days of zipping around downtown doing UberEats deliveries is a thing of the past. We’re back to struggling to find parking, watching out for scooters, and traffic. 😦 I know it’s good for the city, though, so it’s fine! Except for the scooters. I still can’t believe there haven’t been major accidents with those things. 

The crowds didn’t surprise me. The scooters didn’t surprise me. The smiles and laughter didn’t surp—- wait, smiles??? Yes, smiles! I actually saw people’s faces! I promise I’m not exaggerating when I say that in the span of those 4 or 5 blocks as I was driving up Broadway, I didn’t see even one person wearing a mask (excluding bar staff, and security). Not even one in a crowd that I’d conservatively estimate numbered in the hundreds. 

In fact, as eery as it was to NOT see the crowds a few weeks ago, it actually felt eery to now see crowds but none wearing masks. It was eery, but also kind of awesome. 

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Remembering the Nashville flood… and what I regret to this very day!

I can still remember it as clear as day, which is rather ironic because on this day, it was anything but clear. It rained. I don’t mean on and off rain… it rained all afternoon. And then it rained all day the next day. Nashville was experiencing what will be record-setting setting rainfall causing floods around middle Tennessee.

On day 1 of the rain, Saturday, I was doing a volunteer thing my church had put together. As I recall, we were at a school painting and cleaning and sweeping and all that fun stuff. I think I remember the weather being cloudy but not much rain on my way to the school. On the way home a few hours later the rain had already begun. So much that there were already police and firefighters at certain intersections making sure everyone could navigate the intersection because a nearby parking lot was beginning to flood. Here’s a quick video I recorded on my phone.

But it was at the school gymnasium where something crazy happened.

I so wish I had this one video but sometime around lunch we all took a break from the work inside the school. There were a few basketballs laying around so we started shooting, and some of us were trying half-court shots. Of course, most of our shots were unsuccessful.

Well, I’m not lying at all when I say this… I heaved up a half-court shot and it looked promising. As it descended, as if it were edited in a studio somewhere, just as the ball ripped through the basket the loudest clap of thunder boomed. The timing was perfect and everyone there was startled by what just happened.

It was pretty wild, and I know a video would be much more entertaining for you, but you’ll just have to cope however you can :/ I’ve been coping for 10 years. I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday. Such perfect timing and to make the shot, too, was magical 🙂

Nashville went on to get double digit rain totals (in inches) and the week following this rain I didn’t go to work at all because the basement of the downtown building where I worked flooded. It was a devastating week for a lot of folks, and now, 10 years later, the event is still remembered with somber thoughts……..

…….and regret for not asking someone to record my half-court shot!

Out of the Wilderness

Beautiful Nashville

I was downtown last night for a concert (click here for pics from Phillip Phillips at 3rd and Lindsley), and had a bit of time beforehand to walk around. There’s obviously so much more that one can admire, but here are a few pics. It was a bit chilly, but otherwise a very pleasant night. I even got to meet a cool group of kids. When we were there age, my brother and I would’ve loved to have ridden our bikes around with them! This area is on the east side of the Cumberland, so check it out sometime…

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Two Favorite Memories From Working Out In Downtown Nashville

1. I was downtown and went out on my lunch break to do a workout. Part of it included running around the Titans football stadium. On the last curve, I changed the routine and added in some box jumps on a nearby curb. Two younger guys were there and they approached me asking, “Do you play for the Titans?” Well, obviously I do, kids!

2. Jogging near the capitol building north of downtown Nashville, I just ran up a steep grassy hill. At the top, I was in the middle of doing pushups when a group of random people were walking nearby. One of them broke away from the group and set a cold bottle of water next to me. Totally unexpected. Now what? I’m supposed to finish my run holding a water bottle the whole time??

In all seriousness, I was amazed at the random kindness of that stranger. Really cool that he’d do that for a Titans football player.

-Out of the Wilderness

jogger

Jogging A Week After the Boston Marathon Bombing

I knew there was going to be a moment of silence today at 1:50pm (Central time) and I very much wanted to be a part of it. So during my lunch break I left the office to jog through downtown Nashville. I love afternoon jogs in the spring because I don’t have to wear layers of clothing, there are lots of people outdoors enjoying the elements, and I have time to think. Most of my thoughts today were consumed by a pretty girl in Franklin, Tennessee, but a couple of other thoughts stood out as well. One: I relate more to Taylor Swift than Carrie Underwood. At least, their songs. Whatever, that’s neither here nor there. The second thought occurred at the worst time, right when I was most exhausted. The cinnamon challenge. The teenage fad is this; trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon as fast as possible. Evidently, it’s very difficult due to the nature of cinnamon. So as I was gasping for air near the end of my run, I thought about a spoonful of cinnamon which didn’t help me at all.

But then at 1:50pm all that was history. I stopped in my tracks and for 1 minute, I stood in place and prayed for all the people affected by the Boston bombing, especially the ones that lost someone they love. So because the three that died can no longer run, and quite a few others are probably in that same boat now, I didn’t run. For a whole minute. Then at 1:51pm I took off. Call it my little way of pausing to honor those who’ve suffered followed up by running hard to honor those who’ve suffered.