Friday, May 20, 2011

Beers and Bloggers

I agree that "Beers and Bloggers" sounds both typical and potentially embarrassing (for all involved), but in this case neither element reared its ugly head.

I was invited to attend an event last night, hosted by NYC Runs and JackRabbit Sports. The invite stated, "Join fellow NYC Running bloggers for a short run followed by beer and pizza ... We'll talk about our blogs, and for many of us have the rare chance to meet face to face".


I can't say that I spend an inordinate amount of time blogging, or reading every blog I can find. In fact, I've always felt a little bit that most bloggers - including me - are at least somewhat infected with an inflated sense of self-importance. I mean, ultimately, who really cares about my barely-top-20 finish in some obscure trail race?

That being said, I do think that there are really smart folks out there who blog in very clever ways - and I met some of them last night. I'm not saying any of us are literary geniuses, but I do come across posts that make me think, or laugh, or both - with a fair bit of frequency. And my own posts, which I know can vary rather significantly in terms of quality and level of interest, might occasionally engender some intriguing comments or emails.

In the end, perhaps it is worth something to put your thoughts and experiences out there for the world to see. You just might inspire, entertain, and/or make a small difference for a reader or two - and that alone seems worth the time. When I was in graduate school studying psychology, I remember one professor saying something like, "If your ambition is to change the world, good luck with that one. But if your goal is to HELP change the world by doing something good for ONE person TODAY, well now that's something you can accomplish."

I don't mean to imply that anything I've ever posted here is actually accomplishing something special. In fact, I often think that most of what I write is rather dull and potentially sleep-inducing. But I do think that all of the bloggers that met last night - combined - have a shot at doing a few good deeds now and then.

I think I have digressed a bit here. Back to the event last night.

We met at the new Jack Rabbit Sports store on West 72nd on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Nice new store, friendly staff. About a dozen of us in attendance, and Steve Lastoe of the afore-mentioned NYC Runs serving as emcee. We headed over to Riverside Park for a short run, and of course ended up breaking up into pairs and trios pretty quickly - our connection is because we are bloggers in the NYC area with a running focus, not our common running pace. I was able to run and chat with a couple of folks I'd never met before, and they were great. I've added their blogs to my list on the right (you may need to scroll down).

After the run, we retired to the basement of the store to a nice new common room for beer and pizza slices. No formal presentations or announcements, just chatting and connecting. All in all, the event was a nice grass-roots-community-low-key-get-together kind of thing. The time passed too quickly, and soon we were saying our good nights and disappearing into the night.

I hope that we can do it again sometime soon. It was great to meet face-to-face, and now those blog posts will carry a deeper personal significance for me. I hope that statement applies to all.

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