From one month to three legs

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English: United Nations General Assembly hall ...
While I don’t think I will be attending the United Nations General Assembly hall in New York City come September, I do plan to be in the city at that time as the 10 City Bridge Run culminates. Consider this: the General Assembly as an extension of our networks, rather than a ‘special place for the elite’. Does that help you think differently about the question we are asking: “how might we use our networks to reduce child mortality? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did a good job tearing my calf muscle before New Year. More than just a few strands, I was seriously stopped in my tracks for longer than I expected. This is my first post for some months since that injury.

A bit over a month ago, I found myself unconsciously running to cross a street, or get to a train on time. Coming back from injury, it is a strange feeling when you catch yourself out doing activity that the day or week before you were consciously guarding yourself from undertaking, but it is a good feeling too. Signs of recovery.

I haven’t been back to the physiotherapist since coming to Korea, but the range of activities I have been doing would indicate that I am now fit to run. There is still more swelling and fluid than I would prefer, but that is also subsiding.

My running coach, Bob Williams based in Portland, gave me some frank and very helpful feedback after the injury. He asked why was I wanting to undertake the 10 City Bridge Run (the 10 sub-marathons each of 24 km in 10 cities across 10 countries) all inside of one month?

Imposing time constraints on performance added nothing to what I was wanting to achieve, he argued. This was in addition to the need to recover well from injury.

Serendipity came to play a part in all of this as well. Only very recently, I was selected to attend an initiative called the ‘Commonwealth Study Conference’ which for me will be conducted in UK and later in Mumbai, India. The costs involved are small, and I am largely responsible only to meet airfare expenses, so in that respect it is not a large financial burden. This is an opportunity to good to pass up on, and what’s more sets the scene to start the journey for the 10 City Bridge Run.

Considering dates for the year, I broke the journey which I had early considered completing in under one month into three different legs. The whole journey, and each of the three journeys, and indeed each city I will run all play a part in shaping the narrative to helping us to better understand child mortality and how we might use our networks to help reduce under five-year deaths where they occur at their worst.

  • Leg 1: London, Seoul, Sydney (Late March to each May)
  • Leg 2: Mumbai, Beijing, Madang (or Port Moresby…probably stay out of running in POM due to security issues). (June)
  • Leg 3: Kinshasa, Lagos, Freetown, New York (September).

The good thing is that by breaking up the journey, it not only helps to consolidate the experience of the shorter leg at that time, but more importantly to use that as an opportunity to strengthen the interest and momentum in the conversation.

The conversation is going to begin small, and that is okay. It will end after the UN General Assembly meets in New York with the Global Design Forum being convened. How big that is, what it will look like, who will be involved: I have a good idea of what these will be like, but there are many conversations to take place first.

The good news is that the idea is developing. And we are moving forward. Later than planned, but in a better fashion than could have ever been imagined in 2010.

They said it could never be done. How often were they wrong?

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