I walked into our new apartment and my heart sank. Two guys were in the process of moving out. Two dirty mattresses were on the ground. Brown sheets were hanging "curtains" over French-windowed doors. There were some weird lamps and not enough closet space.
I was a senior in college and my roommate and I had just signed a lease for our first real NYC apartment. I hadn't seen the apartment before we signed our credit scores + college savings accounts away to a dodgy-looking real estate agent in the East Village. Were these keys really going to work...? On our walk towards the not-yet-up-and-coming Lower East Side, my roommate reassured me that our new little home just needed a makeover. The key went in, the bolt turned and we tiptoed in to a dark and dingy old apartment. Were the windows really dusty...or was that a building just a few inches away? It was hard to tell. And really, why were there so many brown sheets hanging everywhere? She nudged me and said, "Ugh, boys!" and then pulled a Windex bottle out of her purse. I laughed.
We scrubbed and vacuumed and put little mirrors on the wall and chose this amazingly warm shade of burnt orange paint at the Home Depot counter. We were too short to tape the ceiling and too broke for a ladder so we jumped up and down to try and get the paint to the edges of the wall. The ceiling had splatters of orange paint for when our aim wasn't great, for when we laughed too hard over bad jokes and when we got too tired to care. We bought a vase from Homegoods for $7. We filled our bookshelves and for some reason we had multiple copies of Love Actually. But there were no more brown sheets. It was a pretty great first apartment.
One day my roommate came home from class and put her running shoes on. She tucked her keys into her sports bra. An hour later, she burst through the door with a flushed face and sweaty headband. She looked fabulous and glowy and hardcore and like a walking fitness commercial. I asked her what in the world was worth the discomfort of keys in a sports bra.
Her answer was so simple: The Williamsburg Bridge.
Earlier this year, I quit my full-time job to focus on building my own company. It's been a year full of risks and instability; full of exhilarating highs and the most challenging of lows. It's made me think deeply about the different moments in my life that have brought me here.
I never would have guessed that moving into a run-down apartment next to the Williamsburg Bridge seven years ago would be the start of a new and beautiful part of my life, a catalyst to bring me to where I am today. I've run across that bridge more times than I could possibly count. The night before I graduated from college. The morning I began graduate school. Twice on the day I started my first job. I ran when I learned that my nieces were born, when I found out my grandfather died, when I tried my first Sukoon prototype. I ran when I needed to think, to breathe, to be too happy or to be too sad. Over the years, running became a way to escape, a way to reset, to heal, to move, to be and do all that I needed to be and do. It turns out that all this time, I was running towards passion, towards inclusivity, towards creativity, towards a better future for myself and others: Sukoon Active.
The Williamsburg Bridge is where it all began for me, and I'd love to share it with you. So come run with me because that's how the magic begins, with your foot to the pavement and eyes to the sky.