Sunday, March 15, 2009

Injured Reserve: Garth (foot)

When I took my 20 mile jaunt on Tuesday in LA I was hoping to give my body a light test. As it turns out, it looks like it scored a D. Or possibly even an F+. Starting on Thursday I noticed a pain in my left foot that made me have a noticeable limp. Now whenever I'm on it for more than 5 or 10 minutes I have this nagging pain.

They say you should never self-diagnose on the internet, but I did anyway. I might have a stress fracture. But before I believe in my own Doogie Howser-like abilities, I probably should make a doctor's appointment tomorrow and get it checked out by somewhat that didn't graduate with a BA in Journalism.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Califonia walkin', on a late winter's day

I had planned to have my first practice walk be from Fort Tyron Park at the northernmost tip of Manhattan to Bowery Park down at the southernmost end. That walk would have been 12.5 miles and a nice first test of my body's endurance.

However, finding myself in Los Angeles with a free Tuesday, I decided to jump the gun. I put on some comfortable shoes, a loose cotton shirt and my running shoes and I set off for Westwood. From Inglewood where I was staying with Nikki I had calculated that it would be 9.5 miles to the UCLA bookstore. That seems liked a nice baby-step if you will toward my ultimate goal of 15-20 miles a day during my walk later this year.

I got to the UCLA bookstore by 11:45am, and after eating and doing some reading, my body still felt like it has more in it. So I decided to soldier on, pointing my compass toward the shore and taking a walk down Wilshire Blvd. Wilshire has many memories for me since that stretch of it housed good-old Kushner Locke where I worked for nearly three years. That stretch of Wilshire near Santa Monica is also where Aaron and I spent our first night in Los Angeles at a crappy motel after driving in from San Francisco in April of 1996 and having no clue where we were in relation to anything .... some thirteen years ago.

When I got to Santa Monica I went down to the shore and walked along ocean. My feet and back were starting to hurt by that point, but not so much that I couldn't still enjoy being outside and basking in the beautiful day. I decided to keep plugging along until my normal work day would be over at 5pm. So I walked along the shoreline all the way to Venice, then on the Speedwalk to Washington Blvd. My last leg was up Washington Blvd. to Lincoln where I took a quick right and settled down at a shopping center in Del Rey were I met Nikki for dinner. All in all, I walked just over 20 miles. I had two large blisters on the back of each of my heels. My lower back was sore. But my spirits were soaring. I had spent a whole day doing what I wanted to. Walking. Listening. Remembering. Counting my blessings.

Distance: 20.4 miles

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tomorrow will worry about itself

"This is why I tell you: do not be worried about food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns: yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds? Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?" - Matthew 6: 25-27

T-minus a little under 6 months until I leave on my trip and I'm suffering some late winter blues. I haven't been writing much and I'm aching to get out and start testing my walking fitness. The only problem is that it is butt ass cold out there and I try to be outside as little as possible in this horrific weather. I'm flying to California on Friday to spend some time with Marco and Ivan. I have a free day on Tuesday, so maybe I will take a walk from Nikki's apartment to somewhere a good distance away. UCLA might be a nice practice walk - coming in at around 8 miles. When I return to NYC I'm going to go from the tip to the tip of Manhattan Island and that will be 12.5 miles and a gradual progression is what I'm looking for.

The quote from Matthew which leads this post has always captivated me. The thought of not worrying and trusting that I will be provided for has followed me throughout my adulthood. But I have to say that I've never really given myself that experience. I'm so much of a natural planner that it goes against my instincts to fly totally by the seat of my pants. Yet part of what this trip is about is being willing to do just that and not worry. Granted, I will have a number of "planned" stops along the way. But I also want to have days where things are left to chance. That fear of letting go is one of the dragons I need to slay in this Hero's Journey.

I'm looking forward to also doing a bit of reading while on vacation. I've fallen a bit off pace and now I'm juggling Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell at the same time. I think I will aim to finish Tolle and "To Kill A Mockingbird" by the end of this month and just savor Campbell at whatever pace I happen to digest it at.