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