I could have easily told my teammates “not this year.” I was not planning to walk in San Francisco so early in our quest to walk in each city where an Avon Walk is held. I figured if we saved San Francisco for last I’d be in good enough shape to do it. But the team wanted to walk in San Francisco. We had agreed that it would be a California walk and the San Francisco dates worked best for everyone. So I trained and tried not to think about the hills or the Golden Gate Bridge.
Well, it turned out that the weekend was filled with experiences that were outside my comfort zone. Friday evening two of my teammates and I ended up at a Japanese restaurant for dinner. They both wanted sushi and the first place we tried was out of fish entrees. (How can a restaurant that is rated “high” for their fish be out of fish in San Francisco?). Anyway, we walked down the street a couple of blocks and waited for a table at a small, genuine Japanese restaurant. I’ve have had California rolls before, but not the raw fish that is sushi. Also, I am not a fan of raw (rare) tuna. But here I was with my friends, and since I’m willing to try anything once I said “teach me.”
I ordered a sampler meal that included three types of raw fish over rice balls, three California rolls, and some tempura shrimp with vegetables. Sarah taught me how to use chop sticks. While it was quite amusing, I managed well enough to eat my meal. Susan taught me about the dipping sauces. They both filled me in on what is appropriate for eating both sushi and tempura. They assured me that making it finger food was perfectly acceptable (which is how I ended up eating my tempura).
Saturday the three walkers in our team (one was a crew member giving massages at the Wellness Village) headed out for the first part of our San Francisco Walk. I found that I could keep a good pace and not get winded; unlike the first two Walks in Houston and D.C. The hills were the hills of San Francisco and I did ok. There was only one place where I had to stop to catch my breath before continuing on.
I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge! The lunch stop was after the Bridge at the 13.1 mile marker. The halfway point is usually where I stop, but the route layout for San Francisco day one is shorter than 26.2 miles and day two is 15.5 miles (2.4 miles longer than usual). And lunch is usually at mile 11. Since I’m used to continuing the Walk after lunch, and I knew I had 15 miles on Sunday I decided to keep walking after lunch. I made it to the next rest stop at mile 15.9. A personal best.
Sunday we got to walk back across the Golden Gate Bridge. This time I walked with my teammates and we stopped for some pictures to “prove” we were actually on the Bridge. The truth is, it wasn’t so bad as long as I stayed focused and didn’t look down. I did look across the Bay; it is a spectacular view.
This year the Avon Walk was outside my comfort zone. But there was more than just the famous hills. I ate raw tuna, used chop sticks, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge (twice) and walked 31.4 miles. My comfort zone has just expanded.
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