Last weekend I participated in what I would call a "endurance adventure walk." The WalkSF organization (http://walksf.org/) hosted an event called Peak2Peak, which is a 14-mile walk around and through the city's 10 peaks (e.g. Twin Peaks, Mt. Sutro, the Legion of Honor), starting from the Mission, ending at the Golden Gate Park. I had never walked 14 miles straight before. Sounded interesting, with the risk of being quite boring (bc it is 14 miles of walking!). 10 Peaks? I know of 4, What are the other 6? I was curious, and it kinda felt like an endurance event that I could enjoy and not stress about (and not have to train for, yey), so I signed up. It was awesome!!!
The whole thing must have taken about 6 hours, including stops and lunch break, etc. There was plenty of climbing, stairs, backstreet navigating, and even muddy trails! Right in the heart of SF!! And they were all walkable somehow...fascinating learning experience of the nooks and crannies of this already awesome city. Towards mile 10, I was definitely sore, although I only walked, didn't run at all. I must have walked so fast in the last two miles just to end the pain sooner, because somehow me and my friends ended up being three of the first six people to finish the walk.
Throughout the course, I got to chat with other people that participated in the event (something you can't do during races), and I learned that there were more people that had health issues (arthritis, chronic pain, back pain, you name it) than those that did not - how awesome! I mean, not that they were in pain was awesome, but those people who didn't have the perfect health were there - to stay active and healthy and to really appreciate the ability to be walking around, despite their limitations. Now I could certainly relate to them and was so grateful to be around such inspiring people! It was funny to see actually, that the healthier people were the ones that were bigger complainers or just weren't enjoying it as much. Hmmm, I wonder why? Man, we so take for granted the the good things we got going in life, let me tell you. To those who can walk and run all the time, those are just another activity. To those that have frequent days of the lack of ability and strength to even take a few steps, a long walk day thru nature and culture is a blessing and a gift!
Maybe pain breeds joy....quite indirectly and in a roundabout way. But there is meaning behind every pain. Perhaps I can make it count.