Holden Village Staff Experience August, 2003

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Update April, 2007
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Update April, 2007

Sharon's April Team in Training news
May 6, 2007

I think I'm moving a bit more slowly.

Last you heard from me, I was about to go to Bay Farm Island in Alameda, and now that seems long ago and far away. That was a beautiful day, and we walked twice around the island on a path that was next to the bay most of the time. Twelve miles! And of this writing (Sunday, May 6), we are up to 18. Eegads, I never thought I'd be doing anything like this.

The daily, except for our "Sabbath" on Wednesdays, hour long trainings are now nothing, even though some of them are on a treadmill at the gym at Stanford. Which, for any of you who've never had the pleasure, means sweat. Like pouring off you, like keep a towel next to you and remember to drink a lot of water. Oh - also remember a change of clothes for afterwards. A Mr. John Arrillaga, former Stanford basketball player, built a lot of the athletic facilities, including the building that houses the workout room with the treadmills. Look him up on the Internet and you will hear of his largess. But you won't hear what he refused to do: Include showers in his buildings. Want a shower after your workout? It's a quarter mile hike. Rumor had it that he figured students wouldn't mind walking for a shower. So I get my shower in San Francisco, 35 miles north, after my treadmill workout. Now, how hard would it have been...?

So, the month of May is the apex of the Saturday training. Leading up to it has been, and will be: 14 miles in Lafayette in the RAIN on April 14, 16 mile walks on April 21 and 28, an 18 mile walk yesterday, 20 miles on May 12, and 22 miles on May 19. Then we start to wind down in the next month. A 2-hour walk on a Saturday looks like nothing to me now.

The Lafayette walk started with the weatherman predicting rain, and we hoped against hope. I ditched my raincoat at the first water stop, then ditched my long sleeved shirt at the second, then turned around at mile 5.5. At about mile 7, it started to pour. Not rain. Pour. All over me in my short sleeved shirt. I was completely soaked, and I

learned first hand why you don't want that - your body spends a huge amount of effort just trying to stay warm. I was SO slow that day. But when I got back to my raincoat, I peeled off my wet shirt (figuring nobody would care) and put on my raincoat, and that really helped. So did the hot shower when I got home.

Then for two Saturdays we did the most amazing walk in SF. All you folks from the Bay Area know this walk well, even if you haven't done it all at once. Start at Chrissy Field. Look left to the Golden Gate Bridge (which, since it was sunny, was visible), and then start walking east. Past all the walkers, runners, bikers and dogs. Past the Marina Green with all the little soccer players in their colorful uniforms. Through the back of the grass at Fort Mason, and look up in the trees and you'll see the parrots if you're lucky. (If you haven't seen the movie, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", go rent it; it's wonderful). Past Aquatic Park, with all those crazy swimmers donning their wet suits for a morning swim. Past Fisherman's Wharf where they're baking sourdough at Boudin's, right before your eyes. Pier 39's silver painted mimes. The Ferry Building with the Farmer's Market outside where you can pick up a snack of free oranges, strawberries, olive oil, and the best yogurt in the whole world. Then south, under the Bay Bridge to the Ball Park, around the back where the boats wait to catch the home runs that fall into the water, and all the way back to Chrissy Field. It takes 4 hours. I loved it all, in spite of my hurting feet. San Francisco is one beautiful city.

Yesterday it was 4.5 hours in Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway watching the waves roll in. Next Saturday in San Mateo (down the Peninsula) on a trail next to the Crystal Springs Reservoir. And May 19th, it's back in Lafayette again. Where is Lafayette? Don't ask ME! I am always surprised to see how many people actually live in the East Bay. Goodness, it's like a whole COUNTRY over there!

I have the honor of being the top fundraiser for the Greater San Francisco walk team. And it's all because of you. I am grateful to every one of you, and may a cure be found. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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