Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
(I’m choosing this over the third Blog Challenge question, which was What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious’d and reference throughout the year. as I have read far too many articles for grad school this year.)
I’m going to have to go with the first time I walked across the full length of the Golden Gate Bridge, on around February 4/sometime in early February. This later became a semi-routine for me over the summer, and concluded (for now) with a sunset walk from SF to Marin in mid September. Unfortunately, the bridge will be undergoing structural renovations next spring, meaning that it will not be possible to walk the full length of the pedestrian sidewalk from March until possibly midsummer.
Nonetheless, that first trek across was spontaneous and stupendous. I had walked 3/4 of the bridge once before, when my mom was visiting soon after I moved to the Bay Area. However, we had turned around at the Marin County line and did not go all the way to the Vista Point in Sausalito. This time, I had recently discovered a working bus stop for Golden Gate Transit existed on the other side of the bridge, and I carefully coordinated my walk to match the bus schedule and then board it for the ride back to my apartment. There was an element of jubilation in my walking across the bridge – I was finally doing something I had wanted to do for a while, and often felt like I ignored the sidewalk and stayed in the car.
The brisk breeze coming in from the Pacific was extremely appealing, sailing across into San Francisco Bay. I noticed a lot of noise coming from the six lanes of cars crossing the bridge, with their loud engines maintaining an average 50 MPH speed. There were snippets of tourist conversations as I pressed on northward towards the Marin line. The sky was bright blue in that appealing Bay Area style, which complemented the bridge’s distinct International Orange tones of paint.
The experience of walking the bridge, that first time, was an initiation into a period of zestful physical activity for me that continued throughout the summer months. I didn’t go on any elaborate hikes or hardcore backpacking trips, but I did take pleasure in the things I did, physically, whether it was working with a Rolfer for physical wellbeing, walking extensively around Marin and choosing to participate in a non car centric lifestyle, and even swimming in the Pacific, briefly, as it’s a cold ocean, twice over the summer.