Many young adults (Wait…am I still considered a young adult? Eeep!) can’t wait to get away to strike it out on their own, and while the idea has always been appealing to me, I just can’t bring myself to leave.
When your hometown is San Francisco, how could you?
I am one of the few, the proud — a NATIVE San Franciscan. That’s right. I was born here. At Kaiser Permanente on a late spring day in 1982. While I did live on the peninsula for a bit, I never really left. I attended all K-12 grades in the SFUSD. I went to City College of San Francisco and then later to San Francisco State University. For the several years that my identification said I resided in San Bruno, I actually lived in the city.
The city has everything.
So I must consider myself lucky to be able to avail myself of so many amazing things, right?
I must always be taking advantage of all that my city has to offer, right?
Um, well…eh heh….
It’s true. My city is a huge mecca of activity, culture and opportunity.
But really, I hardly ever take part in any of it.
This is something that I’ve been trying to change since I moved out on my own. I’ve been trying new restaurants and exploring the places that San Francisco is known and loved for.
Places like, for instance, Golden Gate Park.
The only part of this massive park I’ve ever spent any time in is the area right adjacent to the Haight Street entrance. There’s a playground there with these huge cement slides. You grab a piece of cardboard, climb up the stairs/hill, throw a handful of sand down ahead of you and slide down. It’s tons of fun. This is also the area where the big carousel is. My father took me here a lot as a kid and I hung out there later with friends for birthday parties and such. Until yesterday, this was pretty much all I knew about Golden Gate Park.
Yesterday I decided to go run in the park. I consulted a map, briefly, but didn’t make any really concrete plans. I figured I’d walk to the park, do maybe a 3-4 mile jog/walk, and then head home.
Things started off well.
Golden Gate Park was beautiful yesterday.
Unfortunately, soon after the Rose Garden, I somehow got off the beaten path. I took a wrong turn. There were points in there where I was in completely forested areas where it was dead silent and I was alone. It was a pretty dumb move. I kept thinking, “Wow. If someone leapt out of a bush and killed me, no one would find me for weeks in here….”
Eventually, however, I got back on track.
When I finally got out of the park I was waaaaay farther away from home than I meant to be. I had been jogging/walking/hiking for over five miles! I exited at Lincoln and 19th Ave and started the walk/jog home. I was getting very hungry, so when I hit 9th Ave, I crossed over a street to Irving and hit up a Starbucks. I tried ordering a Vivanno, but they were out of bananas! Noooo! I ended up ordering a tall mocha frappuchino and they threw in some whey protein powder for free, since they couldn’t make what I wanted. It helped a lot.
Needless to say, after covering 7.75 miles, I was exhausted when I got home. I showered and then plopped myself down to ice my knees. I didn’t have any ice though. Problem. What did I have?
Then afterwards, I turned my ice pack into dessert.
Are you a meticulous route planner when preparing for a walk/run, or do you like to just go out into the world and get lost?