The Commute. It is a 24-hour fitness challenge where you walk from San Jose to San Francisco, for a total 52 miles. It's not a competition and it's not for a charity - it's just a well organized event to bring people together and help them walk a ridiculously long distance. It seemed random and crazy and right up my alley, so I happily signed up!
During the walk, I posted a few Facebook status updates of my progress and people wrote comments wishing me luck and telling me I could do it! I started re-reading the messages as the walk got more difficult, and they became a big source of motivation for me. I ultimately walked 46 miles before I had to stop, just 6 miles shy of the finish line.
The Commute was important because it taught me that limitations can be self-imposed and, more importantly, can be broken. I walked further than I ever thought possible and suddenly it felt like everything in my life was within reach. In the months that followed I went skydiving, ran a half marathon, and raced in my first Tough Mudder. The Commute motivated me to do all of that, and changed my perspective on what I thought was possible. And I have to wonder, if my life changed that positively from failing to finish the course last year, what would happen this year if I succeed?
This year, along with aiming to cross the finish line, I also have set a goal to use social media to keep my friends and family up-to-date on my progress. Leading up to the event, I will be researching different apps and websites that can help me post real-time location and health stats along the way. I think this could be a fun experiment for using the Internet "in the field", and I'm hoping I'll learn a thing or two along the way (besides how to treat blisters).
If you have any suggestions for web tracking apps or solar powered USB chargers, I welcome any messages! Also if you're in the Bay Area and want to learn more information about the event, check out www.walkthecommute.com. It is a great personal challenge and a wonderful eye-opener, and is definitely worth asking yourself the question, "Could I walk 50 miles in 24 hours?".
|The route from San Jose to San Francisco|
|My personal finish line|
|My feet after walking for 24 hours|
|My view of the sunrise as I made my way into San Francisco's Mission district|