Saturday, December 14, 2013

I Walked the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge and Survived

I stood in a very short line in low-40 degree temperature having just completed the Corpus Christi BridgeWalk, frost coming out of my mouth with every breath, my punch card in hand. This was my fifth BridgeWalk, and my card would be filled. Once my card was punched, a pleasant man congratulated me in his genuine Scottish accent. He then handed me a fresh card for the next five BridgeWalks and a brand new t-shirt to commemorate the milestone. Everyone seems to have a different reason for doing the monthly walk. For me, this monthly 3.4-mile walk over the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge was an opportunity to measure my return to living a healthy lifestyle.
Receiving Corpus Christi 1st t-shirt after completing 5 BridgeWalks.

I put on a 50-lb rucksack (not required for the BridgeWalk), walked as fast as I could, and reflected on my life the entire way. I mostly walked alone, except for the one month my wife, Olivia braved the bridge with me. The BridgeWalk was initially used by me as a training tool for a solo backpacking trip I wanted to make. I later found myself inspiring the people in my life to either seek out healthy living for themselves. Even more unexpectedly, I was inspiring my friends and family to face their own fears and overcome them by attempting something they had been scared of doing for years.

The BridgeWalk has become a monthly milestone for me where I can test myself in one small area of fitness and mental strength each month. Now that I have completed five walks with a rucksack, I hope to use the monthly event as a free 5K run. Yes, there are people who actually run this thing! They're crazy! And, I plan to become one of them!
Junior League of Corpus Christi set up snow for the December BridgeWalk.

Milestones are meant to guide us along our journeys towards a successful life. They serve to let us know we are on the right track. I recommend that you use a local fitness event in your community like the Corpus Christi BridgeWalk every month, and use it as a milestone in your progress. In my five experiences on the BridgeWalk, I have met people who want to run a 5K every month, who are fighting to reclaim their lives from diabetes, those who use this time connecting with family and friends, and those who wish to raise awareness for a worthy cause.

Whatever your reasons may be, I invite you to come out and participate in the Corpus Christi BridgeWalk. The next one I will do is on January 1, 2014 at 10am (Details here), and the first Sunday of every month after that. Participants on New Year's Day will receive a commemorative coin from the City of Corpus Christi.

Commemorative Coin for New Year's Day BridgeWalk in Corpus Christi. January 1, 2014 at 10am. Show up early for the safety briefing and group photo. Stay afterwards for activities and goodies. Don't forget your punch cards!

My 2014 goal is to run over that bridge at a leisurely pace, maybe a 9-minute mile. I think that's reasonable considering that I'll also be fighting a fear of heights every time I'm up there on that bridge.

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