Friday, February 26, 2010

It's 4 o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep

My eyes pop open and I feel a rush of adrenaline. My heart feels like its in overdrive, and the nerve endings from my head to my fingertips are on high alert. I look at the clock and realize it is 4 in the morning and try to force myself back to sleep to no avail.

I think about my listing in Greenbrae. A beautiful home that just won't sell, no matter what I try. I think about the owners who put their faith in me and try and imagine the one thing that could make a difference and sell this home. I think about business. I think about meetings. I think and think and think and worry. It's 4 in the morning. That is what you do at 4, worry.


I had thought that I would get a good night sleep. Yesterday, I had a 16 mile walk after all, not that I meant to... but I did.

I started out the morning at an office meeting, then headed back to the office. After crossing off the list of phone calls I needed to make, I made my escape. The plan was to do a repeat of last weeks walk from the city, after taking the ferry from Sausalito, but add a couple of miles to this by parking further away. I parked my car on Harbor Drive, and started off.

The phone rang with not one, not two , not three but four time, each important phone calls. My walking pace was decidedly slower as I walked and talked. When I finally finished with the phone calls I looked at my watch, I was going to miss the ferry. I walked faster, but figured it would be wasted effort to run, I was at least 5 mins. behind. But as the Ferry dock came into view I could see the boat still tied up there, so I ran.

When I could see the gangplank to the boat I saw the lines had been tossed aside and the ferry was heading merrily on its way. Time for an adjustment of itinerary.

My goal was to walk 12 miles. I figured maybe I could walk to the Sports Basement at Crissy Field and back and stop at Murray Circle for lunch at Cavallo Point. I wiped the sweat from my brow and headed off on my Plan B walk.

Last week as I walked, I was glad to have my jacket, vest and turtleneck on. Today, with no jacket I was wishing I had a lighter weight layer. The sky was touched with wisps of white clouds. The air was warm. I could feel I had gotten strong as the climb up Alexander Avenue had gotten easier for me than the last time I walked here.

When I got to Cavallo Point I got a table on the front deck at Murray Circle. At first I chose to face out to the Bay, sitting on the cushioned lined bench, but quickly reversed my direction to stare at the wall. The sun was so bright, and it shone directly in my eyes. I was decidedly over dressed. I looked at the other diners on the deck and saw several with beads of sweat on their foreheads. This is February?

The waiter brought out a Parker house roll and a pad of butter, which soon became a pool of melted butter. I ordered a wood grilled flatbread with broccoli rabe, basil, lemon oil, shaved parmesan cheese and chili. It was the perfect meal for a walk.

I heard the man at the table next to me yell out "Hey McConnell! What are you doing on this beautiful day?" The fellow walking up and into to the building nodded, but didn't respond. He wore a causal suit and had a backpack slung over one arm of his shoulder and walked with a light jaunt. Then I listened to the conversation at the next door table. "Who was that?" the woman asked. "Doug McConnell, from a TV show called Bay Are Backroads". Aha... he was right, that is exactly who that was.
Leaving the lodge, I walked onward to the bridge. On the way I passed the coast guard station. At the dock a Coast Guard ship had just come in along with a SF police boat. On shore the "Coasties" and their dog stood watching. One asked the others "you want to go down there?" "Naw" the other responded. There was a group of people on the dock and I watched as several of the people donned white suits and put on face masks. A firetruck from Southern Marin Fire District drove up to join the one from another jurisdiction. As one driver got out he nodded to me. I was wondering what could be happening here, it wasn't until I told Glenn the story that it became clear. "It was a floater" Glenn said. "Probably had been in the water a long time."
In 2008, 34 people jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge. For me the bridge is a symbol of accomplishment, but for those people it is a symbol of failure. I am glad that as I walked up the steep incline to the span, I wasn't thinking about that. I had decided the activity below was probably some sort hazardous waste recovery.

Usually the wind is pretty blustery on the bridge, so I keep my hand on my hat to prevent it from ending up in the bay or the road. Today the breeze was welcome, but not very strong so I trudged along without a care, hat in place on my way to the Sports Basement. At the SF side of the bridge I saw dozens of surfers catching waves off the shore. It looked like they were having their own little mini maverick competition.

Making my way down to Crissy Field, I noticed two things... one, the time was getting later than I'd like and two, I was walking much further than I planned. By the time I got to the Sports Basement I felt like I needed to shop quickly. The one thing I wanted to get was what my masseuse and a couple of runners had suggested I needed for my tendon problem on the side of my leg. ILB I think they call the problem. They said to get a hard Styrofoam tube to roll the leg over. They said it hurts like Hell but its the only thing they have known to help this chronic problem. So I bought a contraption that was shorter , wider and supposedly superior to the Styrofoam tube, a yoga mat carrier to put it in and a box of sharkies (I needed a pack of those right away! I'd been sweating on this warm day.) Leaving the store I saw the pedometer showed 9 miles. Double that for the walk home and I would be walking 18. I looked at my watch it was 3 pm. Hmmm. on a quick walk I walk 3 miles an hour. hmmmm 3 hours to walk home? That wouldn't be very good...It would be dark. I decided to keep on walking to the Ferry building. It would be a safer walk home if it got dark. I had no idea what the mileage would end up to be at the end of the walk, I hoped it would be shorter.

I text messaged Glenn and asked if I needed to be saved from the dark would he come to pick me up and he wrote back "Whenever you call me I'll be there. Whenever you want me I'll be there, Whenever you need me , I'll be there. I'll be around." Ah he knows me and the Spinners go way back. I smiled as I walked at a quick pace.

When I reached the Ferry building it was 5 pm. I had time to shop for dinner, picking up a flat iron steak from the Golden Gate Meat Company, A loaf of Acme Bread and two cupcakes from Miette. I put them carefully in my yoga mat carrier, and stopped at Pete's for a cappuccino and waited for the 5:30 Ferry.


Many of the people on the Ferry were riding back from work. Some were still working with their laptops. I would have been working too, on my phone but the battery was pretty much shot. Except enough to do a self portrait!

I think I look like a monkey from Planet of the Apes

Back in Sausalito, it was 6 pm and the lights were coming on. I am waiting for those longer evenings. It surely will make the training a little easier with work. Finally back at my car, I looked at the pedometer and thought, hmmm 16 miles, it feels like 20.

So as you can imagine, I thought all this exercise would help me sleep. Now it's nearly 5am... and I am exhausted but not sleepy. I have a legal update meeting at 8:30, A client to show a house to at 1 and a couple of hours of paperwork with clients listing their home. Glad I walked. Wish I could have slept. Guarantee, tonight I will!

BTW Know of anyone who needs a great 4 bedroom home in a super convenient location?! http://www.19gregoryplace.com/
PS After inserting these photos and cleaning up this post it is 6:20. The turkeys are making their rounds on our hill. They don't sound tired at all.