Last Saturday I kicked off my return to an active lifestyle by heading over to the San Diego Zoo for the Walk on the Wild Side 5k walk. I had yet to visit the world-renowned zoo so it was a great opportunity to experience a new place and kick off my active lifestyle, all in one day.
I was excited to start my new training and rehabilitation plan, but didnt realize how excited until the weekend of the Walk on the Wild Side. The night before the walk felt similar to a night before a game --maybe not to the same level, but I was definitely feeling the anticipation and energy. Saturday morning I woke up before my alarm and jumped out of bed, just like I did on game days in college. This is worth noting because I am the farthest thing from a morning person. I stretched and did some physical therapy exercises for my back for about 30 minutes. I never thought I would have to prepare my body for 30 minutes to walk three miles, but thats life. I left the house mentally and physically prepared to take on the days events.
The walk started on Zoo Drive, and took us on a unique trip before the zoo opened to the public. At the start, I laughed to myself thinking about how mentally focused and psyched up I was standing at the starting line. For the past five years Id been preparing myself that way and apparently I approached the walk in the same manner. No harm done, but definitely amusing considering the difference between a Division I college lacrosse game and a 5k walk around the zoo.
We walked past several different animal exhibits on our route, but my favorite was the panda bear exhibit. The San Diego Zoo has four pandas on-site, the largest population of pandas in the United States. Its hard to believe that these beautiful pandas are the most endangered bear species in the world. I was glad to hear that the Zoological Society continues to do its best to help the pandas and many other animals on the verge of extinction.
It was a great day and Im thrilled I had the chance to experience the San Diego Zoo by exercising and raising money for the Zoological Society. I am not sure what my next event will be at this point, but I am sure Ill treat it like a game day just like this one.