It took a few days before I figured out what it was–why I felt so tired, why my legs were kind of sore, my ankles felt a little throbby, my butt was looking a little more taut, maybe, or that could have been wishful thinking, and I was so very, very tired all the time. The walking. All the walking I did. I haven’t walked like that, and sometimes in four-inch heels, since, well, since I lived in a city where you can walk everywhere and to everything.
Bike riding is marvelous and it gets you everywhere quickly, but there is really nothing in the world like your own two feet, heaving your butt all the way through the world. There’s a reason doctors recommend weight-bearing exercise as the most healthful and calorie burning, and that is because your carcass is a big damn chore to haul across the surface of the earth. Your legs have to not only pump and move and propel you forward, but they’ve also got to support you and keep you upright and balanced and provide finely tuned direction and steering. Your arms are there for stability and extra momentum, your ankles are taking on a lot of the weight and much of the steadying chores, and your shoulders are moving and your entire body is engaged in the process of throwing you forward and out into the world and up the hills and down the street and it is hard damn work.
I walked from the car when E dropped me off at the airport, through to
the check-in terminals over to baggage and through the security line,
down the concourse and from store to store, stocking up on supplies and
trying to decide between magazines and a book, candy or chips or maybe
both or maybe just pretzels or perhaps a bowl of soup and let’s go back
and check this store and oh, they’re boarding and all the way back at a
gallop to the gate, down the ramp and through the mysterious halls of
the SLC airport and across the tarmac and up the stairs. Then a break,
and all over again, out of the plane and up the ramp and through the
airport to baggage claim, over and through the parking lot to the
AirTrain to the BART, and then from BART to the MUNI, from the MUNI
stop down a block and up a hill and over a block and up the stairs and
through hugs and bouncing a baby and out the door for coffee and
hanging out and shopping.
You walk a baby when the baby is fussy, through the living room and
into the kitchen and back around through the bedroom and then you strap
her into a baby sling and take her out around the block and out for
more coffee and up to meet her daddy when he gets off the bus from
work. You walk your bags out of the house, down the stairs, back down
the hill to the train and off the train and up the escalator and then
the stairs and into the hotel. You stand in line at check in, you walk
over to the baggage check and then you walk back out the door and down
the street to meet people you miss, then walk back to the hotel and
then back out the door to the next destination, and the next and the
You walk to all the coffee dates and all the parties and you walk
around the parties. You walk to the corner to catch a cab, but then you
spend the rest of your night on your feet, walking up and down the
stairs, dodging other guests and thinking that your feet are like
cumulus clouds swollen with pain and your knees ache and your hips
haven’t seen this much swiveling since college and maybe the human body
wasn’t designed to be this mobile and all you really want in the world
is maybe a Segway or a piggyback ride and what the hell is going on,
and oh, yeah, right, you haven’t sat down for more than ten minutes at
a time for a week and no wonder you are hungry every ten minutes.
It’s good for me and healthy to be happy and mobile and up and about
and full of energy, but all I can think about is how sitting on a plane
for two solid hours, doing nothing at all, sounds like a beautiful
dream, and then oh, how I will spend the rest of my week perfectly
still and silent and at rest.