Wednesday, August 13, 2008

35-Minute Mile

I had a small bit of independent adventure yesterday afternoon, and I'm still basking in the glow of it. I had a massage scheduled, and considering that no one I knew was already going to be spending time with me, and the fact that there are buses and taxis that I can easily use, I decided to get myself there all alone.

Normally I avoid buses as much as possible. Mostly this is because I don't tend toward motion sickness . . . but I do on a bus. Sometimes all I have to do is sit down on the bus and I start to feel queasy. When I'm on long-distance buses in foreign countries I mostly find that I sleep, even when the rest of the passengers are drunk Lithuanian men (this is obviously a safer practice when I'm traveling with Ian, who mostly reads. Nope, can't do that). I think this is my body's way of holding on to breakfast. Fortunately for yesterday's adventure, I managed to not feel any discomfort until about 2/3 of the way through my trip and then I needed to start really paying attention to where I was and so I was distracted from my guts. I suppose I could blame chemo for the tummy trouble, but I won't. I'll blame the bus.

Anyway, the bus I chose is a very convenient one. It stops 2 blocks from my house (up the street), winds through the UW and on to U Village (good to note—bus stop right by Anthropologie), then heads north to 75th, then west to Roosevelt, then north again. If I got off at 82nd and Roosevelt, I would be a mere two long blocks from my massage, mostly a slight downhill stroll. Of course, I don't ride the bus much, and I couldn't quite believe it would stop every two blocks up Roosevelt, so after 76th and 78th I pulled the cord. And then at 80th I felt compelled to get out (since no one else was), dragging my oxygen tank with me (someone asked me the other day if I had a name for my portable oxygen tank and I don't, but the more I get out of the house and drag it around, the more I think it'll need one. I'm open to suggestions.). Anyway, walking from 80th added a couple more blocks, and a little bit of uphill. But I told myself I was just out being independent—I was not out even trying to walk my normal pace—and I strolled slowly on the uphills, and a little more quickly on the levels and downhills, and made it with good oxygen levels, and a heart rate that proved I was working out.

After my massage, I did the same 10-block walk that I last did June 17th (note: yesterday's 10 blocks came after I'd already walked about ½ a mile—which makes it significantly better than the June walk . . . before the pneumonia), up to L&S's house. My friend who was gimpy at that time had just come home from a hugely successful major back surgery, soon to not be gimpy anymore. Ian met us there a little later and we all had a fine Mexican dinner, and at 8:30 I realized I was completely wiped out—in a very good way—and we came home.

But oh, man. This really convenient bus still meant I had to leave my house a whole hour before I would've if I'd been driving, to go a distance of about 3 ½ miles. Yes, I'm not doing too much with my time these days—a little writing, small projects around the house, reading, occasionally having an afternoon nap—but when I have the option of the car again, even if I'm still not extraordinarily busy, I know I'll struggle. The convenience and the speed of one's own car do, increasingly obviously, carry consequences. But the convenience and the speed.


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a great day!!!!!! I am glad to hear you are up and out on your own.

Love you.

wendy said...

Good to hear you are up and about on your own. Well done!

I know what you mean about the bus. I have been trying to take the bus as much as possible this summer...being green, saving gas, getting to know all the wonderful fellow bus riders and their (inane cell phone conversations, crazy hats, smells of rotting flesh....) uniqueness. All this means that I have to plan on about an hour to travel between the UW and ballard... when I can drive in about 15 minutes, ride my bike in 20 minutes (not going there now... why I am not riding my bike that has been referred to as having "crippling ergonomics") and I do not have to stand at the bus stop for 30 minutes *waiting* for the bus.

Kudos for taking the bus when it makes you sick and even more kudos for heading out on a big adventure!


Wendy (now Dr. and I still owe Ian a $!)