hustle puff

Today, I earned respect for my younger self. I got a request to do a hospice informational at Brigham and Women's in Longwood. I hesitated and sighed in my head because, really, DOWNTOWN? and then I smiled and asked for the details because I am in the middle of a transition at work that will end my rides through the airport tunnel. This would be a workplace miracle. I hustled my butt to 93 North and headed onto Melnea Cass. I panicked thinking about parking, but luckily this was my old 'hood and I knew a secret place to find a meter spot. A meter spot with 2 hours and 30 minutes ticking away, green sticker and all. I added a quarter just to make that time officially mine, stuffed my hands into my gloves, and smiled as I headed toward the hospital. I laughed out loud when I saw the garage across from the entrance was 7 dollars for the first hour. It was only a few block walk, easy. Except, it wasn't. By the time I hit the spinning hospital entrance I was huffing from my speedwalking.

In 2004, we lived in Natick and I took the train to and from Boston each day by way of the Longwood stop. In the mornings I caught the shuttle to the office most mornings because there was usually one waiting. I caught a shuttle if I could in the afternoon, but this was a rarity because I am historically tardy, beyond tardy, and leaving on time for a train was a near impossibility. The traffic at quarter to five was so terrible in Longwood that it was faster for me to walk/run to the stop. So I did. Racing all the way from Dana-Farber or Children's all the way to the Longwood Stop across the street from Fenway. Some days I speed walked, some days I ran, and most days I caught the train. Sure I was a bit out of breath when I launched myself up the steps, but I had made it.

It felt odd to back there. I waited for no less than five elevators to get one that was not absolutely packed headed up to the towers. FIVE. I watched people parade on ahead of a woman in a wheelchair, dressed in a johnny, with an IV bag hanging. I was disgusted.

When I left the hospital to make the trek back to my STUPID parking spot that seriously could not have been further away from the hospital, I recalled that I had lived "just around the corner" and had WALKED everyday in 2001. How did I do this? Everyday?

I went along this memory lane of sorts and started to recall the walk to the other Green Line stop I did when we lived in Cleveland Circle in 2003. Ten minutes at least at a brisk walk, ten minutes more UPHILL walk on the way home after watching no less than three PACKED trains breeze right by me on their way outbound. How?

I realized I had been right here, my whole life in Boston. I had been up the road at Northeastern, down the road in JP, way further down the road in Cleveland Circle. I had been RIGHT THERE and right there was a really annoying place to get to from just about ANYWHERE. My poor parents who drove in to visit had to not just drive to Boston, but annoyingly through it just to get me. Steve had to brave Melnea Cass or Columbus. I didn't realize how annoying this was until I was in my car fighting to get out of that place to my next appointment in Brockton. I didn't realize this because I didn't have a car when I was a Boston girl. I didn't worry about parking, traffic, meters, trolleys on Huntington. I didn't have to. I caught a train, a shuttle, or used my feet. It is no wonder I was in the most amazing shape of my life and I didn't need a gym to look like that. It was built into my everyday and yes, I still resented it the way I resent a workout now, but at least at the end of it, I actually got somewhere. I wasn't just standing still in space, moving my legs on a trail to nowhere.

I was a bit nostalgic for the hustle and bustle of it all, but I was happy to drive away and leave it behind me. That ship has sailed, I just need to find a daily work out like that again.


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