This is a picture of my running clothes, minus the underpants and the fancy running watch.
I'm grateful for them. Why? I'll explain.
Yesterday I was helping out a friend, who had been in a car accident. She has some mobility issues (which she had prior to said accident), with her ankle. They make getting around troublesome for her, enough so that she rented a wheelchair for an out-of-town trip she's taking this weekend.
I helped my friend get a rental car while she's dealing with accident and health related stuff, and we brought it back to her house. Shortly after that, we parted company.
She had some prep to do to make using the wheelchair work for her. I watched her very cleverly cut little pieces of rope, tie off the ends and burn them, and rig up a harness to carry her purse and water bottle. (Totally cool.) Then we got ready to go.
I want to describe this process to you.
First, she pulled on a pair of driving gloves (necessary for protecting her hands from getting banged up by pushing the wheelchair.)
We exited her apartment, and she handed me the key so I could lock up (easier than jockeying past me in the chair to do it.)
We rode down the elevator to the rented car.
She got to the car, got out of the chair, opened the driver's side rear door to the SUV. Then she folded up the chair, trying to see if it would fit in the back seat.
She went around to the back of the SUV, opened the cargo hatch, put the back seats down, lifted the chair into the cargo bed.
Then she went around to the rear seat door again, tugged on the wheelchair to shift it up a bit to see if she could make it fit better.
She came around to the back, took the leg stand hardware off the wheelchair, and got into the car.
Sounds exhausting, right? Wait, we're not done yet.
I got in the passenger side front seat, and watched as she slowly and carefully took the driver's gloves off, and folded them away.
As I watched her, I felt this great wave of empathy for her. Not sympathy, mind you. I didn't feel sorry for her, I felt a shared sense of her pain, and admiration.
For one thing, she totally rigged up the purse carrying harness thing in the blink of an eye, super clever. This doesn't surprise me though, because this particular friend of mine is like the poster child for resourceful puller-up-of-oneself-by-their-own-bootstraps. This same friend of mine by force of will got herself out of a tiny rural town and into a successful career in a big city. She's kind of magical, really.
She's also the sort of person who can do a lot with a little. She's creative, and driven. When she puts her mind to something, nothing will stop her.
As I got in my own car and she got on her way, I knew she would be okay. But I could tell that her amazing motion was being very hampered by the inertia caused by recent misfortune and specifically all these mobility compromising things that have happened to her.
I've known her for ages. I've been to her house before, lots of times. I can distinctly remember visiting with her and going someplace in her car, from her apartment. It was like a 2 minute operation, that felt like sliding down a pole into the Batcave, and jumping in the Batmobile and roaring out of sight.
How very differemt things were yesterday.
Anyhow. cue today. I get up at around 4:45 am, before my alarm clock, with her on my mind. Also, I know it's going to be brutally hot today, so it's very on my mind to get up, get ready to go walk, and get in a good workout before the withering heat comes.
So, I got to business, getting my pre-run routine done in a hurry. And then I stopped, and looked down at my running clothes, the ones you just saw, and realized how incredibly lucky I am to have the mobility I do. It's big goddamn fucking deal.
This was my third walking workout in recent days. I pushed myself to do an extra half mile or so, because I was so grateful I can.