Today, while shopping, I had to sit for a moment.
I had just finished grocery shopping and went to leave the store when I looked at the long flight of stairs that I had to climb up to get out. Normally, people don’t fear stairs too much. But to me, they are an exercises in pain.
My muscles don’t like being forced to carry me up steep steps. They’d much rather I stay firmly on the ground. I have enough trouble walking; I must be crazy to climb stairs. But climb I must. I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge. Seeing that I face challenges of every sort, each and every day, I’m not bothered by this.
I hold on to my bags of groceries, a few bags in each hand. I know I’ll need the bags to balance me as I am momentarily vulnerable to my muscles while climbing. I put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time as it were, forcing my legs to work with the rest of my body. I’m not sweating when I get to the top but I’m sore.
I walk outside and feel sharp, jabbing pains in my feet and calves. Elephant Legs have come to bless me, gracing my calves with their swollen presence. I take small, shuffling steps to a concrete block that used to house a garden and I sit, knowing that even as I do so, the muscles will knot together.
But I also know I can’t keep walking; it hurts too much. I begin to count.
I know that I’ve been sitting there for some time, breathing deeply. And not once has someone stopped to see if I was okay. Not that I would have wanted that; how would I explain what was wrong? No, sometimes it’s best to be left alone.
Sometimes I’m thankful that I live in a busy city where people are living too quickly to notice anyone else around them. It saves me from embarassing myself.