I was born stubborn.
Most people who know me know this (especially my Husband). I always insist on doing things my own way and forging on when others would have given up long ago.
Walking to work has been painful this week. My legs aren’t used to walking so far, braving the bridge of doom and the stairways within the warehouse of terror. But, despite the pain, I have braved them, I have tackled my fears, my bodies wants.
Last night, tired of the pain that lingers well into the night and carries me through my dreams (dark dreams tinged with red and populated by people from my past who whisper strange secrets) I decided to find an alternate route to work.
I found one that would involve only minimal walking, barely even five minutes instead of the 15 there and the 15 back to the buss stop. It sounded perfect, sounded wonderful. It would give my legs bliss, would stop my body from being filled with pain.
But this morning, riding on the buss, I stopped myself from riding to the mall where I would catch another buss. I got off the buss and, in a split second decision (something I do quite often) decided to take my regular route.
I knew that this was because I was stubborn. I didn’t want my body to win, I didn’t want to give in to it’s demands, to the Elephant Legs that find me, the hum that starts at the soles of my feet and moves up my legs slowly, caressing my calves with hot needle kisses.
I wanted to fight my body, I didn’t want it to win. I wanted to be victorious.
And so I made a compromise.
I took breaks every few minutes, made sure to sit when I felt my legs spasm, when I felt the hum grow in volume. While I was sitting there, letting the pain roll through my body, I tried to appreciate the beauty around me. By doing this, I hoped to turn the pain into something good, something positive.
I got off the buss and walked up the stairs to the trains station. I sat in front of the station and watched a girl saying goodbye to her parents before she went on a trip. I walked a bit further.
I stopped and sat on a pick nic table and watched the sparrows flying from branch to branch, their wings like whispers, their chirps like music. I walked a bit further.
I stopped and sat on the overpass, the bride that goes over the Queensway. I watched all the cars below me, marveling at the speed of them, the way the caressed the road as they traveled. I walked a bit further.
I got my coffee and arrived at work, sitting in front of the building on a bench. The leaves were falling off the trees and the wind danced with them for a brief moment before letting them fall.
I was still in pain when I got to work but somehow it didn’t matter. My pain didn’t seem like such a big deal compared to the beauty I had witnessed. I walked back to the buss stop after work today with more ease, as well.
I have made a compromise with my body. I might be in pain tonight, each step I take a blinding flash up my legs.
But I know that there is more beauty to come tomorrow.