When I woke up this morning, I was flooded with a memory. I'm not sure why it came to me all of a sudden – perhaps anxiety or fear or something deep in my subconscious. In any case, it has flipped my packing for NYC on its head.
I shared the photo from my last trip to NYC back in 2003 where I couldn't even recognize my face. I honestly don't remember a whole lot about that trip because it was quick and I didn't do many touristy things. The one thing that flooded back to me today: my pain.
I remember walking around with my friends. We went to different shops and were just passing time. There wasn't a set plan. I started panicking earlier in the day when we first set off on our rambling adventures in the city. Early on I got blisters and I was just silently hoping that the pain wouldn't get worse than that. As the day wore on, however, my legs and feet started swelling. My shoes started cutting into my feet and the blisters popped. At that time in my life I was in complete denial about my size and health. I didn't talk about it with anyone, so I tried to suffer in silence.
After a couple more hours, however, I couldn't do it anymore. I asked that we go into a Puma store that we were walking past so I could look for some tennis shoes. They had some really awesome shoes, but I remember them all being over $125 which was out of the question for my college budget. I tried to act like I didn't like the colors or style, so I bought a 2 pack of socks (they had blue glitter puma outlines on them) and we set back out.
We stumbled past a Sketchers store and I asked to go inside. There, I tried on tennis shoes that were my size and couldn't get them on my feet. I remember looking at my friends and their boredom as I hunched over a bench trying to put these huge, heavy Sketchers on my feet over my newly-purchased Puma socks. The sales associate suggested I try mens shoes, so I asked him to bring me the most lady-like pair, which ended up being these massive white things. As soon as I got them on my feet, I never took them off and walked out poorer with the pair of shoes on my feet and my offending flats in the Sketchers bag. There wasn't relief though – the pain was past just my feet being swollen. Legs hurt, my ankles hurt – it was just bad.
I have some trepidation about this trip because of my ankle injury, but I have to remember how far I've come and how I have gone 13.1 miles – surely I can pound some pavement in NYC. I saw this today and thought it was really appropriate: