I recently spent three days in Washington, D.C., two with my girlfriends and one on my own. It was glorious. I enjoyed taking in sights I hadn’t seen before, discovering new restaurants, poking in and out of shops and covering lots of ground (literally) as we put in around eight miles on the one full day we had together.
On my final day in D.C., I was operating solo as my friends had flown out the night prior. I had a plan (as always). Stop one was Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Next up: Peruvian food at Huacatay. After Huacatay, I planned to do a conference call at a WeWork and visit with a dear friend before heading back to Tallahassee.
I love walking through cities, and I had lost track of the number of Lyfts and Ubers I had been in during the trip (even WITH 8 miles of walking the prior day), so it occurred to me that I could walk the two miles from the Van Gogh exhibit to the WeWork. (I also had not turned on my Charity Miles app the prior day, partially to conserve phone battery, and wanted to at least do one Charity Miles walk while I was in town.)
I had plenty of time to walk to the WeWork, check in there and find out the lay of the land. My phone said I would arrive at 3:01 p.m., and my conference call was at 3:30 p.m. Perfect.
Off I set. This walk traversed some of the same territory where our AirBNB had been located, so I reflected again on the observation my friends and I had made the day prior: Why does it all seem to go uphill?
Shortly after I passed the one-mile mark, I experienced a challenge I had not anticipated. My exercise-induced tachycardia started acting up (essentially, my heart was racing).
I had a decision to make. I could power through and hope things settled down, or I could order a rideshare.
I’ve experienced this issue many times before, and I’ve never (*knocks on wood*) passed out or otherwise had a medical crisis, but I didn’t think taking the chance when I was alone and away from home (with a flight scheduled just a few hours away) was wise.
There were three factors contributing to the problem: 1) the exertion 2) the additional weight of my laptop and 3) the heat.
If I had eliminated one of the three factors, I probably would have been OK. I couldn’t eliminate the exertion, because that is what was powering me toward my goal. I couldn’t get rid of the laptop, because I needed it for the conference call. And I couldn’t change the temperature.
I ordered an Uber.
I arrived at the WeWork at precisely the same time I would have arrived if I had walked.
I’m sorry I missed out on a little more pedestrian sightseeing, but I did fit in 1.2 Charity Miles for She’s the First.
I’m glad I made the choice to take care of myself and preserve the ability to enjoy the rest of my day.
It’s not a weakness to use the resources available to us when we face challenges.
This post is a response to the Kat Bouska prompt “Share about a time you felt challenged.”
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.