I knew that if I made my flight this morning it will not be because of luck, or speeding, or the remote proficiencies of the ticket and gate agents at the airport. I knew that if I made my flight, it will be only because my body is fully conditioned to break into a forced 1 minute on, 1 minute off, very aggressive sprint (x 4) through the parking garage and terminals of this airport, all while carrying some damn heavy loads. Suitcase deadlift? Check. Suicide (or what I would call a long-distance sprint): double check. Both at the same time? Oh yeah, that challenge was accepted.
Had I known that this morning was going to be such a fools game (of spreading awesome) I would have just gotten up two hours earlier and killed time with a long coffee date with myself in terminal A. Instead of that, I started my day from a place of complete calm; all my bags were packed and sitting at the door, I had already planned my outfit out, the dogs cooperated with the feeding/medicating timeline I had proposed with slight apprehension. I had even made time yesterday morning to clean my closet and office into the well organized meccas they had been intended to be. In short, I was going to not only crush this work trip, but I was also going to crush my anxiety about it by creating complete control in my environment. Cue the universe’s intervention.
I’m all about the slow build, but apparently that wasn’t an option. My 90 minute drive to Richmond turned into a 2+ hour ride, chock full of accidents and lane leaders that believe the speed limits themselves are too high (forget pushing it to +5). When I finally got there I escorted myself to the daily parking garage, only to learn that the 12 remaining parking spaces were also playing a game: hide and seek. When I finally got into the airport (after sprints #1 and #2), it became especially clear to me that this challenge was not only physical, but also a mental one, questioning compassion and rationale. I had 5 minutes to get my ticket, make it through security, and get to my gate before the plane would be finished boarding, and the only ticket agent was helping an elderly woman re-book her flight and understand her new travel…and possibly life. Honestly, universe, an elderly woman? Of course you did. You can’t get mad at that.
So, I stood in line, as patiently as I can while simultaneously tapping all of my things and twitching. I eventually got my ticket and well wishes from the ticketing staff as sprint #3 commenced to the security gate. Shoes off, laptop out, take of literally everything that could possibly suggest weapon of drug concealment and cause a trip back to the end of the line. Now, I will say that I appreciate the free pass on the personal body search today, but seeing as though I was just about as naked as you can be (thanks to my lululemon uniform of the day) that search would have been extreme to go beyond the 3 second full body scan.
Eventually I made it to the gate as zone 2 was finished boarding. I slowed my pace to cruise right into seat 16A with muffled, yet still heavy, breathing, a fresh coat of morning sweat covering my forehead and little droplets running down my back. I know that description made you all want to travel with me, and definitely made you want to be squished into a tiny plane with me and limited air supply. Truly, how could you resist?
As luck would have it, we got a little delayed on the runway, and I got to repeat the whole exercise again when I changed planes in Charlotte, just barely making it to the final, and nearly excruciating 5+ hour flight to San Francisco, crammed 3 in against a window. But, I made it.
I made it and I’m now safely where I should be, getting work organized, and waiting for work to officially release so I can have company for dinner, and the first actually good and restful meal of the day.