I know I talk a lot about running. I run quite a bit, and I love it. But there is another workout that gets relatively little love on the pixels of this blog: the packhorse workout. I do it nearly every day. Sometimes twice, sometimes three times. It is just one of the many ways we benefit from not owning a car. Because when you don’t have a car, sometimes you get to be the “car.”
Today I was in SUV mode. I strapped Squish to my back, slung the diaper bag over my shoulder, grabbed Manchild’s backpack with one hand and his hand with the other. We cruised down the sidewalk to the train station, stepped down the stairs, slipped through the turnstiles, and squeezed onto the next available train. One quick transfer, a couple of more stops and out the doors, up the stairs, through the turnstiles and to the street. We wove through the foot traffic to school, where I freed my hands of their charges, but didn’t stop for breath before heading with a friend, first up three flights of stairs to her apartment, then back down, then to the bus stop, the bank, the store, the other store. Finally, a place to unload. Briefly. With Squish in the child seat, I filled up the cart, and hoped I’d be able to carry it all home. Ha!
After wrestling Squish back into the carrier, I slung one bag, two bags, three bags onto my shoulders and slogged across the street to the bus stop. Up three flights of stairs to my friend’s apartment where we rested for nearly 30 minutes, then packed up again. Down the stairs and up the street to collect my additional child and his baggage. To the train station, down the stairs, through the turnstiles, to the platform, onto the train. Transfer. Wait and wait and wait and wait. (We had to wait a long time for train number 2 today.) Squeeze onto the train, weave through the passengers to get out at our stop, up the stairs, through the turnstiles, up more stairs, and head home.
The numbers: Four trains, two buses, 26 streets crossed, 19 flights of stairs, four bags, two children, one mom, five hours.
The picture is us going to do the laundry early last year . . . the only things that have changed (aside from our apartment) are the size of the kids and the length of my hair.