Don’t Tread on Me

January 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The Women’s March was one of the most incredible, inspiring and awesome things I’ve ever been a part of. Period.

There were hundreds of women and men waiting outside Union Station for buses when I arrived and they had been boarding and departing all day. I met up with a friend of mine and dozens of others, most of whom came prepared for the ride with cookies, candy, snacks and of course wine. The mood was hopeful even though we all wished it wasn’t necessary for us to be there to begin with. And as we got closer to D.C. (all twelve hours’ worth of a ride each way) it became apparent we weren’t the only ones who felt that way.

pic

My sign is on Buzzfeed! The red one under the pink shoe!

I’ve literally never seen anything like what I did last weekend. We stopped at a gas station in PA around 4:30 Saturday morning and the entire parking lot was full of charter buses heading to the March. The gas station was FULL of women (lined up out the door) using every bathroom they had available and purchasing snacks and drinks from frazzled workers. As we got closer and closer, it became apparent it was just about ONLY buses on the highway and we were all headed to the same place. We parked around 8am and my girlfriend and I found a place to grab a breakfast sandwich before heading to the National Mall. Even the cafe we went to had a line to the back of the store – every place was absolutely packed, which told us right then that the March was going to be bigger than anyone had anticipated. And was it ever! I met groups that had three generations with them – women and men who had marched in the 60’s along with their sons, daughters and grandchildren. The unity and cohesiveness that I witnessed is something that I’ll never forget.

After our walking breakfast, we used the deluxe bathrooms (aka porta-potties) before finding a space in the Rally, which was smart because we were immediately surrounded by thousands of people of every color, age, sexual orientation, gender and walk of life. There were so many people that you couldn’t really get out even if you wanted to, which was evidenced by the girl who popped a squat and peed on the ground right next to me. She lucked out because I came equipped with toilet paper and hand sanitizer in my handy, awesome little fanny pack. We all stood around chanting and singing for the entirety of the Rally, which ended up being four hours instead of three. That would have been fine and good but we couldn’t hear a thing that the speakers and performers were saying and could barely see them on the Jumbo-Tron, so we were beyond ready to walk around by the time we started to move. There was a brief rumor that the actual March would be cancelled because there were so many people that the route was entirely clogged but we all had to go somewhere, so March we did. We actually ended up taking to all of the surrounding streets from the Mall and wound our way through the city, ending everything near the White House gates. All in all, we walked for about three hours and my friend and I were among those who left our signs outside the White House. And there were thousands of others who did the exact same thing!

As I said, I’ve never experienced anything like that. I’ve also never seen that many people in one place – one National Guardsman told us that they were told there were 900,000 people there (three times what was there for the inauguration!) but even if it was the 500,000 that the media portrayed, I can attest that it was a whole lot of people. To have everyone there feeling the same things and hoping for the same changes was truly inspiring and did my heart and soul an immense amount of good. Everyone was courteous, peaceful and as optimistic as we could be, given the circumstances. It was an extremely positive and very energizing experience and we all plan to carry that momentum forward for the next four years!

Some people didn’t understand the March or the mission behind it and I can see how the message was a little confusing. This wasn’t an Anti-Trump March, first and foremost. I accept the fact that he is my president, even if I don’t like it. That said, the last thing I want is for him to mess up or fail because that’s like saying I want my pilot to crash our plane. I would love if he really did uphold equal values for everyone and moved this country in a positive direction, I just don’t think it will really happen. So for me personally, I was there to show our new president that we matter just as much as the people who voted him into office and that we’re all going to be watching to ensure he doesn’t do more harm than good – and we’ll be holding him accountable. The fact that hundreds of other countries (and every single continent!) also had people rallying for the same thing just goes to show how strongly we all feel about this. Chicago had 250,000 people in the streets (my feminist husband included) and it was amazing to see how many people came together all around the world. If nothing else, knowing all of those men, women and children feel the way I do will give me the strength to get through whatever the next few years might throw at me. As one of my favorite chants said, “This is a movement, not a moment!”

We’re stronger together and we’re not going anywhere.

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Walk it Out

December 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I have officially been wearing my Jawbone step tracker for one entire year. Every day, I’ve managed to hit at least 10,000 steps. That’s a lot of walking! Here are some things I’ve learned:

094187437e0821bde24c8370426a366d

Ah yes, I’m familiar with this look.

  • It wasn’t easy. 10,000 steps is (for me) essentially about an hour and 45 minutes of walking each day. Since I don’t have a car and commute to the office, I walk a bit every day by default but there were many days that I had to force myself to go back out for another long walk in order to actually hit my steps. On some days, I literally had to plan around it and I often went out of my way to incorporate more walking.
  • Location matters. There was a big difference in my steps depending on where I was. It was always easier to hit them in Chicago and when I traveled to visit my family in other states where public transit isn’t as much of a thing, I felt it. I can’t even tell you how many laps I’ve made up and down my mom’s driveway in order to walk a little more! I’ve gotten spoiled to living in a place where there are sidewalks and I no longer take that for granted.
  • It becomes addicting. Logically, I know that I don’t have to “hit my steps” every day. But I’m just a little Type-A and once I started I just couldn’t stop. There was something about that daily vibration on my wrist that I just had to have! Sort of like a good habit. Which I guess is the point…
  • My tracker didn’t count stairs as two steps. Bummer, especially considering how I live on the third floor of a walk-up.
  • It did, however, count my elliptical and treadmill time at the gym. But not the stationary bike.
  • Some people thought I was crazy. I didn’t dispute that but I am glad I kept it up.

And because I think it’s interesting, here are some of my stats from the last year:

  • I walked an average of 13,698 steps a day
  • I walked the most in May, at 486,376 total steps
  • I walked the least in November, at 379,375 steps (not surprising given the wedding weekend and all)
  • Speaking of, I logged 11,478 steps on my wedding day…and I took off the band before the ceremony so that didn’t include all of my dancing, which probably added a few thousand more!
  • The most I walked in a single day was 26,746 steps (thanks to working an overnight at the museum…those nights were consistently my highest)
  • Overall, I walked 5 MILLION steps in 365 days.

Clearly my size 10 feet have done me some good after all!

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Walk This Way

August 7, 2013 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Apologies for the sparseness of my blog posts recently…I’ve just been busy.  There’s no other excuse.  I did manage to get my trip pictures on my laptop so that’s a big step in writing a wrap up post, but it’s just the first step.  It’ll happen eventually, I promise!

One thing that kept me busy all this last weekend was the fact that my father came in town.  He’s only been in Chicago twice before (and once doesn’t count because he left like 8 hrs after he got here) and this was the first time he got to see the new (to him, I’ve been there 3 years) neighborhood Scott and I live in and our apartment.  He also go to meet the Dude for the first time and since he’s not too fond of cats, that was fun.  Anyway, he came in town Friday and left Monday morning.  I picked him up from and dropped him off at the airport and even made friends with an 81-year-old immigrant who was waiting on his grandkids to arrive while I was waiting on Dad.  He told me I was beautiful and I should hurry up and give my parents grandkids of their own.  Thanks, old guy, because it’s not like I don’t get enough of that from my family already.  Anyway, Dad and I had a good visit and I showed him around my office and The Field Museum, plus we took him to the beach, the park and quiet a few restaurants as well.  I planned things as I normally do when visitors arrive but there’s something I often forget to take into consideration – and that’s that not everyone is used to walking as much as I am.  I kind of wore my dad out without really even trying and the poor guy took more naps over the weekend than I have over the last few months.

Southern-styled deliciousness!

For example, the day I took him to my office we walked to the train (15 minutes, since we walked slower than I normally do) and then navigated the two elevators and escalator to get up to my floor.  After that we walked to the train stop by the library (10 minutes) and then we walked home from the train after that (15 minutes).  We were going to walk to dinner that night (25 minutes each way) but dad was simply not having it.  Which was okay actually because that actually is a lot of walking.  But instead of walking to the trains and the museum the next day, I just drove us and used my special super awesome Field badge to get into the parking lot.  I was worried Lollapalooza was going to cause downtown driving nightmares but we managed to get around relatively unscathed.

One of the places Scott and I took Dad was the Wishbone restaurant.  And it was amazing – as in, I’m kind of ashamed I’ve walked by it so often without ever really going there before.  I think I went in one night after a street fest when we got caught in the rain but all I remember eating were the hush puppies, which were admittedly great.  Anyway, I may do a review of that place on its own sometime.  If not, take my word for it that it was awesome.

It was a good visit with Dad and he was here on his actual birthday, so we got to celebrate together.  It was also my actual half-birthday, but I’m trying not to think about how close to 30 I’m really getting.  But as long as I’m able to continue to walk around Chicago as much as I do now, I guess I’ll be okay!

 

Permalink Leave a Comment