The experience, as you can imagine, was not a comfortable one. It wasn't easy to carry my luggage - no roller bag for me - much less take it across the airport. I audibly groaned when I realized that my gate, of course, was at the end of the concourse. And the seats? Well, they felt tiny and confined.
I wouldn't be talking about that trip if the memories weren't still vivid. In fact, every time I fly, I am reminded of just how much easier it is to travel at a healthy weight.
1. It never fails that I seem to book flights with the tightest connections ... and then my initial flight leaves late. It leads to some mad dashes across the connecting airport. And that airport always seems to be Detroit. Last summer when I went to Seattle last summer, I had to sprint through the concourse and spent a good half-mile cursing people who didn't walk with purpose. I boarded the plane sweaty and out of breath, full of apologies to the couple with the pleasure of sitting next to me. It wasn't much different this past weekend though I had 5 minutes to spare, just enough time to grab a Greek salad from a kiosk.
But, the thing is, I wouldn't have always been able to do that. When Mark and I honeymooned in Cancun, we took a tour to Chichen Itza. In true Mark and Kim style, we listened to the guide warn us about getting lost in the maze of ruins and then proceeded to get lost. We thought we were heading back to the bus when, in fact, we were down another lane. With the bus minutes from leaving, we broke into a run to not be deserted. One problem: I couldn't run. Mark had to go ahead and delay the driver until I could walk back.
2. On Sunday, with my handy-dandy AAA guidebook, I treated myself to a walking tour of San Francisco. I went from Pier 39 to Coit Tower, through Chinatown and to the business district, and back to the water. I logged 10 miles on my feet that day - in TOMS, of all things - and was tired. But I could do it, even after running 4 miles that morning and a half marathon the day before. On the flip side, I remember walking Central Park with my BFF in 2004, when I was at my heaviest weight. I was completely exhausted and woke up the next day sore, unsure how I would be able to see more of the city without blowing the budget on taxis.
Note: There is no fresher hell than the hills in San Francisco. When I was exploring, I saw runner after runner on the Embarcardero, dodging tourist after tourist. I couldn't fathom how that was either enjoyable or a good workout, and I was dubious as to their choice in route. And then I walked the city. Want to know why they play dodge the girl with the AAA guidebook? Because it's the only place that doesn't suck to run.
3. Turnstiles. In big cities, they are everywhere - stores, public transit stations, airports. As a big girl, I had to hold my breath and go in sideways. Now, it's a straight shot and a speedy walk to make sure my luggage doesn't get caught behind.