Yesterday, Michelle Obama visited the college campus where I teach. For me, it felt like a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to see the First Lady, so I was excited to see her speak. Her speech was good: She was articulate, intelligent, but she also felt very accessible and "homey," and she was by turns humorous, contemplative, rousing, motivating, and she even got me to tear up a little -- which is no easy task -- so by all means it was a worthwhile opportunity for me to see her.
However, seeing her basically took up my entire day, and it demanded a LOT of standing and waiting.
The standing and waiting began at 11:30 when my friends and colleagues and I went to wait in line outside the gym where she was speaking. It wasn't a bad day to be outside (we lucked out that it was a temperate day yesterday), but still, high noon meant temps in the low 80s. In the shade, we were comfortable, but in the sun, we broiled. The line was a painstakingly slow crawl through security, and it took us 2 and 1/2 hours to get into the gym!
Once inside, it was another hour+ before the First Lady took the stage, and then she spoke for about 40 minutes. So, by the time I left, I had been standing for nearly 5 hours. I hadn't peed, I hadn't drunk much water (because I didn't know what the bathroom situation would be), and I hadn't eaten anything. I was toast.
Standing wears me out. I mean, I'm used to being on my feet for several hours a day teaching, but standing? Standing is different. It wears my legs out, but also my lower back. And, I think I'm worse than a child about waiting; it's so mentally tedious for me, even with company to chat with, and I can be incredibly impatient about lines (just ask Jerry about me and theme parks; he says I'm worse than any kid).
So, seeing the First Lady was a good experience, but also a tiring one, both physically and mentally. Thus, when it came time to run yesterday evening, I really wasn't feeling it. But, I also knew that I wanted to get out there, so I trudged through 3 slow, hard miles on tired legs. Once done, I was pleased I had gotten out there, even if it took what felt like for.ev.er. to run those 3 miles. Next time, though, it would be smart to run before choosing to stand for most of the day!