We walked, and walked and walked. It’s seemed as if we had been walking for years. Why, oh why, did I ever think this was a good idea? I definitely would not have agreed to come to this game if I had known about THE WALK, which is about a mile for the average fan, about fifty for old women with bad knees.
I thought we were getting here early to find a good parking spot, over two hours before the game. We did find a parking place, how close is a matter of opinion. It was too late to change my mind, so I agreed that we could just walk to the stadium, hoping I could make it, and plotting the murder of my son who gave us the pre-season tickets.
Fast walkers zipped past as I did my best to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Why is everyone in such a hurry? I wondered. It’s two hours until game time. “Slow down! You’ll live longer.” They ignored me, of course, and continue to rush past. Don’t they realize the seats are reserved?
My honey started to get impatient. “Come on!” he said.
“I can’t walk any faster,” I replied with my best shut-up-or-I-may-kill-you look.
He slowed his pace to mine and we continue to walk. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“Okay? My knees are killing me!” How could I possibly be okay while trying to walk a marathon?
“Water!” I gasped. “I must have water!” Like a dying person in the desert, my body was starting to dehydrate. The street turned to sand and cactus sprouted as I inched my body toward an oasis. Well, actually it was a street vendor selling bottled water out of an ice cooler, but it looked like an oasis to me.
We walked past ticket scalpers and T-shirt vendors and crossed a parking lot long ago filled to capacity with people and cars. They must have been here since noon, tailgating and partying, waiting for the game to start. Busloads of people who parked in remote lots passed us by with a swish of heat and exhaust fumes. It’s all a plot to torment me more, I thought.
As I gasped for air, I could see a camel caravan through the heat waves in the distance. Actually, it turned out to be mounted police on horses here to control the crowd. “Don’t worry; I’m way too worn-out from the walking to cause any trouble.” We continued our trek across the bridge, being careful to avoid the droppings left by the police camels.
My knees hurt, my feet hurt, my lungs hurt. “Call the paramedics! I can’t make it any further.” My dying wish was for a foot massage. But by then we had actually arrived at the stadium.
We went through the turnstile and were inside. I SURVIVED!
In spite of how exhausted I was, I felt like doing a celebration dance – until I saw the ramps leading to the upper decks of the stadium. “I can’t do it. I can’t walk any more. Haven’t these people heard of escalators? I’m going to faint right here and crack my head on the concrete. I’m dying of heat exhaustion. I can’t walk another step.”
Round, and round, up and up, further and further we walked “Where are these seats? In a weather balloon?” We continued to climb the ramps, passing mountain goats, rock climbers, and scenic overlooks of the city below. Okay, so I was having delusions again. Who wouldn’t?
“I’m having a heart attack, a heatstroke! Where is the first aid station? I need a stretcher.” Just seconds before I hit the ground, we stopped at a refreshment stand and I bought a $5 diet coke which revived me enough to stagger to my seat.
Only sixty minutes till game time and the stadium is nearly empty? Mostly likely they are all outside still looking for parking because, unlike me, they are wise enough not to try to just walk.