i realised today that i'm finally back in some semblance of city shape.
when i lived in chicago from 2000-2005, i walked all the time. half-mile walks were nothing. walks of a mile or two, even, were old hat. they didn't faze me...they were just a normal part of everyday life. i took my ability to just walk and walk and walk for granted.
when i moved to st. louis, things changed. i didn't really stop and realise it, but i stopped walking nearly so much. i would occasionally walk places, such as out to the loop. but, usually, i was in vehicles. my walk to the bus stop was only half a block from either of the two places i lived. often friends would drive me around to places, especially when they were inconvenient to public transit, or if we were going to be out too late for public transit. [given st. louis' pathetic excuse for public transit, this happened often.] as a result, i walked less...and less...and less.
i didn't realise it until i moved back to chicago in may. but, being in st. louis killed my ability to walk even short distances. my poor legs were out of practice. anytime i had to walk more than a couple of blocks, my feet, calves, or both would start to hurt a lot. when i was alone, it hurt. when i was with others, not only did it hurt, but it was embarrassing when i had to ask people to slow down because my legs hurt so much. this plagued me during my first month or two back in town, but i kept walking, hoping that my legs would eventually be able to take it again.
i just had a realisation today: at least over the last couple of weeks, they're back to what i always conceived as normal.
i took so many long walks around manhattan and long island last week, and my legs never bothered me. today i walked around a ton...all the way out to lincoln square and back. my legs still feel great; i could do it again. i always knew that being in a big city led to me being in better shape than i'm in when i'm not in a big city...and it's really nice to feel some progress in that regard.