Going light makes you fast (when it matters)

December 07, 2011

It’s been known to happen before. Also, despite my best efforts, I’m pretty sure it will happen again. It’s three o'clock in the afternoon, I’m riding the subway, and I’m running late. I need to make a connection to another line in order to get to the train station, where the train that’s supposed to take me to my home town for a few days is set to leave in just a few minutes. If I’m going to make it, I’ll need to get lucky. It’s the last train of the day and there’s no room for error.

I’m nervous, and I’m cursing myself for not having left work a bit earlier. It’s always like that, I know, but in that moment I swear it will never happen again. As the subway starts to slow down my body becomes tense and I tickle with anticipation. Just as we stop, I can see the other train arriving on the opposite side of the platform. I need to get there and I only have a few seconds. I don’t think, and I don’t hesitate. There’s no time for that.

On the floor by my side is my trusty GR2, holding enough clothes for a week. I grab it hard and I pull and, just as the doors of my wagon slide open, I swing it over my shoulders with a quick gesture. A fraction of a second later, I’m sprinting up a set of escalators, across the wide hallway and down another set of escalators. It all happens very quickly, and I blaze past everyone around me. Throughout the whole thing, my GR2 stays with me. I don’t feel it moving on my back, and I’m not slowed down by its weight. With a last but demanding effort, I jump into the other wagon just as the doors are beginning to close.

My heart is racing, I’m breathing hard, and I’m sweating profusely, but I’m also smiling. I’ve made it. Now I know I will get to the station in time for my train. I sit down and wipe the sweat off my forehead. About a minute later, I’m already wondering which songs to play on my iPhone on the way home.

I’m light, and I’m fast. But more importantly, I’m on my train, and off to some well deserved holidays.

Now, try doing that with a trolley or a big suitcase.