We walked, and walked and walked. Itís seemed as if we had
been walking for years. Why, oh, why, did they build a sports
stadium without enough parking? 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
coliseum, hoping I could make it and, plotting the murder of my
son who gave us the 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. Itís two hours until game time. "Slow down! Youíll
live longer." They ignored me, of course, and continue to
rush past. Donít they realize the seats are reserved?
My honey started to get impatient. "Come on!" he
"I canít walk any faster," I replied with my best
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 gasp. "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 could have
been 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. Itís all a plot to torment me more, I surmised.
As I gasped for air, I could see a camel caravan through the
heat waves in the distance. Actually it was the mounted police
here to control the crowd. "Donít worry; Iím way too
worn-out from the walking to cause any trouble." We
continued our trek across the river bridge, careful to avoid the
droppings left by the police camels.
My knees hurt, my feet hurt, my lungs hurt. "Call the
paramedics! I canít make it any further." My dying wish
was just 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 Ė until I saw the ramps leading to the upper
decks of the stadium. "I canít do it. I canít walk any
more. Havenít these people heard of escalators? Iím going to
faint right here and crack my head on the concrete. Iím dying
of heat exhaustion. I canít 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 wouldnít?
"Iím 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 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