Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Long in the Tooth

So Sunday my calf muscles were really sore, more so yesterday, and for just a moment, I was puzzled? What did I do to cause that?

Saturday, I went to a science fiction convention, Orycon, held at the downtown Marriott Hotel in Portland. Experienced volunteer committees who run these things eventually learn that it is wisest to schedule the programming on one level, and failing that, two floors accessible by stairs and escalators.

Otherwise, you wind up with elevator parties. These don't take place on the elevators themselves, but gathered around the buttons waiting for the elevators to arrive.

Pretty much the concom managed that here, it was on three levels -- basement, ground, restaurant -- with a few places up the high-rise. The green room, where the writers and other guests go to collect their badges and programs and to hang out before panels and speeches, was on the sixteenth floor, as was the fan lounge.

At big cons, really big ones, like the Worldcon, with five or eight thousand people, there are usually multiple venues, and even so, the elevator parties last forever. If there are forty people waiting, even when one finally shows up, it's like being in a long line of traffic at a left turn signal in Beaverton, you aren't going to get to go for a couple cycles.

Science fiction fans are not generally athletic, and a lot of them will take an elevator up one floor rather than climb the stairs. There were probably a couple thousand attendees at Orycon this year, plus the normal folks staying at the hotel. The elevator waiting areas were thus congested, so I took the stairs.

Except once, when I had to go to the green room. My business there concluded, I came out to find a dozen people standing by the elevator buttons waiting, and I decided, "Bag this," and headed for the stairs.

I mean, yeah, sixteen floors, but -- going down, right? That's not like going up that many, hey?

At the time, it was fine. I descended -- had the stairwell completely to myself the whole way. Got to the ground, had to go outside and loop back to the lobby, wasn't even winded.

But apparently I had fogotten the last time I had come down that many stairs.

Perhaps I'm not in as good a shape for a man my age as I thought ...


Anonymous said...

There's something funny about calves, and not the kind that say "moo."

When I was 31, a few years ago now, I did calf raises for the first time in a while. The next day, the only way I can describe it is that it felt like my calves were white-hot footballs stuffed under the skin of my legs. They were huge and hard and they hurt.

I couldn't walk. I kind of waddled around. It hurt bad.

So it might not have so much to do with your age. I'm sure if you can do sepok/dempok you're in pretty good shape.

Oh, and you didn't mention the fact that you were able to walk down sixteen flights of stairs AT ALL.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Sixteen floors and what do you get, another day older and calves like Rockettes.