A runner’s “stride” has two factors. First is the distance between steps — from where the toe of one foot hits the ground on one step, to where the toe of the other foot hits the ground on the next step. The second factor is the number of steps she or he takes per minute. Ideally, both factors are constant, so that the runner maintains a steady speed.
Sometimes an obstacle or interruption may come up in the runner’s path, that he or she will step in or on unless some adjustments are made. Could be a hole in the ground or a pile of doo-doo. In this case, the runner may shorten or lengthen one step in order to avoid stepping on the thing, and correspondingly lengthen or shorten the next step, so that overall her or his speed doesn’t change. This is “taking things in stride.” One can do the same with the obstacles or interruptions of life.
The afternoon of Tuesday, June 12, became a comedy of “What else can possibly go wrong?”
My Medicaid had got cut off because they required proof of income, and the only proofs I thought I had weren’t acceptable. I dreaded accessing their website because it’s impossible to navigate and never gives me enough information. I dreaded phoning them, because the person’s voice is always so faint on the other end of the line, I can’t hear the person. I found out that various centers are available where one can get in-person help. I found one nearby. They operate by appointment only.
So, to make that phone call, I went in the big plastic grocery bag where I keep about half my things, to the place where I normally keep my phone (off, to save battery). It wasn’t there.
I had carelessly left it on top of the table earlier in the day, and a specific passerby took it.
So I had to go replace it, in order to make that phone call.
Online I found a T-Mobile store at Lombard and Light Streets, and in due course I went there. They had a $75 phone on display, but the clerk told me it wasn’t in stock; that one was for display only. He said the other store, at Harborplace, had it in stock.
Half a mile distant. So I went there. The manager said the $75 phone wasn’t in stock, but she could give me a special deal on a different one for $100. So I took that.
By the time she finished what she had to do, it had become pretty urgent that I get back to the shelter, if I was to get a bottom bunk (preferred) or any bunk whatsoever — and not get turned away and have to shell out for a hotel room for the night.
Something else suddenly became more urgent, however: I needed to sit down in the bathroom.
So I finished at the store, asked where was the nearest men’s room, go did the necessary there (very messy), and set my sights on a fast trip to the shelter.
When the strap on my plastic bag broke.
Fortunately, I had an identical bag rolled up in my backpack, and was able to put all my things into that.
And, as it happens, wound up getting a bottom bunk.
Hours later, though physically worn out, I found myself in high spirits — because I had taken things in stride.
Related: Previous post, same title: Take things in stride