Every time I leave my house, it feels like I’m taking an extended trip. Usually, I’m loaded down with a swim bag, duffle of clothes & shoes, hanger (w/ work attire), some food, a purse, odds & ends (sunglasses, water bottle, cell phone)… It’s been like this since high school. Planning ahead, for diverse activities throughout the day, has become a morning ritual.
My earliest memories of being a real sherpa were in college… typical college students don’t normally leave an apartment carrying 3 large bags; unless they’re going to a tailgate or party, and the bags are actually coolers full of beer and alcohol.
There was a long, mental checklist, to cover every morning:
- What do I need to wear for cheer practice (were we in the weight room, working with a tumbling coach, or stunt/dance sessions)?
- What should I take to change into for class?
- What classes do I have today (What day is it!)?
- What books/supplies/papers do I need for those classes?
- What do I need to work on at the library after class (possibly something for a class I wasn’t attending that day)?…
After all this, the 2nd portion of my day began:
- What garments do I need for my run (what’s the weather going to be like today)?
- What am I changing into after the run?
- What do I need for OCHS practice (I was the cheerleading coach at the local high school, and we practiced 5-7:30 pm)?
- What the heck was I going to eat throughout the day? (can we say PB&J)
…and ALL this needed to be considered each weekday morning. I left the apartment at 6 am in one outfit… and by the time I returned at 8 pm, I’d worn 3 more sets of clothes! Phew, I’m sure I smelled like roses as well.
I’m such a nerd, by my sophomore year… I’d color-coded my bags. My cheerleading bag was red and black (actually a nice gift from Nike), my school backpack was black (one of the school colors… also a flattering color for almost any clothing option), and the rest of my clothes were in a royal blue bag (Oconee County HS color, where I coached).
Forgetting one of these bags, or any of their assigned contents, would mean having to drive back to my apartment during the day. As this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it could actually throw my day completely off course. I was scheduled down to the hour; there was no room for wasting time in my car.
I assumed my bag lady days would end upon college graduation. I would move into a house, come home from work before heading to the gym, eat out more often… HA! I still pack my luggage EVERY morning.
Like this morning for instance:
Many mornings it begins w/ a trip to the YMCA for a swim, but today is different… I had to pick out an outfit for work (damn office dress code); pack my lunch; figure out what I’ll need for my afternoon workout. Today, I’m going up to N. Carolina straight from work. There, I’ll meet 3 people for an open water swim at Katie’s lake house… fun! So, that means taking a wetsuit and other swim paraphernalia. Maybe we’ll do a short run after we swim? I’m taking running stuff just in case. We’re grilling out after our swim, so I’ll need something to change into (think again if you suggest putting my work clothes back on!). Huh... actually not a bad day. And you know, as well as I do, the preparation needed for a group ride.
I suppose this is all part of the deal. When you take up triathlons, plan on BAGS… many, many bags. Tri is 3: as in THREE times the normal amount of CRAP you’ll leave with in the morning.
**To those of you with children, I don’t know how you do it! Packing for one person is hard enough.