Blue Sky and Greenery Along the Herring Run Trail Near Shannon Drive

Blue sky dotted with white clouds behind some water and a whole bunch of greenery--trees, vines, etc.

I had scheduled my COVID vaccine booster shot for Friday morning, but I had some time Thursday and decided I’d see if I could just get the vaccine then so if I felt sick afterward, it’d be on Friday and I could feel good again for the weekend. I’ll be sick during Friday’s WebEx meetings, I thought, not during a bike ride on Saturday or at the neighborhood street fair on Sunday. Priorities.

So I hopped on my local grocery store vaccine scheduling site and grabbed an appointment for two hours later. Remember when getting an appointment was itself a full time job? When it felt so desperate, trying to get a spot in line? It was so simple this time, until I got to the Waverly Giant pharmacy and learned they were out of the vaccine after all.

Ok, no problem, I’ll just find another appointment, so I booked one for later that afternoon at a drug store downtown on Pratt Street. But I didn’t want to wait until noon, so I thought maybe there’d be an appointment at the other grocery store. It feels weird to get a vaccine at a grocery store, so maybe enough other people feel that way for me to get a same day appointment. I logged on to the scheduler at 10:16am, snagged the 10:30am appointment, and sped down to the Safeway at 25th Street. I didn’t cancel my noon appointment until I was sure Safeway had that sweet biovalent vaccine at the ready.

They did, so I got my shot, spent ten minutes waving my arm around like a chicken in their little vaccine waiting room, and then hopped back on my bike to continue my ride. I headed back up the hill, a quick stop at home, and then rode north and east to Lake Montebello, a quick turn around it, and then I was back on the Herring Run trail for another ride.

I love this trail so, so much. It is flat, largely decent asphalt–just a few spots where the tree roots have buckled it. It feels like you are tucked away in Nature even as you negotiate big intersections and are never more than a few seconds away from houses and people. On days when I just want to pedal and don’t care where I go, it really is the best place to ride. It’s about a ten mile loop from my house, around the reservoir, to the end of the trail and back, and then back home.

As I rode yesterday in the slightly cooler weather, listening to music on my lil bluetooth speaker, and waving at folks chilling on the grass, riding bikes too, walking, roller skating, wheelchair racing, taking first-day-of-school pics with the beautiful backdrop, I felt jubilant. What a beautiful day to be alive, access to vaccines that reduce my risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 to almost zero, and a bike and free time to just zip around, the weather finally turning so I can comfortably use outside again. It’s getting back to the 90s next week, but I’m working on being present, and on Thursday, being present meant luxurious air.

I did an extra lap around the reservoir on my way home because I didn’t want it to end, but then my body was like hey, we’re hungry, so I rode the rest of the way home, scarfed down some lunch, and got back to work. It was a great morning with my body, and I didn’t feel yuck from the vaccine until this morning. Worth it, 1000%. Get it, friends.

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