Championship running in Avignon

Sports.  I love sports.  I used to do track and field in school.  Heavy emphasis on the track part.  I loved it.  I was the queen of the 100 m, 200 m, and 4 x 100 m relay.  It was so much fun.  I competed in city-wide events and did really well too.

Last night, I could have won a medal.  Maybe not for style or speed but for sheer determination.  I am nothing if not determined.

D and I had booked our tickets to Paris late last week and we arrived in Paris last night.  D is here for a conference and I’m here, in Paris, to shoot the breeze.  (Actually, I’m here to scout out some macarons — to feed my sweet tooth — and to find some le coq sportif gear for my big brother.)  But, back to the running.

The championship running started at 4:25 pm yesterday.  We left Coustellet at 3:30 pm to make the 40 km drive to the Avignon TGV station.  The drive should really take no more than 45 minutes especially at that time of the day.  In fact, we could have made it to the train station in 30 mins.  We could have if it weren’t for two things: 1) the accident that had us waiting in line for almost 30 mins; and 2) the dépanneuse that was blocking the entrance to the parking at the train station.

The first roadblock, the accident, made us seriously late.  It wouldn’t have been so bad however had we printed our tickets from home.  Oh no, we still had to print them from a guichet or machine.  The second roadblock, the dépanneuse, was what started the race.  We arrived at the station with about 6.5 minutes to spare.  It was then that D noticed the dépanneuse blocking the entrance to the parking lot.  So D, at his impulsive best, pulled the car over and said to le papy, who was in the back seat, “we’re going to run!”

In my head I screamed “WHAT?!”  We’re talking distance running here.  We, Jamaicans, are not known for distance running.  D wanted me to run for the station, about 800 m away, with laptop, purse, and suitcase in hand?  What?  It wasn’t a request either.  This man, the man who will soon be my husband, took off at full trot with me behind him.  He wasn’t waiting to see if I would follow; he knew I was there.

At some point my lungs started a revolt.  The Avignon TGV station is a runner’s hell.  Wind, gravel, dust…things that make running even more un-fun, all are present at this station.  We made it to the station to hear the lovely SNCF lady announce the pending arrival of our train.

D told me to take all the luggage to the quai while he retrieved the tickets.  I obeyed.  Conversation was for later.  There I stood, two suitcases, two laptops in tow waiting for D and watching the other passengers pile into the train.  I kept repeating “hurry, hurry, hurry” in my mind hoping to encourage D to show up.

There he was and there were still people boarding the train.  We did it!  We did it!  I felt like a real super champion!

(The super champion feeling lasted long enough for my body to realize that my lungs were still in the parking lot and that my throat was a fire pit.  I started to cough like I’ve never coughed before.  If my lungs weren’t still in the parking lot in Avignon they would have been coughed up on the train.  I’m still suffering now as my throat is still raw.  But you’ve just got to know that I still feel like a super champion!)

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Categories: train travel

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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3 Comments on “Championship running in Avignon”

  1. Tuula
    June 29, 2010 at 11:48 AM #

    I’ve had a few similar experiences trying to catch trains in Italy: at least the French ones run on time! That’s one really fun thing about the adventure of traveling – I usually feel like a champion just getting from point A to point B!

  2. June 30, 2010 at 8:47 AM #

    Hope you’ve recovered now!

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