Sat with Nat

WisCon40 and functional fitness 

Rally David invited me to travel with him to WisCon this year. It’s a feminist sci-fi/fantasy convention held in Madison on Memorial Day Weekend. It’s a full day’s drive from London, Ontario and we left early on Thursday to be there ahead of the Friday morning writers’ workshops. 

When we got out of the car David noticed I was limping, my ankle and calf had seized up from sitting in the car all day. We walked to a pub for our first dinner in Madison. As we sat on the patio I noticed that there were a lot of people walking around downtown and a constant flow of bicycles. It was great to see. 

Inside the hotel David cautioned me that the elevators could get quite busy so it was best to take the stairs when changing floors. There were signs asking that if you could take stairs to do so to increase access for the folks who couldn’t. 

At registration on Friday I was delighted to see pronoun stickers and social interaction cards. 

There were designated safe spaces for trans folk, people of colour and a quiet room. I thought those were particularly great as any convention can be overwhelming or have elements of oppression, trust feminists to consider anti-optession at a con!

 By Saturday all the sitting in hotel conference chairs and eating restaurant food was causing me back pain and swollen ankles. 

It was a bit painful so I ended up cutting my Saturday night shenanigans short. 

I did have a great time but I didn’t schedule walks or swims around the 6 event slots each day.  

My sleep was messed up so arrived home pretty tired on Monday. The rest of the week I walked with a limp and pain in my back and legs. 

I learned my lesson, my body needs daily exercise, even on the road. I was glad to take the stairs when I could. I was able to dance a couple hours with awesome humans. 

There were lots of folks at WisCon using a variety of assistive devices. The plush hotel carpet made moving wheelchairs challenging. The crowded halls meant folks using canes were jostled. 

I will definitely be going back but next time I will bring my running shoes and swimsuit. I need motion to keep me nimble and help me sleep. 

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