I went out and collected the soil samples this morning. I had intended to do this last week, but I had that intestinal virus plus the bad hives. (Yes, I go out at sparrowfart to do fieldwork in the summer. It's not as hot and I like getting an early start on the day).
I got it all done. And I noticed something: for the first time in a long time, coming back in after fieldwork, I feel physically good. I usually feel emotionally/intellectually good, because I've accomplished something, but often I was physically wiped out. I thought: I feel kind of like I did when I did fieldwork fifteen or twenty years ago.
Sometimes, when it's really humid (it was pretty humid this morning), I'd get shaky or even lightheaded and I just chalked that up to not being in as good shape as I could be in.
I had thought the way I felt was just a combination of being old and kinda fat (though I was kinda fat fifteen years ago, and I didn't exercise as much then as I do now). Nope: apparently my lowgrade asthma had been getting worse over the years and it was so slowly progressive I couldn't tell it from what I thought was normal aging.
I love this. Both because this portends well that I will now tolerate summers here better, but also because it feeds one of the dreams I have about myself as an old woman: that I wind up as one of those robust old ladies who can go out and hike for miles and who leave some of their juniors in the dust.
I fist-pumped as I was driving out of the field site after getting the work done this morning.