Planes, trains, automobiles, and especially your own two feet are all working to get
you from point A to B. It is not easy on your legs. Your legs do not like to be stagnant
for hours on end, and they do not like being pushed to the limit day in and day out.
In 2012, I found myself in Paris. On a surprisingly warm day in May we decided to
take on the Louvre. For those who may not know, the Louvre is the largest museum
in the world. It houses classic works of art such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de
Milo. There is no quick way around this museum. We were going to the Louvre, and
we were walking.
The Louvre is not coy. When we entered the Louvre, we were greeted by an
expansive courtyard, which we navigated to reach the glass pyramid, a now famous
landmark that works as the entrance to the museum. Upon entrance, we walked and
walked and walked through the interior of the museum. There is floor upon floor of
artwork, sculpture, and interior design.
I wanted to see it all because it was my first time at the world’s most famous
museum. But I also wanted to do some art appreciation because I was in the
presence of original works from some of the most famous painters to have ever
lived. I began with a saunter, which quickly turned into a stumble, through the great
galleries, stopping sometimes to admire a piece that caught my eye. Within what felt
like minutes, hours had passed and my feet were starting to talk. “Lucas,” they said,
“we love art as much as the next pair but let us hurry this thing up. It is getting
sweaty down here and the heel is getting sore.” I ignored my feet and let my mind be
overcome with the history and beauty that I was in the presence of.
Another hour passed. I saw the Venus de Milo, but where was that blasted Mona
Lisa? By this time my travel partners had left the Louvre in search of a shady place
to rest outside. I was on my own, sweating and sore. I hustled up elegant marble
stairs that made me feel less-than- aristocratic in my old cargo shorts, fanny pack,
and “I Louvre Paris” t-shirt. Even the camera was giving me hints that it was time to
go, with its innocent warning that 1,990 photos had been taken and there was only
room for 10 more. My feet had stopped talking to me at this point; they just sent
sharp stabs of pain up my legs every few steps. But I was determined to see it all, or
at least the Mona Lisa.
Finally, there was a sign. “Mona Lisa” it read, accompanied by an arrow pointing
down yet another long gallery swollen with tourists. I fought my way through the
crowd, got lost twice, but I finally found the room. I could see only a sea of bald spots
and ponytails, but the sign promised that this was the room where Mona Lisa smiles.
Lacking a better strategy, I got low, dipping and weaving through the crowd. I was
knocking people’s shoulders as they tried to take photos, tripping over awkwardly
extended legs, but I finally reached the front. There she was. Mona Lisa. Smiling. It
was smaller than I expected…
I took my photo and felt a welcome sense of relief. I could cross “see the Mona Lisa”
off my bucket list. I was well past my 10,000 steps and exhausted from the walking,
but I still needed to navigate my way back to my travelling companions. Back
through the tourist swarm I went. Down the marble steps, through the dining room
of Napoleon III, past the statues, past the works of the Ancient Greeks, and finally I
reached the exit.
I found my colleagues sitting under a shady tree, legs extended, knapsacks for
pillows. One was asleep while the other read. Empty bottles of San Pellegrino sat
beside them. I fell next to them feeling parched, half-delirious, and exhausted. I also
felt accomplished, as I had done what I had come to do. Sure, my legs were not
happy with me, and I may have needed a piggyback back to the hotel, but I had seen
the Mona Lisa.
You cannot avoid long distances while travelling. It is a part of the adventure. But
you can give your legs some help with Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks. Your legs will
not be talking to you while you hustle through the Louvre, they will be comforted by
the support of the Compression Socks. Word of advice: next time you plan on taking
on the Louvre, wear Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks! Had I known of them in 2012, I
most certainly would have been wearing my pair on that warm day in May.