The Train Olympics

I travel two hours to and from work, five days out of the week.
Yes, you read that correctly. 
That's four hours of commuting time each day.
I encounter all sorts of people and situations during these two hours of subtle hell.
One situation I seem to encounter on a daily basis is something I like to call the Train Olympics.

The Train Olympics consists of many different challenges while riding the subway.

First, there is the Subway Race

 This is where you must run up or down the stairs as you try to capture that train that just starts to pull into the station just as you're swiping your metrocard.  If you manage to make it to the train right before the doors literally close in your face, without losing an arm or leg, and without breaking your neck while running up or down the stairs, then you've won the battle and can now move on to the next round...

Dual of the Seat...

During the mornings, I'm very lucky in that I always find a seat in the first train I take into work. Of course, that's because I live one stop away from the last stop on the 2 line.  It's quite easy to find a seat when there's barely anyone riding just yet.  However, there's always rush hour to look forward to in the evenings.  If you've mastered the art of the Seat Duel, you've caught on to the pattern of people who get on and off the train at certain stops.  Let me elaborate... For instance, I live in an area where the population in my neighborhood  consists of  working class Jamaicans, followed by a handful of Dominicans, followed by your token Puerto Rican... in this case - me.  I get on my final train on the way home at the 42nd street station.  I know that pretty much every individual of at least seemingly Caucasian or Asian descent will get off the train by 110th street in Harlem.  This means that I must hover over them ever so carefully during the train ride, so as to sit down immediately after they get up.  This will guarantee me the seat.

If this battle is won, there is a 2nd part that must be dealt with and that is called The Squeeze. I am bottom heavy.  Meaning, if I'm sitting down, I'm going to take up some room... Okay, a lot of room.  So when there is that key person who weighs something over 300 lbs that decides they can "squeeze" into that tiny space between me and the other bottom heavy person next to me, I have to try not to kill them with my laser eyes.  This is somewhat of a challenge.  Especially on a ride that may go on for an hour.  If I can get past this, I can move on to the final round.  However, there's a chance I've lost this battle entirely, I'm forced to stand and I must move onto the final round a little earlier than usual and that is....

The Train Dance...

This is where you're forced to stand throughout most or all of your train ride to your destination.  Here it is you're starting off on one end of the train and end up positioning yourself in so many different ways throughout your ride that it seems almost choreographed.  This round really shouldn't exist if you are riding the train full of mature, classy and considerate people.  But let's be realistic.  I live in NYC... more specifically the Bronx.  That just doesn't exist.   So while I may start out standing in front of the Caucasian or Asian person we encountered earlier during the Duel of the Seat... I may end up standing next to a stroller with one arm stretched across someone's boobs trying to hold onto a bar for balance on my tippy toes.

Can you ever win this battle?

Folks, if you make it through this train ride without pushing some random stranger into the tracks while there's an oncoming train then you deserve nothing less than a gold medal and maybe a bit of inebriation to follow...


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