The Things We Do For Research

One of the big plot elements of Mindline involves light gravity worlders making do on heavy gravity planets. While it wasn’t my intention to simulate this, I realized that the weight vest I wear while taking my evening walks adds a few pounds to my body, and this is a little of what it must be like… not so much dragging more weight around as abruptly loading it onto a frame that hasn’t built up to handling it. So I have been carefully observing how this affects me; I’m not wearing a ton more weight, but I notice it in my joints, and if I do anything as ill-advised as jogging, lifting, stretching or dancing, my heart-rate goes from moderately quick to “burst your eardrums” harsh pretty much instantaneously.

Yesterday it was cold enough to wear a jacket, and jacket on top of weight vest was too cumbersome to wrangle along with headphones and keys and whatnot. I left the vest off, and Glory! I could dance and bounce and move again! Just walking was an ease I’d forgotten. A liquescence in my joints, a roll, a sense of forgiveness: if I put my foot down wrong, I wasn’t doomed to twist it.

There are so many experiences we can’t reasonably expect to duplicate to inform our writing. Some for practical reasons (money, time, access). And some simply because they can’t be found, if you’re writing fantasy or science fiction. It was a pleasing thing, to suddenly realize I’d tripped into a way to really get into the head of someone fighting a heavier planet for the simple right to sit upright.

Short summary: It must suck. -_-

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