I used to live in a small town where nothing was much more than an hour away on foot. If I didn’t walk, I cycled. I was in pretty good physical condition. Then I moved to a small city, bought a motorbike and eventually a car. Convenience won over exertion, and now my jeans don’t fit and climbing the stairs is more tiring than it should be.
I drive a lot for work, around eighteen thousand miles last year and sometimes for four or five hours day. I became completely sedentary without realising it, but did realise that I hate driving. I no longer need to drive so much, but still often opt for the car out of convenience. I bought a folding bike, thinking that I could replace some petrol powered miles with foot powered ones. This was not entirely successful.
This week I tried to walk my commute. Google measured it at two and a half miles, which seemed doable. I marched past my car this morning and headed in the direction of town. My commute is not particularly interesting by car and is equally uninteresting on foot. It takes me past a long row of terraced houses, a huge car park, a railway crossing, alongside the Victorian cemetery and then on to Spring Bank; a melting pot of takeaways, off-licences, newsagents and houses of multiple occupation. I discovered that there are a surprising number of drunk people around at 8am on a weekday morning. I was a bit scared that I was going to be robbed. It rained a little.
It took me about forty minutes. It can take me longer than that driving at peak time, and I saved the money that I would have spent on fuel and parking. Theoretically, it’s a no brainer – there’s no practical reason to use the car on days where I’m working from the office. But the car still feels more convenient and it’s that psychological hump that needs beating down.
Anyway, I’m very tired. I think I’ll go in the car tomorrow. Best not overdo things.