Remember back in March when my sister got into a bad car accident? Well she and my mom shared a Jeep Cherokee, the lone family car, which was consequently completely totaled. (Airbags save lives, but they are also a b*tch to repair.) So while they sorted through insurance papers and figured out next steps, I loaned them my trusty Honda Civic – a college graduation present that I proudly gave to myself years ago.
At first my mom protested. How will you get to work? Casey will drop me off. Well then how will you get home from work? Casey can pick me up, or I can walk. It’s really not that far. What about all the other places you need to go? Casey and I pretty much go everywhere together, and if we don’t, usually the other one of us is at home with the dogs. We are rarely both outside of the house separately, other than at work.
So they borrowed the car, and we began our new lifestyle: the shared car. After a few weeks of my mom looking for (and not finding) a new car, and us realizing how easy it was for us to share one, and after much incessant pleading, we convinced her to end the car hunt and just keep ours. It made much more sense for her to buy our car for almost nothing, than to stretch to buy a car she hadn’t planned to need. And more so, because that’s what families do for each other, right? Exactly.
So here’s how it works…
Every morning, I pack a bag with my running shoes, shorts, and a tank top (especially since summer has started!). We leave the house together, Casey drops me off at work by 8, and then continues on his merry way to his work. At 4pm, I change into my walking-home gear, and I trek the 2 miles home down Madison back to our house. It’s only 2 miles, but for some reason it takes me close to 40 minutes – I attribute this to stoplights and hills. It’s automatic exercise built into my day, and to be honest, I really enjoy it. Madison Road is too loud to walk down and talk on the phone, so it forces me to have some quiet alone time at the end of my work day.
If it’s raining, I usually don’t even have to ask for a ride. Lindsey usually beats me to the ask and calls to let me know she’s coming for me – thanks, Linds!
Which brings me to the entire point of this blog post.
Adapting to life on foot has been enjoyable, but it’s also been an adjustment. People go nuts when I tell them that I walk home from work.…
You’re WALKING? Oh my god, that’s crazy, I’ll give you a ride.
No really, it’s not that far.
No way, it’s so hot outside, you’ll die, I insist.
Really, Im happy to walk, please leave me alone.
So far Lindsey is the only person who respectfully recognizes that most times I am honestly happy to walk. She also knows that when I don’t want to walk, I’ll ask for a ride, I promise.
But why do people think it’s so insane to walk a measly two miles home from work? Trust me, I actually walk a LOT more than that! Since I don’t have a car anymore, I walk almost everywhere I go. I’ve taken to-go bags and walked to the grocery store. I walk to the bank and post office. Occasionally I’ll stop at Rookwood on the way home if I feel so inclined. But it forces me to plan ahead, and only get things when I really need them. I never have those spur of the moment drop $100 at Target just because I drove by trips anymore. Plus I can only buy what I can carry, further limiting what I can ultimately spend.
I’ve found that walking is a totally relaxing, peaceful, and convenient method of transportation. And where I live, I can get just about anywhere on foot. I’ve gotten so used to walking as an option, that a lot of times Casey and I will leave our car parked at home and walk wherever we need to go – coffee at the square, mom’s house, Lindsey’s house, Fresh Market for last-minute dinner needs, wherever.
Not to mention the health benefits of just replacing a few daily car trips with daily walks. Too busy to exercise? First of all, that’s ridiculous. But even so, add a few extra walks to your day, and you’re combining exercise with things like running errands, visiting friends, etc. I read an interesting article today called Why You (Almost) Never See a Fat Japanese – guess why? They walk everywhere! (And they eat smaller portions, but I’ll save that topic for another blog post.)
I know that my silly little blog can’t start a movement. But I wish more people would consider walking as a primary means of transportation. By using your feet you are helping your body and your environment – not one thing is negatively affected by taking a walk. The only thing walking uses up is a little more time, and I know most of us have plenty of wasted time to spare.
So the next time you grab your keys to run around the corner to the store, or a friend’s house, consider grabbing your walking shoes instead. I have never gotten home from a walk that I regretted.
Happy Fourth of July weekend to you! I’ll be spending mine in Washington, DC – seeing the sites, taking the tours, and most importantly walking as far as my feet can take me.