I’ve had it pretty good the past three years – I have discovered a wonderful way to walk to work. Sure, it involves climbing up a small mountain, but where I live in British Columbia that’s pretty much inevitable. I’ve narrowed it down to 50 minutes up to work, and about 42 minutes down to go home. Not bad! Unfortunately this week I’ve managed to pull a muscle in my rear end whilst playing soccer, and in order to give it rest I’ve taken to driving to work.
In some respects it is a good thing. I can get up a little bit later, and not have to change clothes when I get to work. On the whole, however, I am absolutely hating it. I watch my gas gauge inch down, knowing that gas prices are at absurd levels right now ($1.58/litre at the time of writing). I watch other people walking somewhere and feel a pang of envy. I feel lazy and unmotivated when I get to work. And this is only after a week!
I never realized how soul-sucking a commute really can be. Once again, I’ve had it pretty good: my commute by car is ten minutes, max. Yet when I get to work I feel far less motivated than when I walk. I once read a Mr. Money Mustache article where he derided commutes and it’s not until now that I realized exactly what he meant. It’s a waste of time, money and resources to commute if you can walk or take public transport instead. When walking (or cycling) I can get the benefits of being healthy at the same time (how efficient!); when in public transport I can read or listen to a podcast expanding my knowledge or titillating the imagination.
And then there is the ecological guilt trip. I pride myself on working towards being super eco friendly. I try to walk everywhere, I bring my own bags and cups, I don’t buy more than I need at the grocery store, I buy secondhand items wherever possible, etc. Driving has become my least favourite mode of transportation and yet I am fairly forced to do it this week because I screwed up my body. Not cool.
This is all a touch dramatic, I know. And I am very aware that some people cannot get to work without a car. I’m not blaming them for anything – I’m feeling sorry for them. That sucks that your work/living situation necessitates driving through stupid amounts of traffic and draining your wallet of your hard-earned cash. Until everyone can feel the freedom that comes with leaving their car behind and commuting under their own steam they will not understand how much better it is.
My goal for this week? I’ll be resting up my ass muscle, and getting ready to absolutely nail my walking time next Monday morning. Because this has been enough driving to last me the rest of 2019.