[One of the occasional series of posts about my typical day.]
Once I’m out the door, I usually hop in the car and drive a bit before parking 2-5 blocks from the nearby transit center. I walk to the transit center and take a bus to work.
Why? The bus builds walking into my day. Usually it’s pleasant to be walking outside and enjoying the sky and trees and air. I like having time alone with my thoughts or my iPod or both.
There are also days that I really don’t want to walk, where I’m sore and cold and tired and don’t wanna. If I’m “out for a walk”, this is when I turn around and go home. But if I’m on my way to or from work, I feel I’m committed. Building a walk into my daily commute means that I do it more consistently.
(Do I have friends and family I can call if I miss the last bus or get sick? Yes. Heck, when I started this, it was challenging enough that I would only do the walk+bus one way, and I gradually worked up to walking more. But I asking for a ride just because my inner 4-yr-old is saying “don’t wanna”? Uh…no. :)
I have found that even on those “don’t wanna” days, having walked feels good. Even if I wake up feeling sore or tired, I arrive at work feeling more awake and relaxed. I’m much less stressed if I bus home than if I drive. I also find that my walking speed is increasing.
Does this add more time to my commute? Yes. The time spent on the actual buses is about the same as if drove, only I get to read. The walking is additional, but less time than going to a gym. Waiting for the bus? That can get old, and is sometimes long. In the mornings I usually walk or stretch while waiting. At night I’ve been doing balance practice (standing on one foot or a yoga pose) while waiting.
Oh, and for grins, one of my “walking” iPod playlists:
- Lady Vagabond, Tricky Pixie
- Code Monkey, Jonathan Coulton
- Perils of Poly, Gaia Consort
- No Surrender, Bruce Springsteen
- Follow Me Down, Seanan McGuire
- I Feel Fantastic, Jonathan Coulton
- Don’t Stop, Fleetwood Mac
- Walking in Memphis, Marc Cohn
- Mississippi, Dixie Chicks
- Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, U2
….which is one way of putting my musical tastes into a nutshell. :)
2010 update: This is now out of date. Changes to the bus schedules means I don’t get much of a walk. Also my workload increased, so cutting my commute down saves a great deal of time.
2011 update: I am now taking transit to my new job, which provides a minimum 1/2 mile walking each day.