As I stopped being bothered with the gym a couple of years back I’ve steadily been getting more unfit and what my wife loves to call my ‘foodbag’ (h/t The Simpsons) has been growing. For a number of irritating reasons, I’m not currently using my motorbike so I’ve been catching the train to work with relative regularity. At £3.70 return a day this soon adds up – if I did this every working day that would be nearly £800 a year! To alleviate both these problems I had considered getting a pushbike but this would require either an initial outlay that would make my wallet cringe, or signing up to 18 months of wage deductions if I purchased it through the Cycle-To-Work Scheme that my employer runs.
I’d looked at how far it might be to walk and how long that might take; Google Maps said an hour. Considering I need to leave the house at about 8am to catch the train, I wouldn’t actually have to get up any earlier to arrive at work on time if I walked. I’d put it off time and time again as the thought of that much exercise before a whole day’s work (then the same to get home) filled me with anticipation of aching, exhaustion and general displeasure.
I don’t sleep well and today was no exception as I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm, but for some reason I had the urge to try the walk in this morning. Leaving the house at just before 8am, I started striding away in my normal manner. Within 200m or so, I slowed down as I realised I had plenty of time!
It was a sensually enjoyable experience: I smelt the flowers as I walked past people’s gardens, I had time to look at what was going on and unfortunately, I felt the spray of light rain on my skin. But it was only light rain and I have arrived at work as dry as I would have done if using the train. The journey takes me past several local parks so it’s not particularly grim visually either. I did feel slightly smug as I walked past people waiting at bus stops; one in particular had a man wearing actual hiking boots, waiting to catch the bus less than a mile into town!
There are some who argue that I’m wasting these two hours a day by walking but it’s a much more enjoyable experience than wasting that time sat in railway station with other commuters. It also allowed some time for reflection which I feel I’m sorely lacking recently. I’m not tired or aching from walking and in truth, I really enjoyed it. Whether I still feel the same once I get home remains to be seen…