“I had a great commute this morning.” When was the last time you heard someone say that? Traffic is getting more and more dense everyday. China alone adds 100,000 more cars on their roads everyday. 80% of all car trips are single occupant trips of less than 3 miles! I don’t know about you, but engine noise, fumes, and other impatient drivers certainly don’t turn me on while I’m going to work. I’m not tired and irritable when I get there. Instead, my body and mind are warmed up and ready for the day.
Passive Exercise. I never understood driving to the gym to walk on the treadmill. According to livestrong.com Cycling at a relatively leisurely commuter pace comes out to about 50 cal/mile. What does that mean? It means as the miles go up, the pounds go down. If you bike everywhere, you are guaranteed to get into better shape. That is a one way street. For example: If your commute is a 20 mile round trip, that comes out to 1000 calories burned just cycling! That’s 50% of your average daily consumption without thinking about it. (There are many variables though: wind, drag, tire pressure, hills, etc)
Forced Meditation: If you ask someone where God speaks to them the most, it’s usually they’re when in the shower. I think this is caused by sensory deprivation. There are no poopy messes to clean up, no one needs juice. I can’t answer my phone or check email. The same conditions happen while riding my bike. Granted, I’ve never been hit by a car while showering. For me, and I’m sure for you: Work is hectic, and home is sometimes more-so (I have 2 kids under 4). So the in-between time has become sacred. Sometimes I intentionally pray, sometimes, like the exercise, I just passively open myself to let God’s voice be heard.
Environmentally Friendly: I’m not so sure that humans are causing irreversible destruction to the environment. But I hope with all my being that my kids are on the Earth longer than I am. Some American Indian saying goes like this: We don’t inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our grandchildren. That’s really all the reason I need to do whatever I can to minimize my impact on this planet. The only trace I want to leave will reside in my children’s memories. On average, vehicles produce 5.1 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. I would rather be part of a solution. Climate change or not. Be responsible.
5. Challenge: I’ve talked about this a little before. But to start the day off with a small challenge gives you something to be proud of. You feel tough. You’ve endured the weather, the irritable drivers, and narrowly avoided getting hit at the crosswalk. You’ve slayed a small dragon.
Now do it! Make the decision to do what others aren’t doing! Be the example for your kids, to be the change you wish to see in the world. Take it slow, smell the new air, be silent with yourself. Change the culture. Ride.