Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Biking My Values

Now that school is out and summer is here I started riding my bike to work yesterday. I write about this here not to brag or to be more environmental-than-thou, but to commit myself. It’s much harder to back out when you have made a public declaration.

I have been saying I will ride my bike to work in the summer for two years now and it has not happened. I even tried to talk myself out of it on Sunday night; I was sore and thought I should let myself rest up a bit. I live less than a mile from my office so this is not some type of huge burden I am placing upon myself.

It comes down to this, I either need to stop making excuses and start pedaling, or I need to shut up and stop claiming I care. I can’t have it both ways. Either I care about reducing petroleum consumption or I don’t. Either I care about living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding my family’s pattern of heart disease or I don’t. Either I reject the modern day ethic that values more and bigger above all or I respect the value of simplicity.

I realize most of you reading this drive to work and you may have good reasons for doing so. I would if I still lived 10 miles away from the office and I will drive again in the winter. This is not a blanket proclamation or accusation; it is something I feel like I need to do to live in accordance with my values.

From a health point of view, this program locks me in. I am a horribly inconsistent exerciser, but it is much harder to put it off when it means that I have to get my husband up early to take me to work (we are a one-car family) and at the end of the day I pretty much have to exercise in order to get home. Making exercise a necessity instead of a choice may be the way to get me to stick with it.

1 comment:

  1. Exercise -- one of the reasons I wanted to move to the country. When we were in the burbs, I'd drive to a gym to walk on a treadmill to nowhere or bike to nowhere, which always struck me as ridiculous. I wanted what I called "honest" exercise. Now I lift 50 pounds bags of feed for strengthening exercise and I muck stalls for a cardiac workout. It's not some contrived exercise -- it's stuff that has to get done. It's real -- like riding your bike to work. But of course, we always have choices. You could drive, and I could move back to the burbs or hire someone to do all the work for me. But that's what makes us different from the chronic complainers that you mentioned in another post. We know we have choices, and we make those choices consciously.