So up until the beginning of August I was unemployed. I had been for two months, almost to the day. Though I’d kept fairly busy, I still had a fair amount of downtime. So I had ridden my (rather heavy and nearly ancient one speed) bicycle on just about a daily basis. I had pretty much used it for the majority of my shopping and errands, thanks to the two saddle baskets in the back (I looked like a primo dork, but I didn’t care). When my modem had died, I was biking to the library every day – approximately 2.2 miles one way. I would say that I averaged 4 miles a day five days a week (some days I’d ride only 3 miles and others about 7 miles). And I have the permanently sore bottom to prove it.
I knew I’d go back to work eventually and I was looking forward to it, but I also knew I’d miss my near daily bicycling. And I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to exercise before or after work.
I was a fool to worry. Oh, I know I don’t have the time or energy. I’m up at ButtCrack AM (aka 4am) so that I can make all of my connections and be in the office by 7:30am. and though I get off work at 4:30pm (which seems like an obscene luxury), it still takes awhile to get home, so I am one toasted chickadee once I walk through the front door at just before 7pm. And those are the days when I don’t have a meeting or social commitment after work.
Still, I’m finding no shortage in the exercise department now that I’m experiencing such full days. First of all, unitl it developed a flat tire a couple of weeks ago, I’d been riding my one speed to and fro the MetroRail Station every morning and evening. And since then (mainly because I’ve had no time to take my bike to the nearest bike shop to repair the tire), through the kind auspices of MusicianMan, I’ve been riding his 10 speed racing bike everyday to the station.
(Quick side note: he had offered me the usage of his 10 speed before the flattening of my tire. I had been tellng him about my bike, and he had replied that riding a one speed like that verged on insanity and I was welcome to borrow his 10 speed, which had merely been sitting in his garage since he had gotten a new 21 speed hybrid mountain bike. Needless to say, when my bike tire went PFFFT less than 48 hours after our conversation, I gratefully took the man up on his offer.)
So the one way mileage of the MetroRail station trip is just over a mile. Not too far, but all I can handle at that time of the morning, when I’m barely awake. So then I take a couple of trains and a bus to JPL, which drops me off at the front of the lab grounds. Thing is, I work all the way at the back of the lab (which is very much like a college campus). Not only do I work at the back of the lab, but I have to hike up a hill or two on the way, neither of which are of a gentle incline. The distance from the front of the lab to my desk, according to my pedometer? 0.65 miles, and that’s with shorcuts. Let’s just say that I put in some serious exercise just to get to and from work. And if I miss a connection in the morning, I have to hike to another bus stop in Pasadena that’s about a mile away from the train station so that I can grab a bus that won’t potentially make me late. Because the preferred bus that takes me to JPL runs once every 50 minutes.
I have to say, I don’t know what kind of shape I’m going to be in when all is said and done, but I do know that I’m going to be a hell of a lot better off. And that ain’t too shabby.