I’m a bit cheesed off that I have to travel nearly two and a half hours every day to work. I have to take two buses there and back, 30+ minute journeys each, and waiting time in connection. I try to make the best of it, by carrying a book or two, but I do miss my morning and afternoon bicycle rides to work. They were short enough to not get in the way, and long enough to build fitness, energy and power.
When I worked as a retail assistant in Scotmid in Portobello, it took me 20 minutes to get to work via bicycle. A straightforward 3.4 miles – streaming from Leith across Seafield and the Promenade. With the wind behind me on a good day, it felt like a blanket of speed, hair and just enough sweat to be comfortable. A change of clothes and bodyspray in a pannier if needed (Edinburgh weather varies!), and boom – I was ready. Energised, awake and enough piss and vinegar to get fired right into the job first thing in the morning.
Two and a half hours vs 45-odd minutes. 105 minutes extra, five days a week. 8 and three quarter hours extra to myself a week. That time adds up. I used some of that extra time available to me. I often cycled straight to the Pleasance gym to lift – I read, coded and swam a lot more as a consequence of that liberated time. I’d never been fitter in my life. I don’t think I’ve been happier either.
There was a moment in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, where the freshly dead ghostly villain possesses the body of Kevin the receptionist, played by Chris Helmsworth. He finds his stolen body easily carries heavy things, and berates himself for not working out more when he was alive. I berate myself for losing fitness and strength. I know what that feels like to have – it has the odd effect of making everything easier – and to lose it through neglect.
A good work and life balance is important. Perhaps I should invest time more wisely.