What a City This Is….

…Where you can be walking along, minding your own business, and suddenly a complete stranger offers you a ride.

No, it’s not a creepy abductor offering candy to kids, but a middle-aged lady offering a ride to another almost-middle-aged lady.  I was almost to my destination, and if I’d wanted a ride, Hubby is home all week and had offered to give me one.

But no, walking or biking to the gym is part of my workout.  The sidewalks suck–all covered in ice which is barely tended to, and outlets to the street being covered in icy snow hills.

But if I’m going to walk to the gym every day, I’m going to have to get used to this, not get lazy by letting my hubby drive me during his week off.  It also keeps me limber as I climb over the snow hills to cross the street.  I don’t want to be the one so infirm, through age or disability, that I can’t handle a snow hill.

This–being offered a ride–happens to me on occasion.  Sometimes I know the person, sometimes it’s a complete stranger.  And most often, it’s while I’m working out, ie walking for my health.  Because, gee, to steal from Jane Austen, somebody not in a car must be in need of a ride.

Once in a while, it’s on the way to/from picking up my son at school on a really cold day.  But the only time I took one, it was 4 below, my son was in Kindergarten, and our usual ride was on vacation in Florida.

No, they don’t send us a bus because we’re under two miles (yes, two miles for Kindergarten!!!), and I don’t have a car.  Don’t want a car, either.  We can’t afford two cars, I’m the kind of driver who should stay off the street (see Fear of Driving & NVLD), and our nation of driving for everything just keeps getting fatter.

No, I wanted my son to be what I was: a walker, used to walking to school every day, spring or winter, not dependent on parents to drive him to/from school every day.  And oftentimes, it’s safer to walk: in fog, or during snowfall, when driving is treacherous but walking is fairly easy.

Heck, I see middle school kids getting dropped off and picked up!  Aren’t they old enough to handle even two miles by themselves by that age?  If they’re more than two miles away or have to cross treacherous streets, they’ll be bussed, so why are middle school kids getting driven to school?

In my day, very few kids got driven to school, unless you were bussed.  I walked to school by myself in Kindergarten many times, according to my parents.  And my hometown had a lot more snow in winter than they do even around here.  Only pouring rain or a dentist appointment got me a ride to school or the bus stop.

I’m convinced that my habit of walking everywhere I can–to work back before I became a stay-at-home mother, to the hair salon, to the gym, to take my son to school before he got big and savvy enough to walk by himself–is why I’m in such good health.

That it’s the reason why I stopped getting so many colds from co-workers.  (It doesn’t protect me from my little boy’s sicknesses, but it does seem to help me catch less of them and get less sick.)

Despite all the stress I’ve been under the past several years, and a family history of bad health, I still do not have high blood pressure, any form of diabetes, or a thyroid disorder.

And despite family history and where I live (where the food is awesome and decadent), I’m still well under 200 pounds.  (Though a creeping-up scale forced me to start going to the gym, with its weight machines, and not just bicycle/walk every day.)