The Long Haul

I hadn’t wanted to write about this. Only because I feel like a wimp whenever I think about it. But I should get it out there, so I don’t feel so badly.

It’s about my job. Or rather about the commute to my new job. I love my new job. I did not, however, realize the extent to which I would be signing on to what now feels like some intense training boot camp designed to break me! It’s not what happens at work, but what happens before and after work that’s the challenge!

I’m talking about is the 20 minutes of walking from the subway station to my place of employment, which I’ll just say, isn’t exactly centrally located (and for those of you wondering, the bus never comes when you need it to).

I didn’t think it was a big deal at first. You’re so excited to be working again, those 20 minutes just flew by, all my anxious thoughts whizzing through my head, it was like the 20 minutes was say, maybe 5. But now, what with the snow, the ice, the freezing temperatures and the wind chill factor, I’m acutely aware that it’s a full 20 minute walk in the morning and in the evenings to and from work!

That’s 40 minutes of walking, people! I Google Mapped it and it’s exactly a mile EACH WAY! That’s two miles of walking a day, and 10 miles a week! It’s no wonder if I speed walk it I’m tired by the time I get to my desk and in the evenings by the time I actually make it to the subway I have no desire to go anywhere else but home simply because I can’t imagine walking any further! Some days I’ve thought “The only thing that could make this commute harder is if they put in a climbing wall instead of the elevators and you had to climb to get to your floor!”

The thing is, you think it should only be 10 minutes. Or that somehow, do to the repetitive nature of the commute, it should somehow shorten itself. It hasn’t. Still 20 minutes! It’s around the 10 minute mark that you say to yourself, “I should be there now!” only to look up at the avenues and realize you’re only halfway there. When this happens every morning, that’s when you realize you’ve signed up for something that you hadn’t quite realized!

I mean, if someone said to you “I’ll pay you to walk 2 miles a day; 1 mile in the morning, 1 mile in the evening.” would you do it??? I wouldn’t! Seriously, I know myself, and my resolve when it comes to daily exercize (especially in the mornings!). And even though at my last job, with the in house gym, I worked out at least 3 days a week, I still wouldn’t say yes! Even if you did said yes, I bet half of the people who would sign up for this, would balk later on, just like any exercize routine.

But here’s the rub; someone IS paying me to walk a mile in the mornings and a mile in the evenings! That’s 10 miles a week, 40 miles a month, and 480 miles a year! And it’s not like I can blow it off when I don’t feel like it because, I have to get to work! Many mornings I’ve said to myself, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have to get to the office. Forget about bad weather, there’s also the mornings after a little too much to drink the night before, when moving, let alone walking a mile before work, is kind of painful. I may never drink again on a weeknight!

And just in case you might think that the office would say, close with a snowstorm like the one we had several weeks ago? Nope! Just wear your Yak Trax and come on in! Ice storm? Why would that stop you? I swear it feels like I’ve joined Xe what with the physical toughness and against all odds spirit that pervades the office. At my last job, I literally worked in a glass tower, with the subway entrance almost in the building itself, where in my first weeks my friend said to me “I have to warn you. It’s like the prom everyday here.” and of course my wardrobe was decidedly non-promish! At my new job, within days I realized that it wasn’t the appropriate clothes for the culture that I was lacking, but the appropriately sturdy footwear!

I was given a wonderful new employee orientation, that was possibly the most refined and elegant I’ve ever attended. However, what would have made it better was a Powerpoint presentation of the best brands of footwear that combine both style and ruggedness, and what to wear in what weather to the office! I’ve never seen so many people in one location all wearing Wellies (and all day long for that matter!). Within days of starting work the soles of my best boots peeled off, so that I switched to wearing my industrial strength ones (made in Canada-a) for the commute and then keeping another pair of ankle boots in my desk cubby to switch into. And with narrow hard to fit feet, I’m wondering “Is there a company out there that makes narrow rain boots in half sizes?” because that IS the burning question in my life right now!

I’m sure, like so many other things, this is all just a blessing in disguise. I mean, until I build up enough stamina to hop, skip and jump my 2 miles a day, why join a gym? I would be too tired to exercize once I would get there! Change and developing discipline in life doesn’t happen easily, and surely the only thing that will break my resistance is indeed if my arm is twisted in a good way to do the thing that I would not do otherwise.

I figure when the weather gets better maybe I can try roller blading to work–that might cut down on time! Or I’ll start jogging the commute. I’ve always hated running, but maybe this is the universe’s way of getting me to start jogging! I’m sure that I’ll learn to love it and later look back and wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t gotten the job that I have today!


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