Keeping fit on the way to the office – and forgetting my pants
I love a reason to exercise. I don’t mean just to get fit and to train for an event… but because I am going somewhere while exercising. I try, whenever I can, to either run or cycle to a meeting or an event. And I organise my life, clothing and bike etc to accommodate this. I’m known as the “odd” person who always arrives in cycle or running kit!
So, in an ordinary week, when I might be covering an event for a blogging client, working a couple of shifts at a newspaper and then meeting a friend I will think about how to combine a run or a cycle to as many of these events as possible.
This also saves me time because it means that I don’t need to find extra hours for keeping fit. It’s like a best use of time! Invariably, cycling into Glasgow is quicker than the car, in any case, and running only take about 20 mins longer.
Take last week. I cycled to a newspaper shift, then got the train home afterwards. The next day I ran into the office for another shift and cycled home afterwards. Then on Saturday I cycled to Edinburgh to meet the G-Force at Ratho Climbing Centre.
The day that I ran was very wet indeed. But I’d left a bag full of dry clothes at the office and they have the advantage of showers and a hairdryer in the building. You do need to be organised and prepared to run or cycle whatever the weather but it is the ideal way to squeeze keep-fit into a busy work and life schedule.
When you forget your trousers
I have occasionally forgotten vital items of clothing, however. Like the day I turned up on my bike to an important meeting for new web copywriting work only to find I’d forgotten to put a pair of trousers in my rucksack. I made my apologies and gained the work. Years later, the person who employed me still recounts the story and laughs. She thought it was funny that I’d arrived at a professional meeting in cycle shorts but was also impressed that I travelled by bike. I still arrive at all her meetings and events by bike, but haven’t ever forgotten my trousers or skirt since!
When I worked at the Herald I’d keep a wardrobe of clothes at the office. I cycled and ran to the office every day. There were occasions, however, when I’d forget one vital item of clothing: My pants! I never let on but there were at least 10 days in my five years in that office when I had to work commando!
The joys of cycling in a tailwind
The cycle to Edinburgh was fantastic. I’d checked the weather forecast and it said rain and sunshine with a generally south-westerly wind. Since I would be mostly cycling from west to east I thought I’d be able to deal with a kind-of side-on wind. In the event, it felt like for 40 of the almost 50 miles I had a tailwind.
The route from Bearsden, on the A803 via Kilsyth, Falkirk, Linlithgow, Kirkliston and then to Ratho is only ever undulating and not once did I experience a moment of driver rage. I even found the time to call in on a tri club pal who moved to Dennyloanhead in the last year for a natter and a look around her fab house.
The G-Force had left earlier in the day to go climbing with a pal and I’d given him a bag of dry clothes to take with him. We were heading down to the Borders to see friends afterwards and so I was able to get a shower once we arrived. (Unfortunately, I had forgoten to pack a dry pair of socks but that was better than forgetting to pack my pants!)
I guess I could have driven or caught a train to Edinburgh, or I could have gone climbing, too, but what actually happened was that I enjoyed an afternoon of me-time on my bike, while the G-Force enjoyed a full day of climbing and we’d only used one car, thus saving petrol and the environment.
Does anyone else use commuting and travel time to keep fit?