I’m sure you know the saying ‘do something new every day’, which considering we live in a world of 9-5 (mostly) and do a lot of our tasks with scary repetitiveness can be a little difficult to put into action. My commute normally entails being half asleep or reading the latest tome I have been unable to stop thinking about. Sometimes I even listen to some music quite loudly, which tends to have the effect that it then sends me off to sleep once again.
Ultimately my commute is a quiet pursuit without having to do too much concentrating. Not so yesterday afternoon: I decided to cycle the 12+ miles from work to my house, during rush hour. Suffice to say, and evidently to my being able to post this, I made it in one piece! Despite some traffic related scary moments I really enjoyed the experience. I know that many many people do this sort of thing on a regular basis, but as I spent a large part of my childhood living in a desert type environment I have not even owned a bike since I was 10. It has been my intention to buy a bike for the last few years but somehow could never justify the expense, when hey presto my aunt decided to have a clear out and bestowed her VERY German looking bike onto me. AWESOME I thought, now I’m going to cycle everywhere, only to have it sitting in the hallway for over a year, whilst I plucked up the courage to actually start using it.
By the time that happened however, the tyres were flat and it was no longer ‘road worthy’ as they say in the cycle trade. A quick check with the lovely Alexis at my favourite café come cycle shop LOOK MUM NO HANDS, a tense commute on the district line (bike in tow during the Olympics no less), and a weekend in between, I had a road worthy bike. Now I just needed to get it home, I thought, which is when the thought caught hold to cycle it home, all the way across London. Thankfully I had my very lovely colleague Becca to keep me company on the way; oh and the fact that she cycles most of that route several times a week did help considerably.
I arrived home about 2 hours after our time of departure, which considering was the first time I’d done it and 12 ish miles later (not that I’m harping on about the distance in any way…), feeling absolutely elated but also mentally, if not physically exhausted. I had forgotten how having a new experience can leave one utterly overjoyed and drained all at once.
It took me out of my comfort zone which, despite being quite uncomfortable – as the expression suggests – is actually something to be encouraged. I always think of my comfort zone as the yolk of a fried egg; that’s where I live most of the time, occasionally venturing out into the white but not often enough for sure, and I definitely don’t get to the crispy outside bit, ever.
I won’t be cycling that distance everyday as it would take far too long, but I have started doing a third of the distance (about 4.9 miles for those of you wanting to know). It has had the great effect of putting me in a much better mood in the morning, which if you know me in person is quite a mean feat.
So go on, do something new or something you haven’t done in a while; it may prove to be just the ticket!