I yawned and something golden shone through the still firs. A strange sight in Seattle, this orb.
My thoughts turned to our citrusy new offices (10777 Main Street, Suite 203, Bellevue, WA 98004), the optimism of a sunny day (after ~180 bleak ones), and the largely downhill path between my home and my work. And right then and there I made up my mind. I will bike to work.
What I learned about myself on my first-ever bike to work:
- Biking is scary. People who bike to work are brave
- I empathize with the drivers who missed left turns because I was left turning in front of them. I don’t know why
- I don’t know all the rules. Can I go in the transit lane? (Is that what they used to call “bus lanes” when I was young? And can I ride in them?) Can I pass the cars waiting at the light to turn left on the right side, and wait in pole position?
- Fresh air is a great way to wake up. Diesel fumes from Amazon Fresh – not so much
- Coffee mugs pop out of water bottle holders over the smallest of curbs
- I can understand a lot better the whole cars v. bikes debate – it’s not that either side is wrong; it’s that both are more or less right – but their coexistence is strained at best and doomed at worst
- Bellevue drivers are quite courteous – there were five times where I expected to get the finger or at least a honk – but patience and mutual respect were the norm
(Thank you to the weather gods for one bleeping sunny day this spring – did I mention that yet?)
- I empathized with my coworkers who bike fifteen miles (not three) every morning – and I can see why they were upset when we leased office space without showers. Maybe the can of Febreze I bought wasn’t so thoughtful after all
- I must be quite vain – because I thought “What will people think?” about me wearing shorts and a tee shirt to meetings – at least 5 times this morning
(And no I have not gone the multi-colored spandex route just yet – I rank ‘wind-tunnel tested’ relatively low – just below ‘reversible’ and ‘made in Madagascar’ on my benefit list when I shop at the Rack)
- My kids were giddy that I was biking to work – hopping in a basket under a giant floating peach to work may not have elicited a stronger reaction
- Showing up at work I am three times more alert than usual. How could I not be?
There were several Limeade dimensions I explored this morning – and hope to explore again soon. There were ones I would have expected:
- Exercise (a little)
- Heart Health (not too much)
- Managing Stress & Anxiety (quite a bit)
A couple dimensions that, upon some reflection, make sense:
- Concern for the Environment (an experimental dimension where I score poorly)
- Openness & Optimism (sunny June day, energy from the kids, etc…)
- Feeling Energized (the #1 predictor of workplace productivity)
And some that are quite surprising:
- Resources & Support (showers at work – gym memberships across the street coming soon!)
- Knowing Yourself (what an ignorant wimp I can be!)
- Openness & Optimism
The most important aspect of this for me is not the exercise time – 25 minutes door-to-lock (plus 35 more to blog about it) vs. 10 in the SUV. (The way home is uphill, so we’ll see how that goes.) It is the fact that, after 20 years and 200 excuses, I finally did it. Once.
Was it awesome? Not really.
But I’ll do it again.
And – like a one-man breakaway overtaken by the peloton – a yawning eight-month gap between blog posts is closed.