Reaching Your Goals, With a Little Help From Your Friends (Commuting by Muscle, 104 times in 52 Weeks)

“Let’s walk,” says my friend.  

I start to say, “It’s cold. Let’s drive.”  


Conversation in my head

OK. Let’s walk.  

The sun comes out for the first time in a week.  She points out daisies in the grass. 


Another day, it’s pouring rain, so naturally I drive.  A friend shows up in a snazzy neon jacket, leggings and a dress, ruddy cheeked and smiling.  She bicycled and she looks great. Could have been me. Should have.



Sunday morning, hunched over the laptop and the man of the house says, “I’m going for a walk.  Want to come?”


We walk seven miles.  It’s cold and foggy, but doesn’t take long to warm up.  We see brave souls getting ready for the polar plunge fundraiser for the Special Olympics.  If that doesn’t make one feel wimpy …


2012 Polar Plunge, photo by KVAL


Ten weeks to go.  Life and love might pull me over the finish line, in spite of myself.  

(Update on the quest to commute, powered by muscle, 104 times in 52 weeks.  Week 40:  walked 2x, bicycled zero. Week 41:  walked 2x, bicycled zero.  Week 42:  walked 2x, bicycled zero. Start date and end date:  April 15.  Grand total:  95, 11 in the bank).


  • I know! Some little saboteur inside is busy sending subliminal messages (drive … drive …) Thank goodness for people who follow through!


  • Hi Julia,

    Walking on Sunday is good practice, but I’m guessing that those seven miles don’t count toward your goal. How far is your commute?

    February is a tough month to choose for kicking it into gear. Hang in there and bundle up.


    • Sure it counts! Substitutes for a drive to the gym. One of the less sensible things I do is drive to exercise. Thanks for visiting!


  • My only comment is: Just hope your next home is in a more walkable, bikeable neighbourhood.

    I’ve lived less than 10 min. walk to a bike-ped path in the past 25 years across 3 major Canadian cities. When one lives this close, there aren’t really any excuses not to get out there to bike, walk or jog. ( I don’t jog.)

    So I can’t get too romantic about living in the country /more rural areas.


  • Bingo! and Ouch! We moved to a walkable, bike-able neighborhood 5 years ago, which got me started trying to wean myself from driving all the time. I continue to amaze myself with my ability to schnoozle myself with excuses. There is definitely more than one person in my head. Exhibit A: a friend who got blitzed by a car when she was on her bike and spent three weeks unconscious; and a minor tumble of my own. The excuses get lamer after that. I like your attitude: there are no excuses! Will paste that to the refrigerator. Thanks for visiting.


    • Did I sound like a mother cycling hen? 🙂 I gave up my driver’s license after so much trouble learning how to drive. I wasn’t comfortable driving on the highways. So I gave up my license in my early 20’s. No point, endangering other people.

      Happy journeys to health and happiness.


  • That is a solution. Tear up the driver’s license. Part of the problem is that I enjoy driving a little too much. Zipping through puddles on a rainy day, tea in the mug, the windshield wipers keeping time, NPR on the radio. Ahem. Well, one step at a time. Slowing down to bicycle speed does good things to the mind. I know this. I will have to check in with your blog from time to time for inspiration and fortitude.


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