I know, I know, a bit of a hyperbolic title, but it is true. Anyway, it has been mentioned a few times on the blog, but I have started to walk into and from work every day for the past few weeks for a variety of reasons and I thought I would share with you why I do so and how I have felt for doing it. Shall we?
I can get away from the annoyance that is public transport
The first reason for my walks into work was that I was just utterly sick of paying money to a public transport company that was utterly unreliable in getting me to work on time and getting home at a decent time. Pretty simple really.
For those unaware, Northern Ireland’s public transport system is run by a company called Translink and there are no competitors. This means that Translink can charge what they like and provide terrible service. Oh, Scott, you are exaggerating a bit there again. I’m not. I am really not. During the summer and holiday periods, the system works okay, it can still be a bit late on occasion, but it runs close to on time. However, as soon as schools and people are back from their holidays the entire system falls apart and falls apart in a massive way. Buses are cancelled or 30 minutes late, and when they do arrive they are packed and it just drives past as the poor driver shrugs at you. Also, we are in Northern Ireland, so this is happening in the sodding rain. On the way home, it is worse and despite most of the city centre having bus-only lanes, the buses still take an age to arrive and get there. Sigh.
If buses were only late then that would be okay, it’s peak time, that’s expected. What isn’t to be expected is to continually pay more money towards this service. Increase upon increase makes getting a bus a pricey experience. A normal all-day ticket is £4.20 but if you got a card or a pass it comes down to £15 or £16 a week. So, within a month I would be spending around £60 or over £600 a year on bloody buses! Not happening, not anymore, that is just ridiculous to me.
It was decided that instead of just saving the money in my bank account that from the beginning of the month that I would put that £15 a month away into a separate savings account so that I can build up my rainy day fund (it took a hit when my boiler broke just before my North American holiday, small price of £400 got wiped from it). If I save from here to the end of the year I should have it back up to £300 and then I can keep building it up until it reaches £1000… So this time next year with a bit of luck! I also decided that if I do get a bus for any reason to and from work that I would add the price of that ticket into the savings as well, to try and keep me from wanting to use it.
This actually helped me a lot mentally for some reason. As we get older we do begin to think of the future and think about weddings, children etc. Keeping that account growing can only be a positive thing for not only my future but my families. I want to feel secure financially and having that savings account there filled with non-bus money eases those worries that I may have if I didn’t have any savings. I will be lucky enough to save that money and put it away, others are not as lucky and I need to appreciate that and make sure I am sorted.
More prompt for work
Oh hey, snooze button, nice to see you 3 times today. I guess as I am getting the bus I can wait a little longer before I have to get out of bed. Oh, those times are gone now and after the 3rd morning, it became pretty natural and I was up prepping for the rest of the day. Knowing I had an absolute latest time of 7:50 to leave for work otherwise I would be a little late really helped me get into a regime quicker than 15 months of buses and knowing a bus would be coming down the road in a few minutes. I think that has helped me be a bit more efficient with my times and want to get the most out of my mornings. I am now up at latest of 6am during the weekdays, which means I am able to clean the house a little, get my food for the day prepped instead of having to do it the night before. I might even have a cheeky 30 minutes for blogging, or maybe I could walk into town earlier and hit the gym before carrying onto work. The options have become limitless for primed and ready Scott!
Got those steps back up
I used to trek 20,000 steps a day with no worries when I was running and walking all day and night in a cinema. After I worked moved to a management job in a smaller cinema, those steps disappeared, as well as the want to walk home as I was miles from the house. The previous cinema job was in the city centre, so I could get in nice and quick whatever the weather. So as the steps lessened for me, the weight grew. This grew more when I moved to a 9-5 job near the small cinema, to the point where I was only getting around 5,000 steps in a day as I was just so groggy after work that I didn’t want to exercise. It wasn’t a good time for me to be honest walking wise.
Now since I have become an active lad again and started walking more to work etc (13 workdays in a row and counting) I have been continually smashing my 15,000 step targets and have tentatively upped my targets on Samsung Health to 17,500 to great success so far! I hope by the end of the month that I can have it set at 20,000 steps which would mean that I have to make sure I get my lunchtime 3,000 steps in as well as some from the gym, or a run or another post-dinner walk in the evening.
I honestly think that when I was getting the bus, I was miserable as I would be stood waiting for the bus and then I would struggle to get a seat or stand and it would be frustrating and not at all how I wanted to start my day. In comparison with walking in, I have found that I have been more relaxed, my walks have been nice and easy with my only annoyance at cyclists on the pavement. When I get into work I feel good, which is probably just the endorphins from walking and being active. The same happens when I walk home as well. Yes, I am a little tired as I have also been working all day, but I feel like I have accomplished something and bettered myself each day I do it.
Victoria would be the better person to ask, but I do feel that my moods are more positive and I have been less grumpy and snappy. I would hope that she agrees… Fingers crossed!
Get to catch up on podcasts that Victoria hates
This is a bit of a jokey one, but I love certain podcasts that I know Victoria doesn’t or would not be interested in for more than a couple of hours and I want to spend time with her, instead with headphones on listening away when walking to and from work, I get to enjoy it without wasting good relationship time!