Wednesday, February 27, 2013

green lights

there are 9 traffic lights between the JCC (where I do my indoor cycling) and my house.
each day I drive home I keep track of how many greens, reds, and if-I-slow-down-enough-it-will-turn-green-before-I-get-there's I encounter.
a typical morning has a pattern of 5-3-1.
I count not because I'm neurotic, but because it gives me something to think about besides how tired, hungry, sweaty, or cold I am.  over the years, it's become a game of sorts, and I often make predictions of how many greens I will have.

yesterday morning I had 9 greens.   no kidding, all 9 lights were green for me.  that's a sign, she shouts!  woo hoo!  life is ready to go my way!

this morning I had 9 greens again.  this hasn't happened since . . . well, yesterday . . . but before that, I can't remember when.

there's something magical about green lights.  I can't be the only one who is so easily pleased by them:  to be told go ahead, go, all is well is an extraordinary thing in this life.  I can't help but be pleased and grateful each time one appears in my life, whether it's a traffic light, encouraging words from a mentor, an order for business, a request for my input.
or, possibly my favorite:  no cars at an intersection while I'm riding my bike.   I love knowing I can keep going, that I don't need to stop.  that the universe is (overtly and undeniably, even if momentarily) giving me the go-ahead, the green light, the message to continue.

green lights can be found everywhere, if you're looking for them.
hey, you just try to stop me now . . . can't be done,  I'm on a roll.


gregclimbs said...

I have a challenge for you...

9 lights. Probably <9 miles

Why drive? In the city of smog, with air quality the worst in the nation... why burn fossil fuels to go indoors into a room lit and heated by fossil fuels to...ride a bike?

I actually understand the camaraderie of riding indoors together. I get the idea of structured training in a class.

But the world needs cyclists. And the low hanging fruits are athlete cyclist. And we need more athlete cyclists to try using a bike for more than just exercise.

So I would like to offer a challenge to you...

I once was told in dieting a key way to get control is to "make a better bad choice". If you crave ice cream sunday, have a simple bowl of ice cream. If you crave ice cream, try frozen yogurt. If you crave frozen .... you get the point.

Start by making a simple step instead of cutting out all deserts.

So my challenge to you is to make a better bad choice.

Ride your bike to the class. Ride the class. And then ride home.

Just layer outerwear over what you would have on in class, take it off during and put it back on to go home.

I think you might find more green're on a roll.


susan said...

oh greg, you're right in many ways . . . and I TREMENDOUSLY admire all those who commute throughout the winter, through snow and ice and slush.
let me say I only do this class during the winter when many days are too dangerous or too darn cold for wimpy me to ride there.
AND class begins at 5:10 am... up on the northeastern bench of the city.... those extra 12 minutes I'd need if I rode v. drove are crucially important to my already-cramped sleeping time.
as for making a better "bad choice"... in our current world there are few "perfect" choices. staying fit and healthy without using an indoor facility during the winter is not easy for those of us who can't run. just as owning a store puts you in a position of having to use fossil fuels, most of us have to make less-than-ideal choices given our extremely limited options.
I have ridden to afternoon classes a handful of times (when it's a specific workout I don't want to miss), and I agree, given time and the safety of daylight and tolerable temps, it's the better way to go.
green lights are even MORE fun on a bike . . .