As you know I run a business. We teach corporate sustainability. One of the great things about what I do now and how I live now is that for the first time in my life, I am who I am 24 hours a day. That may sound a bit odd, but I use to spend a lot of time being a professional from 9-5, a volunteer for the causes I was passionate about from 5- 9. My professional and personal life now feel like they have merged for me allowing me to be all of me all the time.
I am getting to why that is important for you to know.
One of the values of sustainability is transparency. I gave that a lot of thought as I was considering this adventure and I decided I am prepared to fully engage and reveal the true journey to the best of my ability. Reveal it all -my struggles, my successes, my feelings about it all, my concerns etc. and mostly responding to that underlying voice that keeps asking me, ‘do you really think you will make it a year?’
So true confessions. I did not share something that happened the VERY DAY I TURNED MY CAR IN! I was incredulous and I think you will be too. What irony!
As you recall, when I got home, the rest of my day did not feel so different. I was not missing my car. I jumped on my bike, headed to Piedmont Park to play my Ultimate Tennis Leagues match. While I am waiting on my opponent, my friend who had biked over to cheer for me, yells across the tennis clubhouse, ‘Come here. Come quick, come see!’ I am thinking a dog walker has a bevy of dogs going by, a street performer is doing an amazing act, or the police horses are there waiting on me to pet them…ya know, the usual stuff you see in the park. But no, MY BIKE WAS GONE! STOLEN, MY LOCKED UP, BIKE WAS GONE! Now, where is the justice in that, I asked myself. Here I am trying to do some good giving up my car, and my only wheels are stolen. GONE. They took my bike, not the one next to it-MINE! I could not believe it. A dozen kids taking a lesson with a pro, and no one saw it. Parents watching the lesson, and no one saw it. Joggers, walkers, bladers, bikers going by, and no one saw it. This thief must be good.
So I had a match to win. I got on the court and decided this was going to be a test of my ability to focus. Yes, I won -10-8 in the third set tie breaker. She beat me last time we met so yeah me, but the loss of my bike clouded the win. I was attached to my bike. I loved my bike. Attachments can get you into trouble!
But, I had so much fun on my bike! I just had new pedals put on it in anticipation of increased pedal-to-the-metal time. I have a bell on the handle bars that I love to ring when passing folks instead of barking, “bike on your left”. People smile when they hear a kids bell and a grown lady passes them by. I loved that bell. And it was a TREK. A nice bike. Not a super fancy one but I could jump curbs, fly down the grassy hills and most importantly, ride to the grocery store and fill my pack with a week’s worth of grains, greens and proteins!
I believe in living in a state of gratitude. I even had a bumper sticker on my car that read ‘what are you grateful for?’ and I am not a bumper sticker kinda person. I realized that this thief has probably saved my life because today, Sunday, I was going to put my bike on Marta, and then ride from Brookwood Station to Blackburn Tennis Center for my ALTA match. With no bike path available, I believe this thief has done me a favor, saved me from myself so I am grateful to him today. That may not have been the safest ride so I thank you, Mr./Ms. Thief, for what you have given me!
Don’t worry, I won’t miss my match. When my tennis team got my e mail, there was a flurry of “I’ll help…we can car pool” so Amy is picking me up from the Brookwood Station today. I tried to connect with a bus, but seems not enough ALTA players ride MARTA on a Sunday to warrant the bus service to Blackburn Park.
Life goes on. So far, I am not missing out on what I normally do. I went out last night to hear my friend REX’s band play at the Great Southeast Music Hall Reunion Concert. I took a bus there, a cab home. It felt good to not have a car to deal with. It felt great when the cab pulled up in front of my building, under the portico so I never got wet from the downpour!
Life for me is still an adventure. I’m still Going AWOC….Atlanta WithOut a Car!