As I go to check off the box, marked “Other,” to register my car-less commute for Walk/Ride Day, I look wistfully at the options listed there. Walking? Not a bad idea, but that might take too long. Rollerblading—sigh, won’t that impress friends and colleagues? Canoeing, eh, wouldn’t that be the life? Truth be told, I run to work, nothing that glamorous.
I started commuting by foot five-and-a-half years ago as a way to squeeze exercise into my busy schedule. I’ve held pretty steady on a daily run from Somerville to Downtown Boston, even in snow and subzero temperatures. I stopped short of running in pouring rain, but have been assured by a young, enthusiastic sales clerk at a local sporting goods store that inclement weather is no reason to impede my daily journey (he says there are products to protect my toes from rain and cold).
So what does this run get me besides cardio fitness? Well let’s see…there are the amazed and shocked comments by coworkers — “You run to work?” “From where?” “Oh, my God” — remarks implying I have some sort of Superwoman status in the office (I wish!). Of course, I try to assure them that my running commute has nothing to do with super fitness, or super dedication to being “green,” it’s just a steadfast habit to preserve sanity (my own, not others’).
There are benefits of running to work, apart from fitness and the green commute. Space magically opens up on the elevator on hot days (A/K/A, days when I’m sweating in buckets), or pouring-rain days (the drowned-look is so yesterday). A quiet shuffle by bystanders to avoid contact with me opens up lots of room.
Then there’s the route itself — the beauty, majesty, and historic wonder of the Longfellow Bridge, and the views it provides as I run up and over it every morning. And friendly greetings that jumpstart a positive attitude (we hope) from the regular school crossing guards in Cambridge, and from a gentleman named Glen, who is homeless: “Have a nice day, take care now.”
And finally, I have perfected some important life skills, such as how to gracefully wave off help after having tripped and fallen face-first on concrete — “No, I am fine, thank you!” and “Really, the bleeding will stop soon” — and how to blend in discreetly, when sweating and a bit disheveled, with guests at the posh hotels when in need of a potty stop on my route. But most of all I love Boston and nothing short of a natural disaster will keep me away from the awesomeness of the skyline I see every day as I crest the Longfellow. Marathoner I am not, but boy am I sane!
Tags: active, active living, Boston, charles river, commuting, Department of Public Health, DPH, exercise, green commute, health, healthy, healthy living, jogging, longfellow bridge, Mass in Motion, Massachusetts, mental wellness, nature, outdoors, physical activity, public health, Running, Somerville
Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017 posted on Jan 13
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past 7 days. But flu can be unpredictable, and we’re not likely to see the peak of flu season until February or even March. So if you haven’t gotten a …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017
Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jan 11
The first monthly PHC meeting of 2017 featured one Determination of Need (DoN) request, votes on two final amendments to regulations, and an informational briefing on proposed guidelines associated with the Determination of Need program. First, the Council took up a DoN application from Baystate Medical …Continue Reading Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting
Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions! posted on Jan 9
It’s January. And I can tell…not from the wintry weather or the after-Christmas sales…but from the number of prospective members I see getting tours of the gym while I’m trying to fit in my (less frequent than I’d like) workout. January 1st marks the start …Continue Reading Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions!