Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 8 Challenge: Go a week without a car

This week I went without driving. 

To preface, I go to a college with a campus that spans about six blocks.  I live on 15th street and the majority of my classes are only four streets down. And to make my scenario even better this past week, West Michigan was blessed with freakishly warm weather with temperatures in the mid sixties. 

So in reality, this challenge wasn’t difficult.

But of course, I expected and anticipated the worst (funny how expectations and reality don’t always align).

Going into this week I thought this challenge was going to be dreadful.  I thought I was going to waste a lot of time, because usually I run at a pace of about 100mph and I like it that way.  With a car, I can zip around campus, leave my house 2 minutes before class starts and do anything on my own agenda.  Without a car I thought I was going to be limited. Here’s the thing about me, in case you didn’t know, I drive everywhere. I thought that if I had problems with time management and getting to class 10 minutes early before, my problems were only going to increase without a car.

But as the week went by and as I reflected, I realize there were no problems…with the exception of my feet.  Seriously after two days of this challenge I got blisters on my heals and by Thursday my feet ached.  It’s only funny because it’s true.

But this week was interesting because I was on time to every class I had.  I mapped out my days more realistically because I didn’t fall back on the excuse that I could drive and squeeze in more than I could handle.  I felt pretty content without a car.

I’ve never been stumped before writing one of these blogs in the past weeks.  Usually mid week I come to some sort of “ah-ha” moment and voila: lesson learned.  But this week’s challenge didn’t cause me too many problems; in fact, it was totally doable.  And of course it was doable - silly me to think I was going to have a hard time doing something the majority of people have to do on a regular basis: go without a car.

This week, on a superficial level, I learned that my shoes provide terrible support and are not comfortable.  But to dig a little deeper, I realized that I can easily go without something I thought I needed.

So the challenge I had to overcome this week had to do with correcting a false mindset.  I don’t need a car.  I don’t need a lot of things actually, what a ridiculous mindset to have in the first place.  So now I wonder what else I depend on in life that I assume I need but in reality can easily go without.

By the way, there was an ironic twist at the end of this challenge.  Saturday night I discovered my car had a flat tire.  A flat tire?  After a week sitting in my driveway and not being used, my car’s tire decides to give out.  That’s either a blessing or a curse, I haven’t decided which one it is yet.

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