Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Meet Zippy. Zippy is my new back pack on wheels. Capable of carrying up to 60 lbs., I bought it so I could walk to work and one day it’s going to serve this intended purpose.
In October of 2008, when I took over as Chief Librarian, I was forced to insure Isabella, the ’88 Toyota, because of the volume of mail that the library gets. The Inter-library Loan system means that we are shipping and receiving many books every day and there is no way I’m going to schlep a large bin of books back and forth from home to the post office to work and back home again every day. (Although, I’d certainly get in shape doing it!) After four years of being ‘carless’ and walking pretty much everywhere, not walking abruptly took its toll and, suffice it to say, I went up a dress size or two. Every now and then I start a workout program of some sort. I hop on my Gazelle, or I follow my walk-at-home video. That lasts a few days and then I start finding excuses. I make definite plans to start a yoga program again and then don’t get past opening Savasana! I swear off chocolate and chips. I load my shopping cart with fruit and veggies. I fall off the wagon and sit in the muddy wheel ruts of procrastination and watch it drive away without me.
Oddly enough, I miss walking to work. It’s a fifteen minute trek on flat ground, providing an excellent opportunity for quiet reflection. But the mail and the errands have been a brick wall between me and those peaceful minutes.
Often, when driving to work, I pass a group of elderly ladies walking along the road, each pulling one of those little shopping carts on wheels that elderly ladies seem to favour. The carts are sturdy and functional and look like they are meant to be favoured by little old ladies. Sometimes, the notion would cross my mind that it would be nice to be a little old lady with a sturdy and functional shopping cart on wheels so I could walk to work and not have to carry all that mail in a big plastic bin…
A quick Google search led me to Zippy! I ordered it, paid for it and took it home where I assembled it. I dug out my ear muffs, warm mittens, scarf and high-viz vest. I put my ice walkers on my boots. I moved out of my purse and into a re-useable shopping bag that can hang conveniently from Zippy’s handle. I loaded the mail into Zippy and went to bed dreaming about how nice it was going to be to walk to work with my sturdy and functional, but not so old lady-like back pack on wheels.
Two things happened. First, the mild weather turned to rain. Second, I could not find my umbrella. While the second event was not that big a deal, the first was overwhelmingly off-putting. The driveway and roads made me wonder if a new ice age had begun over night. Huge puddles had formed, disguising some of the worst of the icy patches. I looked at Zippy all eager to carry the mail for me. Then I looked at the icy roads and falling rain. Then I looked at Zippy. Then I looked at the icy roads and falling rain. Then I made a decision (my previous decision not to make decisions notwithstanding).
I drove to work. It wasn’t necessarily a safer choice, but it was most definitely drier. Zippy came along for the ride and carried the mail from the van to the post office for me anyway. I’m relatively certain that once walking becomes feasible again, which could be any day (or three months from now!), Zippy will be a devoted and dependable side kick.
In the meantime, I am giving some thought to dusting off the Gazelle again and giving that an early morning go-round. It might behoove me to remind my legs what walking is all about before I launch into this intended walk to work program for real. And just to be on the safe side of that intention, I’m also giving serious consideration to not re-insuring the van next month. I’m hoping that the money I save on gas and insurance might someday pay for the new clothes I’m going to need when Zippy and I pace off those extra dress sizes again…
It’s a theory.