I had to skip my Sunday swim due to long run scheduling, and was excited to get back in the pool today. I have a goal to swim 10,000 yards per month. A few months, this year, I have far exceeded that, and at least a couple I have fallen short. Tonight, I knew that I needed 2,000 yards to meet my goal for August. A year ago, that kind of distance was out of the question. I feel good that not only did I complete the distance, but I worked on some skills and felt great about my effort.
On my way to the YMCA for my swim, I pondered our geographical location on this planet. We live quite close to the downtown area, and in between two campuses of a College Town.
I grew up in the southeast part of this city and would have never thought of moving north back then. Things were different in this area then, and great improvements have been made in the way of clearing old dilapidated buildings and inserting parks and clean, inviting architecture. Our street is lined with working class families and just enough nuts to keep it close like family. I'm proud of our neighborhood!
I used to envy those that lived in the newer neighborhoods of the south, and now far north parts of town. I thought that I was somehow slighting our children by not giving them an environment with 3 car garages and rules about what color of garbage can is allowed out front. I thought that a healthy environment was one in which things looked clean and orderly and, well, new.
Today it occurred to me that one of the reasons that our 14-year-old son doesn't mind riding his bicycle everywhere, is due to the neighborhood that we live in. We live on the edge of two very busy bike trails that are a flurry of activity with commuter cyclists. It's pretty cool when you take a look - there are students, professors, bookish folks, athletic types - every one of them just trying to save some fuel and some money.
It's the cool thing to do!
So, even if our parental influence isn't working on him, our environment is. He won't learn how to edge a lawn, but he will learn that lots of people ride their bikes and a car (and a car LOAN!) isn't the most important thing on the planet.