We bought a car to get in shape.
I have to laugh at myself when I boil it down to that reason.
Last fall the first, and only, Crossfit gym opened in the Isle of Man. I literally screamed with joy when I found out.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to join at the time because I was heavily pregnant.
Crossfit is one of the handful of things I really miss from our life back in Vancouver. And while I do enjoy other methods of working out, the combination of challenging skills, weight lifting, aerobic conditioning and great community that you can find at a Crossfit gym check a lot of boxes for me.
I looked at many alternatives to car ownership to meet my want of going to this gym.
The gym is only three miles from our home but it’s not easily or frequently accessible by public transportation.
I tried taking a bus part of the way there and then walking to the gym.
It worked but wasn’t a solution for a few reasons. The commute would take me almost an hour. Each way. I couldn’t go with both boys with me – no chance I would get a workout in – so would need to go while Henry was at daycare. That would mean most of my nursery ‘free time’ (meaning only having one child with me) was taken up with getting to and from the gym.
Could I bike it? The hills around the gym are steep and you can’t bike here year round.
I started devising crazy schemes like buying a folding bike, taking a cab one way, and then biking home. But the numbers and long term viability of these complicated plans did not add up.
For a short time I was catching a ride with a neighbor that goes to the gym. It was very generous of her and made it possible for me to get started. But it wasn’t a long term solution with different schedules and with Chris joining the gym too.
We finally hit a road block with not owning a car.
Living without a car started as an experiment. I said from the beginning that we would do it until it no longer made sense for our family.
If my husband and I wanted to join this Crossfit gym and take our fitness goals to the next level, we needed a car.
While I felt a lot of reluctance over owning a car again it hasn’t been too painful to join the driving world after a three year absence.
Maybe that’s because we aren’t driving the car much. We’re trying to live as we did before, using public transportation and a lot of walking to get around, and we just use the car when we would otherwise need a cab.
It also helps that our car, while functional and road safe, isn’t exactly a luxury ride (more about our car choice soon).
I think we have more car-free years ahead of us. This certainly isn’t the end. When or if we move back to Vancouver there is a good chance we won’t own a car. And I have a strong feeling our retirement years will be car-free.
Anyone else do a long term experiment with downsizing one are of their life? What turned it into a short term change instead of a permanent one?
Photo Credit: anyjazz65