Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Monday, November 15, 2010

Commuting: an emotional experience

I spend rather a lot of my life on trains, perhaps too much time.  While walking to the station this morning, I was thinking about how I should use this time, how much of my commute I ought to be spending on work-related mattes, how much time idly surfing and tweeting, how much time gaming (sounds so much more grand than "playing inane" games), how much time reading.  This got me to thinking about my blog and what to post today.  I thought I'd share with you some of the emotions that just the journey from front door to train door brings up.

On leaving the house, one worries that departure has been left too late and the train is going to be pulling away on arrival at the station.  It's a balance between leaving too early and realising that a precious extra minute with the girls and Roary the Racing car could have been won.

After a brisk walk, navigation of the traffic lights is required.  Careful assessment of the light sequences usually results in a gain but the brisk walk is maintained.

Many commuters like to adopt a special canter, the "I'm running for a train, but not actually running for it".  I prefer brisk walk, I suspect that many of the cantering-types find it quite upsetting to be overtaken by someone apparently expending less effort than them and who they overtook only two minutes before.

The first two thirds of the journey are crucial, make or break time.  A good pace here means there is no need for the panicked sprint and shoulder-barge into the doors as they beep their way shut.  The most frustrating moment is when you approach the station and see the train pulling in,  chances are the opportunity to make that train has been lost.

Today I arrived at the station, thought I only had a minute to catch the train, got ready to adopt the sprint start and then realised I actually had six minutes, time to catch my train and saunter across.

The train too decided to saunter as it was three minutes late.  On hearing this, my relief that I hadn't missed it was replaced by ire that it was late. I now have six minutes to make my next connection.  Time to prepare for my sprint start. 

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