Functional Fitness: The Solution to Pittsburgh’s Port Authority Problems
This post is most certainly going to be a quirky one. For those of you Burghers who have noticed that our transit system is becoming less and less reliable, I decided to dedicate this blog entry to the subject matter of incorporating exercise into your daily commute. Now, there is nothing really revolutionary here, as I am sure that a lot of you are already familiar with different, more economical and green friendly ways to get to work, but allow me to rant/vent my frustration here for just a few moments.
Ok, so I live in the South Side of Pittsburgh which is a whopping 2 miles from where I work downtown. I was minding my own business yesterday morning at the Big Dog Coffee House, sipping on some Amasi and Brazilian coffee when a fellow neighbor popped in for their morning brew. The man informed us all that there was some unforeseen delays with the transit in our neighborhood, as Arlington Avenue was shut down for construction (for those of you who are not from Pittsburgh, Arlington Avenue leads to the upper portion of the South Side, also know as “The South Side Slopes.”). With the major road cut off from a good portion of residents in Pittsburgh, I grabbed my coffee to go and bolted out the door. It was 7:45 am, and my bus normally leaves at 7:57 am.
By 8:00 am I was on 24th Street and Carson with some seriously angry Burghers who were cursing out the Pittsburgh Port Authority via cell phone/blue tooth device. After witnessing a mob of people wave their middle fingers at buses filled to capacity with passengers, I was left with no choice but to take matters into my own, primal hands. By this time, it was now 8:05 am and my morning shift starts at 8:30 a.m. The solution to this problem?
RUN. LIKE. HELL!!!!
What yinz are looking at over here is my 2 mile dash from the South Side of Pittsburgh to Downtown (pronounced “Dahn Tahn” for those of you needing another dose of Pittsburghese). I had 20 minutes to make it from the bus stop (marked green on this map) to my building (marked red on this map). Now, I will most certainly admit that I did not sprint this entire distance. I was fortunate enough to have parked my lovely vehicle just a few blocks from the green starting point. With enough energy to spare, I decided to take the mornings transit mishap and turn it into a workout. Check out this sprinting routine.
RUSH HOUR MAD DASH SPRINT
Circuit #1: 0.2 mile sprint from 24th and East Carson to 26th Street to hop in my car.
5 minute rest as I drive wildly through traffic and make it to the parking lot of the Consol Energy Center to park my car.
Circuit #2: 374 ft dash from the parking lot to my office building downtown.
30 second rest on the escalator in my building because everyone and their mother is jamming up the line to work.
Circuit #3: 25 ft sprint to my elevator.
30 second rest period as I ride to the 23rd floor.
I clocked into work right at 8:30 a.m. Can I get a “WOOT WOOT!” ?
Now, I realize that sprinting all over Pittsburgh isn’t exactly the best way to get your little behind to work. This is especially true when your VIBRAMS are at your APARTMENT and YOU are in your HEELS! HOWEVER, if planned accordingly, you primal options to get to work would be to take a leisurely walk or bike.
Speaking of biking, I am considering getting a bike to do just that, bike to work to avoid all the inconsistencies of Pittsburgh’s horrendous transit system. Yes, I realize that a heavily tattooed girl who consumes exclusively organic/free range products, lives in the South Side, and bikes all over Pittsburgh fits the stereotype of a hipster quite well. But you know what? I DON’T CARE! I am so disgusted with being late to work and that I would much rather fork out the investment to my health than continue to submit myself to all this stress and aggravation. And that’s real talk, ya heard?
CALLING ALL BURGHERS: Are you as fed up as I am with all this Port Authority hoopla? Are you also looking for ways to increase your daily activity and get back in shape? Then it’s time we take our fitness to a whole new level! Functional fitness is practical fitness. Walk, hike, and BIKE around this city. We will all save money on our bus passes, and reap the rewards of vibrant health in the future.
For more information specifically pertaining to bikes and biking routes in Pittsburgh, please visit Bike Pittsburgh at http://bike-pgh.org/ . As always, remember to eat smart, train hard (even if you combine your training with your morning commute ) and enjoy your life!