Commercial Drive

Monday, May 22, 2006 by Michelle

Recently, Commercial Drive was "fixed up" - roads were ripped up and repaved; sidewalks likewise; old trees were removed and new ones planted; etc. I was thrilled to see that a bit of money was being spent in my neighbourhood on fixing things up a bit. The sidewalks in particular were serious barriers to mobility for many people because they were so broken and uneven. I never saw enough into the future to understand that all this fixing up would also have a very negative impact on our wonderful, pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood though.

Looking North up The Drive from Broadway, the road looks like a major thoroughfare now and drivers are treating it as such. It no longer feels pedestrian-friendly (and, I assume, no longer bicycle-, skateboard-, rollerblade-, stroller-, wheelchair-or scooter-friendly either). It doesn't feel safe to cross the street with the kind of carefree ease and "to hell with vehicles" attitude we love so much about The Drive. Cars now whiz by at higher speeds and to hell with pedestrians. Having community road-hockey games and street festivals will only marginally help keep some drivers aware that pedestrians abound here, but the day-to-day reality is that Commercial Drive now feels like any other automobile-dominated area. That's sad.

Where are the rumble-strips and speed bumps when you need them?

Oh, and…

Friday, May 5, 2006 by Michelle

... I did 15 minutes on the treadmill again today without stopping. Yes, Warren did slow it to a fast walk around the 12-minute mark for 30-seconds or so, but nevertheless. Even jogging is becoming easier; each time I go out, I seem to be able to go a little bit farther before having to stop and walk.

I'm starting to see the "a" in "fat" turning into an "i" in "fit"!

Feeling a bit smug

Friday, May 5, 2006 by Michelle

Eons ago I was a fairly fast walker, but that has waned over the years as I've put on more and more weight. Now that I'm getting fit, the speed has gone up as the dress size has gone down. My little four-banger engine has been nitro-injected!

Case in point: I was walking downtown the other day with my husband Chris (5'11") and is good friend Bob (6'3") and they couldn't keep up to me. Two thin long-legged guys couldn't keep up with a 5'3" overweight woman! "I'm getting tired," and "would you slow down for Pete's sake!" whined the two of them more often than I care to share. And let me tell you, I felt smug like you wouldn't believe. After years of dawdling behind everyone, I'm now too quick for them... but don't tell my fitness trainer I'm feeling smug; he's bound to humble me with an increase in my treadmill terror speed!