I’ve worked at my company for sixteen years, and with the brief exception of a year and a half when I worked from home, I’ve reported for duty every day at a big black office building in Midtown Manhattan. I’ve moved offices and floors, but I’ve spun in and out of the same set of revolving doors since July 1998.
Tomorrow, my company will have completed a move of its corporate headquarters to one block away from the Freedom Tower, all the way down in the Financial District. I know basically nothing about this part of town. I’m switching from an office with a window and a door to an L-shaped workstation that leaves me out in the open and working just 3 or 4 feet from my peers in the marketing department (all our L-desks connect to form a cross). As far as transitions go, I’m not too flustered by this one.
Last night I did have a nightmare I couldn’t shake about the new work environment. In it, we not only moved to an open office floor plan, but we moved into dormitories where we were expected to live with our co-workers Monday through Friday. I remember feeling panic in this dream, that I failed to pack something essential from the old building. I spent half the dream wracking my brain and reviewing lists over and over again. I am curious how I will handle working out in the open like that. Anti-social habits I’ve developed over the years working in an office include talking to myself (pep talks, griping, musing), kicking off my shoes, laughing loudly, slamming my desk drawers shut, and cursing at my computer, among other things. Clearly, these are all habits I’ll need to save for when I’m home alone.
The new building also has bike storage, which dovetails perfectly with a good habit I’d like to develop: biking to work a few days a week. Today, I tested out a route. Basically, I ride over the Queensboro Bridge, down 2nd Avenue to 34th Street, hop on the Greenway along the river, then cut in to Broadway 1 block south of Fulton Street, at John Street, and pop onto Fulton once that pedestrian mall is passed. 2nd Avenue is pretty hairy to ride down during rush hour, so hopefully I’ll be able to handle that. This ride is over 8 miles long, and takes me about 50 minutes. It’s farther than I’d like, especially if I’m going back and forth each day, but I suppose it only seems far now that I’m a newbie cyclist. Once I’ve done it for a month or so, it surely will get easier as I get fitter.
Riding on the East River Greenway made me nostalgic. There were so, so many runners out, huffing and sweating. I had my own memories of running along that path on numerous long runs training for marathons. But, that’s all in the past. Now, I’m interested in finding the ways I can integrate cycling into my daily life, and in figuring out what type of cyclist I’ll be. I don’t see myself as a super-competitive rider on a road bike with all the gear that’s emblazoned with random sponsor brands. I just want to be legit. Legit, and fit.