I have always admired people who walked or biked for transportation; they always seemed thinner, happier, generally healthier.
I went to vacations to places where people biked or walked for transportation and I would ask myself, "why can't I live this lifestyle at home?"
I came up with all the normal hooey excuses like: no time, to busy, it will limit where i can go, what if there is an emergency, it is not practical in the suburbs, I would be too sweating when I arrived some place, I need special clothes-shoes-gear, I am lazy, etc, etc, etc.
I don't have kids, but I am sure I would have used that one if I could have.
After coming up with all the excuses I could. I saw and talked to people who live life being carfree and carlite(owning one car but primarily using other forms of transportation).
At the time I owned two cars and drove them like I owned a oil company.
I would drive to the gym(to ride the stationary bike), and I would see a little old lady, small, hunched over, walking or riding a bike to the same gym. She had to be in her 70s. I was in awe, she was in great shape, she had the legs of someone 30 years younger. I started to notice more people using the feet or bicycles for there transportation and it was inspiring.
If one person can do it, so can I. So can I. So can I.
I bought a bicycle in 2000. I had not ridden for ten years and I had become very heavy and out of shape. At the time I started losing weight and had been walking and going to a gym. I remember I kept thinking how cool it would be if I could bicycle everywhere. I was insecure in the fact I was heavy, I came up with more excuses not to ride, the bike sat in my garage, but I started to ride it in the neighborhood, then, over time to the gym.
The feeling of relying on my own body for transportation was amazing. It was different than going on a ride for exercise (although that was a great benefit). I felt like I was doing something something special.
Overtime, I decided to get rid of the cars and ride the bike and walk for all my trasportation needs. I lost weight, felt happier, became more tune with my community. The initial bike rides in the neighborhoods became 20-30 mile rides. My self esteem grew. All the excuses and reasons I thought up not to do it had become ridiculous.
My awareness of the world became acute as I had no more walls separating me when from it when I went somewhere. I realized how important our environment is and how I had a responsibility, as we all do, to protect it or ourselves, our children. Health became the most important subject to me. Not just my own personal health, but the health of the planet. I realized without good health we have nothing.
Good health in mind and the fact that other people could live carfree, made me carfree.