Another Ms. In the Biz Article

I wrote this fun piece for the lovely women over at Ms. In the Biz.

Hope you enjoy as well!

7 Safe Ways to Amuse Yourself in Traffic

Gym Closure!

Last week, I packed up my gym bag, put on my workout gear and headed to my usual (dinky) gym. I arrived to find that they had started construction on it.

Now, it should be noted: I knew the construction was coming. They’d been talking about it for months. I thought they were going to start back in May. Last I asked the people working there, they said that’s when they thought it was going to start. It is now October. And I guess they decided now is as good a time as any.

The gym needs to be revamped. It needs major changes. It definitely needs a facelift. But there were no warning signs telling us that it was going to close down. And based on how everything else there seems to run, I have no idea when it’s going to open back up.

I didn’t get my workout in that day. Fine. No big deal. I’m not so obsessive that I need to get a major sweat in every day. I have flexibility in my schedule and can work around this stuff. Not worth getting all in a huff about.

But I have had to revamp my morning schedule completely. I’m lucky that there’s another gym close to me. It’s actually a lot bigger, newer, and nicer. And it’s technically a mile closer to me.

I don’t go there in the mornings for two reasons:

1. You have to park in a structure and remember to get your card validated. And, sometimes people can block you in, so you may have to leave your keys with a parking attendant. And all that is a lot of work.

And 2. In LA there is one major factor you have to plan around… traffic.

The old gym I was going to had no real traffic issues. I could easily go at any time in the morning and not have trouble. This gym- despite being closer- requires I take a major street in LA. I have to be at the gym by 7ish or traffic gets so bad, it’s not worth it.

Yes. That’s correct. By 7:30 am, the traffic on this street can get so backed up that a 5 minute drive turns into a 35 minute drive. That’s the price you pay for living in LA. Respect the traffic.

So for the past week, I’ve been getting up early to get to the gym in time on my workout days. It’s actually been a great excuse for me to get out of bed early. Before, I could always convince myself that I could sleep in. Now I know I can’t. If I sleep in those extra 10 minutes, I won’t be able to get my workout in.

So I get up. I get my ass in gear. And I go to the nicer, shinier, newer gym and get my workout in and move on with my day.

I’m trying to make friends with the parking attendant. So far, he’s having none of it. But I’ll wear him down. I wear everyone down eventually. Ask any of my “friends.”

All in all, it’s made me a more productive person.

And also a much sleepier one.

Frustrated driver shocked to learn other car can’t hear their screams

Ben Thorton found himself crawling in traffic when he was trying to reach a business meeting only five short miles from his home. Though he left himself an extra twenty minutes beyond what it regularly took him to get to the appointment location, he knew he would be significantly late because of the overwhelming and unexpected traffic.

So Thorton resorted to the only measure he could find that would logically help remedy the situation. He began screaming at the other cars in traffic with him. He told every car near him how he felt about both their driving skills and the situation they found themselves in, clearly stating the incompetence of whoever was the cause of the situation.

After about and hour and a half, when he showed up at his meeting an hour later, Thorton apologized profusely and explained to his peers how he tried his best to remedy the situation by yelling at the other cars around him. One of Thorton’s coworkers, Jenny Dingle, reminded Thorton that yelling at the other cars only raises his blood pressure and doesn’t do any good for the situation, since the other cars were unable to hear him.

Though Thorton knew that windows were completely rolled up and people-including himself-had music playing, it had never occurred to him that yelling at the other cars wouldn’t help out the situation. He looked back upon his experience in traffic this time, and all the other previous times when he found himself yelling at the other drivers. It began to dawn on him that rarely did any of the other drivers ever look up or respond to him as he was yelling profusely.

Shocked, Thorton realized that his coworker was absolutely right, and began to think about how he could change his ways to become more patient, proactive, and kind to other drivers on the road.

As he got back in his car after the meeting, Thorton took a deep breath and promised himself that he would practice patience and not scream at the other drivers on the road. And he was successful, feeling like a changed man.

That is, of course, until he says, “some idiot cut me off and had to hear what I thought about it.”