Forgiveness Friday: Inadvertent Idling

(Song Dedication: Keep the Car Running by Arcade Fire)

According to Natural Resources Canada, 10 minutes of an idling car engine can burn up to a half litre of gas and each litre of gas burned produces about 2.3 kg of Carbon Dioxide!  I knew idling impact was bad, but not that bad.  I not only pay attention to the “Idle Free Zones” at schools, I follow them and believe it is something we all can do to reduce our carbon footprint.  I don’t think these stats came into play when Arcade Fire wrote their song as they were striving for a deeper metaphorical analogy about the whole life/death human mortality thing.

We traded in our trusty old CR-V back in November for a shiny new Subaru Outback.  This has been my dream car for sometime and it is like a dream to drive.  With a particularly rough winter almost in our rearview mirror, we were glad we had this AWD beast to see us through, especially with all the regular trips I had to make up and down highway 97 for Chiropractor and Neurologist appointments.  The new ride has all the bells and whistles that the 11 year old CR-V did not.  Vehicle technology has changed like mobile phones in the last decade!

So one of the new-to-me features is a key fob with a push button start.  Pretty straight forward; push to start the engine, push again to stop the engine.  Make sure you have your fob on your person to make this magic button work.  Okay.  Got it.  I think.

I think because sometimes, like at yoga the other day, I pulled up to the curb, grabbed my fob from my purse to put in my jacket (because I like to bring in as little as possible to the yoga studio – perhaps to simplify or maybe to be perceived as no-fuss) and then I pushed the button to stop the engine.  Only to realize I had already done that when I first pulled over, so I had re-started the engine, chuckled to myself, and pushed once more to stop the engine (again).  You with me so far?

So I admittedly have a bit of a learning curve I am still adjusting to with the new car.

Today I really, really wanted to run.  This is exciting for me because before my migraines I had trained my body and mind to run for over an hour (this was a Big Deal for me…I hated running as a kid…doing it only out of duty to stay in shape for Volleyball and Track – I was a jumper not a runner).  The running culminated in a 10 K women’s race in October last year, at which point I was subsequently and suddenly struck with migraines.  Thinking there was a connection between my nagging neck pain and the migraines I ceased running shortly after the migraines began.  My 3 to 4 runs per week were replaced with migraines, same frequency, different result.

So with my new window of migraine-free existence, I felt like a run was a suitable reward.  This act is being done differently than I used to though.  I leave my ego at home or in my car or here, on my blog.  No Garmin watch to keep my kilometres in check or to really just ignore my skyrocketing heart rate, to beat my last run stats.  Nope not this go-round, Sarah 2.0 is gonna run with 2 feet and a heart beat and walk when it feels like she should.  I actually ran 2 days ago as well but it was more of a “ralk” (walk with some running intermixed) and it was tough but I know I did it faster and sweatier than had I just walked like I had resigned myself to over the past 5 months.

Today felt different still.  Maybe it’s 11 days without a migraine.  My fuel tank is starting to get a reserve.  I had a few new songs on my playlist and felt motivated.  I even grabbed my wireless headphones to make myself feel a little more aerodynamic.

So once I had gone through the rigmarole of getting fob into pocket, wireless headphones synced and into ears and under toque, running gloves on, I locked the doors manually (because my fob was already zipped in my running jacket) and headed out.  A tiny part of my ego noting the time on my phone of exactly 1:00 pm.  And then I ran.  I ran for what I believe was just shy of 5 km’s.  I ran the whole time, cadence building, muscle memory returning, the freedom of it rushing back to meet me where I had to leave it 5 months before.

Upon my running return to the car, which I didn’t even yield to as I entered the completely deserted parking lot, I noticed something…exhaust.  Oh Fuck.

So I may or may not have left the car running, also not what Arcade Fire meant when they wrote this song.  This is a royal Eff-up of mass proportions and I recognize it!  I see this fuck-up and I raise you…forgiveness?…forgiveness Friday or Fuck-up Friday…whatever, it’s all just semantics.  Am I incredibly lucky to live where I do and the population is just that scarce that no one happened upon on a brand new Subaru Outback and thought oh my, what a gift, they even left it running for me!  Yes I am incredibly lucky.  Am I also incredibly fortunate that my husband loves me and is deeply compassionate and forgiving of my “flaws”?  Yes I am incredibly fortunate.

I forgot to pay attention in a moment of nostalgia and long awaited recovery and I forgive myself for this indiscretion.  I hope my “green” friends can do the same for the (let’s see now…according to the calculations…2.3 x 3…) 6.9 kg of unnecessary carbon dioxide I inadvertently dumped into the atmosphere.  I hope my husband forgives me for being unmindful with a very pricey commodity, seemingly unappreciative really.  I hope my readers can forgive the straight-up stupidity of these actions, that are mine, I own them wholeheartedly.  But I ran people!  I ran the whole time, and had I not, someone could have come along and carpé diem’d the shit out of this situation had I been gone just another 5 or 10 minutes more and an additional 2.3 more kgs of CO2.  This is actually a success story, I needed to write it all out to see it, but there it is.  You see it too, right Andrew??





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