Chip Goyette is the sustainability director for Inova’s Office of Sustainability. In this role, he provides overall direction and oversight of all sustainability initiatives to ensure that Inova is incorporating these practices into everything we do.
It’s Saturday morning, game day and once again I am awoken by the sound of rain. My first thought goes to my roof and basement, hoping that water doesn’t enter our house again. Once that dissipates, I turn to soccer, as we were really hoping to get the game in this weekend.
I notice a text has already come in stating, “Some fields open, some closed, call the weather line.” There is hope, albeit not great, as I had visited the field the night before and it was not in the best shape. I call the weather line and again have hope as a number of fields are open. Then I hear the name of our field (there are actually two fields at this park, A & B) and one is closed, the other is open. We of course drew the short straw as our field is closed. No games or practice now for two weeks and counting.
Because I was up so early this Saturday, it allowed me to accomplish quite a bit around the house. The sun was shining and my daughter had been itching to get out on her bike. After biking around the street a few times and becoming bored with that routine, she proclaimed, “I want to bike to Penrose Park!” I thought to myself, well that’s a good hike, but after looking at the smiling, eager face, how could I say no? So I put on an old pair of sneakers, filled up the water bottles and off we went. We also decided we would drop off our library books on the way so we gathered those up and set off on our journey.
As we started off, we noticed music and a road closure ahead. A festival was certainly in our path with music, shopping, and folks out enjoying the day. We also noticed some sort of parade in the distance, so we hurriedly dropped off our library books and headed in that direction. Participants in the parade were singing and dancing and as we were watching, we noticed one of my daughter’s teammates and her family enjoying the festivities. We visited for a time and then we were finally off to the park.
It probably took us another 10 minutes to get to the park, my daughter biking and myself walking and sometimes jogging at a fairly brisk pace. Once we arrived, my daughter ran into a number of friends, including a new classmate from France. She was enjoying herself, just as kids should and I even got a chance to sit down and take it all in. After sitting for a bit, I must admit, that I pondered asking my wife to come pick us up, as I was a bit tired from our journey to the park. That thought passed, as I knew my daughter wanted to keep riding and before we knew it, we were off on our journey home.
We returned home in about 20 minutes or so and although I was quite tired and my feet hurt due to using those old sneakers, it was a wonderful few hours spent with my daughter and new friends. And I must say, it was great exercise for me and it’s always a treat to not have to use the car—even for one day.
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Looking for ways to be greener and leaner? Try these tips below:
- Walk or run to complete an errand instead of taking the car.
- Pick up trash at the park with your kids. Make it a game!
- Ride your bike!