My parents were mean when I was growing up.
At 6, in Kindergarten I walked to school with the older neighborhood kids. We were at the edge of the district line so we had to walk 6 blocks including 3 highways. Ok. One had a traffic light and another had a crossing guard and the other one wasn't really a highway in town but they are in fact highways. Then I had to walk home -- by myself!
After kindergarten I walked home with those also going home. We walked! And if it rained? Well that is what umbrellas were for.
Jr. High was 3 blocks away and High School was 9 blocks. In those ancient days (30 years ago) snow days were determined by school. Busses couldn't get out, so county kids got to stay home. In town kids were not always so lucky. And did we get rides? I can probably count on one hand the number of times parents picked us up from school -- k-12. That's what feet were for.
Then, if we wanted to go to the mall or the movies we walked or rode our bikes. In fact we practiced looking cool riding our bikes -- no handed-thank-you-very-much.
But it wasn't just my parents who were mean. Nope. The neighbor's friends were mean. My friends' parents were mean. These parents said they had better things to do than drive us around. So we found a way. Feet or bike--that was our only choice.
As I drive 7 miles to the track so I can walk 4 miles or put on my yoga pants to walk on the treadmill in order to get enough "steps" for the day, I think about how mean my parents were.
And I look up and say, "Thanks guys."