It's a been a rough summer. This is the first year of my life that I rode my bicycle everyday regardless of the weather. We had a period in June that was crazy hot, a heat wave even by Arizona standards, so hot that some flights in and out of the airport were grounded. It was this summer, the summer of 2017, that I rode my bicycle in 116 degree heat, on multiple days, the hottest temperature I've ever experienced.
The only thing that made it bearable, the only thing that made it possible for me to endure the three mile ride in 116 degree heat, was to completely submerge my bicycle attire in cold water, in addition to wearing a long sleeve sunshirt also soaked in cold water, plus sunglasses, sun visor under my helmet, wet bandana over my face, and drinking lots of water and gatorade. The wet clothing made all the difference, it was a lifesaver. Without it I don't think I would have made it.
Why do I do this? Why do I ride my bike even when the weather is so bad that it is dangerous?
A lot of it has to do with money, I choose to live frugally, for the sake of buying more time, which next to health, is the most precious commodity on earth. Riding a bicycle is a huge factor in my strategy of saving money. I've got it set up so that I can fully support myself working part-time, and what makes this possible more than any other factor is the fact that I don't drive a car and that I don't have health insurance.
Riding a bike saves me a lot of money, but it also helps that I love riding a bike. In fact, even if I came into a large sum of money, and didn't need to live frugally, I would still ride my bike, I would still live car-free. That's a fact. Maybe I'd hire a driver from time to time, but for the most part, I honestly don't like cars, and prefer riding the bike to riding in a car.
Another reason for riding my bike everyday of the year regardless of the weather, is that I hate taking the city bus. I absolutely hate it. Yes, I would rather endure riding my bicycle in 116 degree, rather than take the bus. It really is that unpleasant.
But honestly the only thing that makes it possible for me to live this way, to ride my bicycle all year round as my primary mode of transportation, is the fact that I am healthy enough to do so.
If I wasn't healthy enough to ride my bike, I would be forced to take the bus, and I would be forced to work more hours to pay for the added expenses of transportation and having health insurance and all the bills associated with the loss of health. In other words, a primary component of living simply and frugally as a strategy for optimizing quality of life, via increased free time, is staying healthy.
Being healthy is the essential ingredient, the primary factor that makes it possible to experience prosperity with less money and more time.
If you lose your health, all the time in the world suddenly isn't worth much at all. Having abundant time, but little money, is only worth something if you are healthy enough to appreciate what you have and to put the time to good use.
It is possible to experience prosperity by living simply and frugally with little money, but only if you are healthy. It's really the most important thing on earth. Without your health, nothing else matters.