The Gym

Hello gym.

It's been what, 8 years since I've belonged to one of you? You're still as universally dirty and stinky as I remember. And your rows of monotonous equipment are uninspiring. You would think they would have invented something new by now, but it's pretty hard to top the elliptical. It's just rad.

But considering that breathing in cold air during a winter run may soon feel like razor blades and some days I might only have the energy to sit on a recumbent bike with no resistance and search the amazing Nordstrom App for new boots peddle, we should make peace and move on.

I started with the treadmill because I didn't want to look too trendy or eager to jump on the elliptical. I needed to assess the situation and scope out the joint from the safety of something boring and borderline archaic. The treadmill just seemed so safe and predictable.

I climbed on and tried to visualize the sweaty guy before me actually using the cleaning solution provided and wiping down this very machine. I then created a mantra in my head about hand washing and started to stare at buttons. When I went to find a place for my phone, I noticed what looked like half of a rotting plum in one of the cup holders and realized I had to take my health in to my own sanitized hands. My weakening immune system cringed, I repeated my hand washing mantra and pressed start.

I now know why everyone calls it the "dreadmill." It only took me .25 painfully boring miles to find out. I thought I'd been on for at least a couple of miles, or maybe a couple of hours when I moved my towel and saw I'd only made it .50 miles. Half-a-mile? I almost tripped over myself and collapsed in defeat right there.

And that's the source of the dread.

I couldn't just drift off into my usual daydream, talk to myself and lip sync to Lady Gaga like I normally do. I had to concentrate. I had to carefully place every step. I had to think about not falling. I had to maintain the exact same pace lest I get flung off.

I trip walking down my own hallway, so a treadmill is like a concentration nightmare. Not only was my body having to work, but now my mind? What kind of running is this? Not the fun kind, kids. Not the fun kind.

I do concentrate when I'm on the street, but at least there are exotic things to look out for like broken sidewalks, hypodermic needles and and other items I shan't mention for the sake of those of you reading this out loud to your kids. If you knew where I lived and where I normally run, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about

How Skinny Runner does this for 10 miles with no music I hope to never know.

I gave up after a mile and a half and went looking for a dirty elliptical.

Don't worry kids. I didn't get all crazy like a honey badger and take this while running.


Becky Read-Wahidi said...

I love you blog so much! When I am totally burnt out from the constant reaing-writing cycle of PhD, I stop in to read your latest post. You have such a unique and refreshing persective of life. Like me, you seem to know how to enjoy the small pleasures and how to ponder the great mysteries.
I hate the gym, HATE the treadmill. The only piece of equipment I ever go near is the eliptical. Yoga is my cup of tea. My husband is a big-time runner and he, too, feels that the treadmill is a torture device.

Unknown said...

Well, I try to entertain the masses! The treadmill has yet to get a second chance, but it will. Oh, it will.