Monday, February 23, 2015

Glimmer Like Bolan in the Morning Sun

Because it was so cold on Thursday night, I had to run at the gym instead of outside. I started out by running what was, by my counting of laps, a mile on the inside track, but by my Nike +'s calculations, .8 miles. I know I know how to count, and I know 16 laps around the track is just short of a mile, so I was fairly certain about my distance, but just to be sure, I decided to run on a treadmill instead. 



I HATE the treadmill.

I used to run on one all the time. For years after I started running, it was my go to--probably because Glenn hates running outside and it's his go to--and I had no problem with it at all. Every once in a while I'd run outside, like if the weather was particularly nice or I was on vacation somewhere, but for most of my running life, if you were to find me running, you'd find me on a treadmill, listening to music while alternating between watching myself in the mirror, the silent TVs on the wall above my head, and other gym people walking in and out of the room.

I don't know exactly how I transitioned to running outside, but I guess it must have something to do with not being with Glenn anymore since now, looking back, I'm realizing that anytime the two of us are off, I do most of my running outside, and then once we get back on, I resume my running on that insipid machine.

This time, though, the relationship isn't resuming and the treadmill isn't, either.

The crappy thing about the treadmill isn't that it's so boring, even though it is, or the notion that if you're on it, you're running and running but not getting anywhere, like people used to say to me, although that's true, too. The thing about the treadmill is that it's so damn uninspired; so repetitive; so mechanical; so predictable. When I used to run on it, I'd get in my car, drive to the gym, walk to the cardio room, put in my ear buds, set the treadmill to the speed I was running that day, set the timer to the amount of time I planned to run, start the treadmill, and run. Hisshisshiss. Boom. Hisshisshiss. Boom. Hisshisshiss. Boom. If my music wasn't loud enough, I'd hear the whir of the machine as the belt continuously looped and the sound of my foot strike every however many seconds or so. The speed never really changed unless I had an interval day scheduled, the conditions in the room never really changed unless a particularly smelly or loud person was in the vicinity, and I never really changed, in mind, in body, or in soul. The treadmill was, and I'm sure still is, a harbinger of sameness.

Running outside, though--that's something else completely. Running outside is running free. It's energy. It's hope. It's bounding down the street with a spring in my shoes, the endless sidewalk in front of me, and the world all around. It's Tom and Mark and Gerard and Vic and Patrick and Nate sing screaming in my ears, urging me on. The speed and intensity, so unlike when on the treadmill, follows my body's natural rhythms: if I feel like I need to run fast, I run fast; if I feel like I need to run slow, I run slow; if I feel bouncy or like taking big strides, I bounce or widen my strides; if I feel like I need to go easy and shorten my strides, I do that, too.

Outside, as opposed to on the treadmill, I don't need to do what the machine tells me.

I don't need to strike, strike, strike, repeat.

Outside, I can bounce, glide, shuffle, and soar.

The treadmill is okay for some people--I guess--but it's not


for me.  

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