An Ode to my Treadmill

You occupy a small portion of the basement family room, your humble little spot right in front of the never used wood burning fireplace. You consume 15 amps of current when operational, but never seem to blow the fuse. You have nice little nooks for storing television remotes, and random things like Kleenex and cell phones. You have a nice bar to hang a towel from, and a nice display that tells me how close I am to completing each ¼ mile lap. You can wirelessly read Polar heart rate monitor strap signals, though I confess to not using one in years. You have a nice soft but sturdy belt to absorb my foot strikes. Okay, truthfully I’m really struggling to come up with more compliments for you. The best thing about you is that you allow me to stay in decent running shape throughout the long cold winter. I can rely on you to be there no matter what the weather is like. I trust that I can step onto you and have basically the same experience every single time. Sure I play around with speed and incline to spice things up, but you and me, and the fan placed strategically behind us are the key ingredients. Thank you for being there for me.

You deserve the credit for my two awesome outdoor runs this week. The hilly mile of Tuesday’s run (a mile that is almost entirely uphill) was done in just 10:08, and my quads weren’t even screaming. The last time I’d run that route was in December and that mile was much closer to 12:00 back then. Some non-runners won’t understand the significance of just two measly minutes, but we know what that means. It means all of those Thursday speedwork sessions, where you happily increased my pace for 400 meter or 800 meter intervals had a great impact. I was used to losing speed in the spring, when I first ventured outdoors again, but not this year. This year, I decided to increase my mileage indoors, and incorporate speedwork to allay boredom, and it worked. I am not completely done with you for the season; your convenience still keeps you on my list of running options. However we won’t be spending nearly as much time together. I know you will be there for me on rainy days, and on sweltering hot days, and just days when I can’t fit in a run in the daylight.

Just remember that as I am running outdoors you have some duties to fulfill. You need to keep the recumbent bike company; he is certainly very lonely since nobody uses him with any regularity. Perhaps you can give the free weights and bench a pep talk, because eventually they will find their way back into my favor. Soon enough there will be a new room for you in the basement, an exercise room all for you. Oh, it doesn’t have anywhere near the ambiance of the family room, nor the nice natural lighting that comes in from the walk-out side of the house. It will, however, keep you from having little children climb all over you in ways that were never intended. You will also have your own dedicated 20 amp circuit to protect you from the possibility of blowing fuses. It is for your own protection you see. Never let anyone tell you that you have been hidden away so we had room in the basement for more practical things. You, my friend, are the most practical thing in the basement.

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