Before kids, I was a hard-core athlete. I LOVED to run, to push myself, to get the adrenaline moving. Running was my favorite activity; I’d lace on the sneakers, grab my Walkman (I told you, BEFORE kids. Like a long time ago), and hit the streets for a few miles.
The Captain and I even joined a gym together shortly after we got married, because that’s what cute, childless, yuppie couples do. And I was introduced to… the treadmill.
I can still vividly remember walking confidently up to the bank of treadmills that faced the mirrored wall. Two older, baggier women were strolling side by side on adjacent treadmills, chatting away.
So I jumped on the open treadmill and easily pounded out two miles at a good pace, because, as I said, I was an athlete. Unlike my two baggy, slow-walking talkers nearby.
Turns out, good thing the baggy slow-walking ladies were there. Because I hadn’t mastered the art of, you know, STOPPING the treadmill.
And proceeded to try and fix my feet on the sides of the treadmill without, you know, STOPPING the treadmill.
And the two nice, baggy walkers kindly came to my aid in turning the treadmill off & lifting my awkwardly splayed limbs off the floor. Like this:
This was pre-YouTube days. And I’m thankful for that.
So it’s fair to say that I avoided treadmills for a long time, preferring to run outdoors, or, not run, pretty much, ever. After our first three kids were born, my running was limited to tearing across the living room to dive-catch a toddler cup spilling in slow motion. Or running to the car, keys in hand, when I was able to grocery shop, ALONE.
But The Captain suggested that I invest in a treadmill, so I could continue to enjoy running, without actually running away.
Ok. A few Craigslists ads later found me in the garage of a very nice gentleman who happened to be selling his elderly father’s treadmill. The treadmill was in like-new condition, a real bargain, and they were both kindly urging me to give it a try. Why not? So I hopped on as the son enthusiastically reviewed its features; he demonstrated how you can increase the speed by hitting such-and-such… and my pace quickened to a brisk walk as he jabbed at buttons. He continued to explain its functions, while absentmindedly increasing the speed, and my legs began pumping as I nodded….
Did I mention that he was hard of hearing? Because that’s important….
..important because it took him three times to hear me <politely> shout-
“PLEA- SEE SLOWW IT DOOOWNN…”
In all fairness, it was hard for me to form words because I was running so fast.
But needless to say, we bought the treadmill, because obviously it worked, really really well.
And I’ve missed running, because I really do love it. But I found that running alone, in your dark basement, kind of feels like running alone, in your dark basement. And my sprinting terrified the cat, though perhaps it was my gasps for air that alarmed her more.
But we still have a treadmill. And I’m thankful we do, because with this many people crammed into our house, places to nap are apparently in short supply. Or so it seems, based on what I saw when I went downstairs to tackle some laundry:
With six kids, I now finally have the type of treadmill I think I really wanted.
Does anyone have any realistic suggestions to get back into a reasonable, realistic running routine? If so, pass ’em on!
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