Running with Sizzle
Jumping on the treadmill to tranquility
I am not sure what comes to mind when you hear the word treadmill, but for me it conjures up painful memories of returning home from freshman year of college. Let’s just say I was struggling academically, but I had blossomed socially – and blossom I did, with a weight gain of 35 pounds.
I remember that summer well. My mom tried to ignore my wardrobe, while my brother would point and poke snide little remarks at me, like “Where do you plan on parking that thing?” while pointing to my rear side. Dad took a different approach.
My dad was an avid runner; he could sprint like a cheetah with minimum effort. Every day, after returning home from my summer job, I would follow him to the local park for what I like to refer to as pure torture. As he glided through the trails with lightning speed, I huffed and puffed, trying to carry the extra package that had accumulated during the school year.
By the end of summer, I had lost almost all of the extra weight, but the memories of panting for breath and begging God to just take me then and there still remain.
So here I am today, a few years away from 40, fighting the havoc that Mother Nature is so viciously wreaking on my body. After having read an article in Self, I’ve decided to take the writer’s advice and add 15 more minutes to my daily routine of weights and cardio. With age comes more effort.
I realized it was time to roll out the dusty treadmill that sat in the corner of the bedroom. As I approached the treadmill for the first time in a long while, images of gasping for air and praying to my almighty maker flooded my brain.
But after a week of using the treadmill, I noticed there was a certain rhythm to each step. It’s almost hypnotic. Instead of following the chants of some instructor in one of my many exercise DVDs, I have the opportunity to explore my own thoughts. I’ve found I have time to reflect upon my day and think about the conversations had, the articles read and the meaning behind them. The time on the treadmill is no longer fifteen minutes of pure torture; it has instead become fifteen minutes of tranquility.
Who would have thought an activity that caused me such strife in the past could end up as one that provides such pleasure?