I’m having an affair with my treadmill.
Like most affairs, I have guilt about our relationship. I see runners frolicking in the snow-draped trails and others dizzying themselves on the track with tempo runs like it’s no big thang. And I can’t help but think, why am I not doing that? Why am I shackled to this machine?
The Perfect Relationship
It could be because Mr. Treadmill has a sweet pad with Netflix and surround sound. I don’t have to hop in the car and drive across town to see him. I don’t even have to share him with any other ladies. Plus he has a private bathroom for me to use. Basically, I don’t have to work hard at our relationship because he’s always there for me…in my garage.
When I first started running and training regularly, I did all of my running on a treadmill. It is said the hardest part about running is taking that first step out the door, and boy was that true for me! It wasn’t until I gained confidence in my ability to run for 45 minutes without stopping that I felt comfortable to go outside. (I don’t recommend doing this!) There was, and there still is, something comforting about being alone with the hum of my treadmill.
Most runners would not agree with me. They see the treadmill as a hamster wheel shackling them to the indoors. And to be honest, now that I’ve been running for several years, I love running outside! The sun is shining and the birds are singing, “come play with us!” So I do! Often and regularly. But the treadmill is not some dreaded torture device for me.
My True Love
Like the birds, my dear friend Mr. Treadmill calls to me too. We have a bond. He whispers sweetly to my introverted self who, quite frankly, enjoys catching up on TV while running. He speaks to my need to shake things up—fast, slow, hills, intervals, tempos, yasso 800s—you name it, he’s there for me. Mr. Treadmill knows that my tired legs get plenty of hill work running in the real world and gives me reprieve. He also reckons with my desire to stay safe in poor running conditions like snow and ice which I am ill prepared for.
And it is for these reasons that I don’t think I’ll be ending my relationship with Mr. Treadmill any time soon. I visit him once a week for speed work or if the weather is unsafe; he satisfies those training needs. The rest of the week, I spend with my main squeeze, my true love, the oh-so-beautiful: Mother Earth.
Share your #runnervibes in the comments below: What’s your relationship status with the treadmill?