Day #52: Tread Lightly…


“To sentence a man of true genius, to the drudgery of a school is to put a racehorse on a treadmill.”  ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Some days, the schedule does not permit a run. The baby’s sick; meetings all day; you need to prep for that performance; you work the late shift for the 3rd day in a row; the weather is not … complying… You get the picture — and you know the story. On those days, it is impossible to run.

BUT… nothing is impossible; there are no excuses, just opportunities; there is a way. And the question, on such days, is what is that way? How can I get this done – along with everything else on my plate??

One helpful answer for me on such days – like today – is “the Treadmill!”

There it sits in its corner of the garage, folded up – if it cost under $700 – or immoveable if it is a Landice L8 like mine. More often my daughters’ jungle gym, doll bed, and toy soldiers’ broad battlefield – these days my treadmill is my beloved friend. Usually the dreaded representative of a compulsory workout, now the Landice is my way through, my ticket out, the cure for my running streak’s near fatal malady.

So, if the clock is ticking its last on your day today – and you have yet to record your run because of life’s barrage of non-running activities, go to your treadmill now — and get it done!

… Okay, great. You’re back. Nice work. Now let’s talk a bit about that treadmill and the experience of logging miles on it – its pitfalls, exhilarations and what we can glean from it.

When we first got our treadmill, 9 years ago, it became the central piece in our living room. My wife wasn’t so psyched about that — but she was imminently to be deployed with the Air Force and the treadmill was to be a kind of “runner’s best friend.” The machine would keep me company through those tough and anxious days – and keep me fit all the while. We were sure to be more than allies.

Silly as it sounds, I had high hopes for our relationship. But, as you can imagine, the X’s and O’s were short-lived, and our affair was nearly over after my first run – which was not so long. The hard reverb, the noise – though Landice’s are quiet – and the monontony (“Oh, the monotony!”) combined to have me scratching my head about this rather sizable purchase. Could I take it back??

And thus we see so many of these running machines on CraigsList…

But I am stubborn and determined, and I persevered. And let’s face it, if we are honest, most people’s relationship with the pure sport of running outdoors mimics my early travails with my treadmill. [Read: “Oh, the monotony!”] We runners, though, are a special – elite:) – breed. We push through and find the way. And before long, I was logging daily miles, actually enjoying the stationary pounding, and so I had learned how to train on a treadmill.

Looking back – these 9 years later – I am thankful for my treadmill runs. I have escaped snowstorms, run 10 miles just feet from my sleeping babies so that I could remain ‘on call’ for the precious little ones, and I have, finally, learned the art of treading lightly. Now if I can just translate this running feat into my non-running life:)

Keep treading!

~Coach Reed

image credit: endurancetrainingblog