Thoughts while on the treadmill, and the race I didn’t realize I was in…

It’s been two weeks since I’ve been to the gym due to the constant germs that keep circulating in this household. Today I decided to break out of my funk and finally go. 

Having taken more than one hiatus in my life from the gym, I was aware that this workout probably wouldn’t be my best, nor would it be fun. I really just wanted to focus on cardio today and sweat out all the toxins my body had accumulated over the past couple weeks. My go to cardio activity usually starts with the treadmill. Today was no different. Running and I are old friends. We’ve gone through periods of great victory, and times of struggle. It’s really a love/hate relationship that we share. Today, I feared, would be a great struggle.  

 With great trepidation of what I was about to make my body do, I stepped into the gym. I looked around, and noticed that it was more crowded than usual for a Monday morning. Spring break must be to blame. I look around at the few available treadmills. Usually, I like to pick one away from other people. Due to the shortage of available treadmills today, I was forced to pick one with someone on either side of me. I looked around and spotted a free treadmill sandwiched between two elderly men. I decided to pick that particular treadmill, because I didn’t want to be surrounded by marathoners today. I’m not saying an elderly person wouldn’t be capable of completing a marathon, but I figured the odds were in my favor. I’m guilty of comparing my fitness level to others at the gym. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. Apparently today, I discovered that I’m not only one that does this. 

I started running at jogging speed. It had been about 5 minutes and I was more winded than normal, but doing fine. After searching for a better running song on my phone, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the treadmill to the right of me was vacant. Out of nowhere, a girl about 5 years younger than I, stepped on the available treadmill. She turned it on, and started running along next to me. It was at that moment that the race began-the one I didn’t know I was in.

Seven minutes into my run, I wanted to start slowing down. Because of Littlemissfitness (what I started calling her in my head) next me, I had increased my speed by 1 mph. My lack of cardio for the past two weeks started to catch up to me at that point. I was starting to struggle. I wanted to stop and walk, just for 30 seconds and catch my breath a little. Littlemissfitness noticed I was fatigued and increased her speed. I saw her quick sideways glance. She was trying to be slick about it, but I noticed. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. This was a challenge. 

Fifteen minutes into the run, Littlemissfitness hadn’t slowed down at all. She didn’t look the least bit fatigued and was barely sweating. I noticed her sideways glances here and there. She knew she was in better shape than I was, but I wasn’t about to give up. Not at that point. I found my second wind-I had almost forgot that existed! Five minutes later, Littlemissfitness stopped her treadmill. Her shoe was untied. “Sweet victory!!”I thought to myself. Obviously, I knew she wasn’t done with her run. She was going to continue once she remedied her shoe situation, but I took it as a forfeit. I hopped off the treadmill quickly without looking back, and went to my next station.

From now on, I will invite such challenges. At first I had tried to avoid the situation. However if I hadn’t been forced into an unspoken race, I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard.

Thank you Littlemissfitness. Thank you. 

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