It’s the end of a long day. The treadmills are filling up quickly. I am moving along to the music and letting the song signal me to accelerate again and again.
I am surprised at how comfortably I am running. I am not out of breath, and my ankle feels okay. More surprising is that the movement is not aggravating the headache that kept me home from work today. The dull ache still remains, but my running is smoother than usual today. Perhaps it is because I am not out pounding the pavement, but indoors running in place.
I look around.
The woman beside me has the incline so high that she has to hold onto the railing so as not to fall off. She is literally leaning back, and hanging on for dear life. I want to tell her to decrease the incline, or the speed, but I think that she might have some method to her madness that I can just not see. In front of me are two young girls (around 15 or 16 years old) walking side by side on their treadmills. I am not able to determine if they just haven’t been able to figure out how to get the machines going, or if they are just using the treadmills as a chance to slow down for once.
Here I am being so critical of everyone else and yet I have become so alienated from my running that a divorce is inevitable. I look back to my machine, content to watch the dots appear on my virtual track. I prefer to watch the dots instead of the TV screen on the fancy new treadmills. I also like my stats in minutes per mile rather than miles per hour. It seems that I’m critical about the machines too.
I wonder if anyone is looking at ME in the same way. I wonder if they can tell that I have been neglecting my relationship with running for the past six months.
It’s been six days since my last run. I feel so pathetic to still refer to myself as a runner, yet I will not let go of that title. I’ve earned it, and I will fight to keep it!
Speaking of fighting, it seem that I have been on my machine beyond the time limits (when people are waiting). I’m going to lose it here. I pick up the pace, determined to finish the mile that I am on. I am annoyed that the world doesn’t cut me some slack. I am the WIDOW, who hasn’t had more than 45 minutes this week to work out. This is MY time; my ONLY time. Aware of the urgency, I pick up the pace even more.
I know that everyone is looking at me now, but I don’t care.
Go ahead, LOOK at ME!
My husband died because he didn’t take care of his body!
Can’t you wait just five frickin’ minutes?…so that I don’t suffer the same fate! Don’t worry, your dinner will still be hot if you get home 5 minutes late.
Why DOESN’T ANYONE CARE that I haven’t had any time for me this week?
Isn’t anyone listening?
Oh…this isn’t really happening? There isn’t anyone waiting for this treadmill after all, and I haven’t actually been yelling out load.
I HAVE been running at 7:30 minutes/mile pace though. I DID just finish a 5 mile run.
Unfortunately, I still HAVE a headache, my husband really DID die, I AM still a widow, and my time IS up. On the other hand, my roses ARE blooming, dinner IS in the oven, and it WILL be ready when YaYa finishes up his soccer practice.