From Lab Rat To Sunrises

11 Jan

I went for a run on the treadmill this morning.  This meant getting up at five when I hadn’t had enough sleep, and schlepping off to the gym down the road.  Yes, I do have my own treadmill at home, but I never use it.  Not since the day my son James, then three years old, put his hand on the belt while it was moving and chalked up a very painful visit to the ER.  The thing is pretty much used as a coat hanger these days.

Anyway, when I got to the gym, I was momentarily stymied by the sight of someone using the treadmill I always like to use, the one right by the window.  What was this?  Twenty treadmills free, just begging to be used, and he has to pick my one?  The fact that I don’t actually own the treadmill and that he has just as much right to use it as I do did not matter to me in the least.

I couldn’t exactly push him off, though, so I reluctantly chose another treadmill, entered the settings for a hill workout, and started running.  In the beginning, I thought I was in trouble.  My muscles felt way too tight to be running hills, and I tired quickly.  It only took a couple of minutes for me to find my groove, though, and I completed the workout (4.7km in about 26 minutes).

I enjoyed the run as much as I could under the circumstances.  I am not fond of treadmill running.  It always makes me feel a bit like a hamster, or a lab rat. But sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, I don’t have a choice.  I don’t mind running in the cold or the snow, and I have the attire for it.  But when there is actual ice on the sidewalks, that is another matter entirely.  I will run in icy conditions during the day, when I can scope out every step before I take it.  Not at five in the morning, when it is far too dark for me to see the sidewalk ahead of me.

I am really looking forward to the Spring.  I look forward to the weather getting warmer, and I look forward to the sun rising a little earlier each day.  I don’t look forward to the downpours of rain that are always a part of Spring, but they too are there to usher in the warmer, lighter days.

I love the middle of summer.  When everyone else is swooning and whining about the heat, I am thriving.  Of course, everyone else can get back at me in the winter, when I turn into a pathetic crybaby about the cold.  What can I say?  Even though I am now a Canadian and proud of it, I am from Africa.  I am a child of the sun.

In the summer, it is too hot to run during the middle of the day, but the beauty is that it gets light shortly after five in the morning.  If I can get out at just the right time, I can go out in perfect weather, and run while I watch the sunrise.  Most of the world is asleep at that time; I feel as if Mother Nature is putting on a show just for me.

The treadmill is OK.  I can live with it – in fact, I may even benefit from it – once a week.  But there is no feeling in the world like running on the open road.

Be sure to check out my post today on World Mom’s Blog, where I talk about how I coped with George’s autism diagnosis.

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