A little background: my good friend, Joie (jo.ey), is a runner like the rest of us. What differentiates her is that she likes to run on the treadmill and she likes to run inside. Freak of nature, I know. In fact, this is how and where she does 99.5% of her running. I give her a hard time: how can the fresh air, wildlife, mountain vistas and cool breezes of Colorado compare with wireless headphones, episodes of the Real Housewives and air conditioning?
The funny thing about Joie is she really is an outside girl. We camp every year. She goes elk hunting in the winter. She hikes and goes to the farmer's market. But her love of her treadmill and her TiVo cannot entice her to take her stride outdoors.
Well, friend Joie was faced with a challenge this week. Her father-in-law was staying with the family. He was sleeping on the couch beside the treadmill, thereby rendering the treadmill off limits in the early morning hours when Joie wanted to work out. So she felt forced, obligated to venture outdoors. The following is her experience:
What I Learned Today - By a Treadmill Runner
This little, one time blog is for Beth, my best (and amazing) blogging friend.
I always run on the treadmill. I do mean always. Because my father in law is sleeping on the couch, right beside my beautiful treadmill, today I ran outside. Since I have an obsession with knowing exactly how far I run, I picked an obvious spot, McIntosh Lake. One time around the lake is 3.08 miles. I went around twice. Not a long run by any means, but a decent run of 6.16 miles. Did I do the math correctly?
This is what I observed:
Most people on the path are women walking in pairs.
There was one woman “wogging” with her dog. Or is it a ”wog”?
A flock of geese flew just over my head and it was really cool.
I saw the cutest baby bunny; so tiny.
The lake really does sparkle in the sun.
They mow the grass with a big tractor which they haul in on a trailer. Why not just drive the tractor to where they are mowing?
A man was sitting at a picnic table writing on one sheet of notebook paper. Was he writing a love letter, apology note, to do list? He looked sad.
The mountains are so pretty.
I also like how the tall grass looks when the breeze blows.
Things I learned:
AJ likes Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Kiss, and James Taylor…A LOT.
Foreigner’s song, Hot Blooded, is still way cool.
Just listening to James Taylor makes me feel connected to AJ, even though he is at home.
There is no wind on the treadmill.
If you run through a pain it will go away.
My mom is a very strong woman. Go figure.
Life is always going to be good, no matter what is thrown at me.
I really can run without watching True Blood or the Closer.
Oh…I also learned that if I ran any further than 6.18 miles, I would most likely shit my pants. No kidding. I was really was worried.
In one outside run I learned a lot. Plus, I came up with the great idea of writing this for Beth. I do believe I will be heading outside again.
And she did run outside again. Just yesterday. I think she's getting hooked.
Here's a task for each and every one of us: go outside your comfort zone. Do something today that takes you beyond your normal routine, your safe limits. Something that is unexpected or "not typically you." I promise this is where the richness of life can be found.