With All Due Respect…An Apology to the Treadmill

I see you looking at me. Those sad eyes. Full of accusation. You say to me, “Why do I not see more of you? I have provided you a convenient alternative. Why do you not love me?”

It’s nothing personal. Not exactly. It’s just that…

While it is true you offer protection from the elements, you have never taught me the smell of rain. Or how it feels when tiny drops of it fall against hot skin. From you I did not learn the silence of snow, the trickle of thaw. Or the sweetness of shade when the sun burns fierce and unguarded. You insulate me from brooding skies and from the tiny particles of cold carried in sultry air that portend rain. From the breeze that dries my sweat and creates little piles of salt. You do not lead me underneath a sapphire sky with pinpricks of diamond, where the lowing of cattle is the only sound.

You do offer me the chance to read if I am willing to move slowly. But you never carry me past gurgling streams, spring buds just gathering the courage to unfurl, unexpected fields of cornflowers or violets. Not once have I been accosted by the delirium of honeysuckle or of wild roses when I was with you. And, it has to be said, you are not much of a conversationalist. Nor do you give me the opportunity for serendipitous encounters with friends. And, while we are on this topic, you are quite exclusive. No squirrels, chipmunks, red tailed hawks, herons, or bird songs are ever to be found when I run with you.

It is true that I have taken advantage of your incline for hill training more than once. But tell me this, if the same effort could take YOU to the top of Pikes Peak or to the…end of the treadmill. Well…you see my point. And, I hope this doesn’t come across as critical, but you have a bad habit of promoting injury. That whole lack of surface change exacerbates poor technique and abuses the body. Sorry. It’s true.

Running is a discipline, to be sure. But running is also an adventure. Discovery. Dilemma. Drama. Dream.

Thank you, dear treadmill, for being there when I need you. And sometimes I have needed you. But don’t try to guilt trip me into spending more time with you. With all due respect, you are not an ideal date.

Thanks to @JeffHolton who provided provocation for this post. It was such fun to write. It took a whole of about 15 minutes…which might be obvious. 😉