Wednesday, June 3, 2009
How Did I Get Here? . . .
I'm on the treadmill. It's 10:00 PM. I've been walking/running (doing "intervals") for almost 40 minutes. I'm at a 7% incline. The speedometer is set for 5.3 MPH.
I'm jogging, if you will. My legs are annoyed with me. I'm annoyed with my moobs. My back is sweaty. My right shoe is tied unevenly so one half of the lace keeps grazing the running surface of the treadmill. I'm certain I will eventually trip, knock out a few teeth, destroy the treadmill and probably the wall behind me. "Hey, no more running on the treadmill," I think to myself.
I'm about 325 calories and about three-point-something miles in to the lunacy that has become my nightly routine. Joy, Ava and Lily are all on the second floor of the house. I'm willing to bet none of them are sleeping!
I'm flicking channels (well, scrolling through the cable guide on the digital cable not really "flicking channels" at all). I loathe summer for two reasons - the heat and the lack of new television. The DVR is full of Harper's Island but I'm waiting to watch those episodes with Wifey. Don't know why she's not so much interested in watching TV while the treadmill whirls and I pant, sweat, moan and groan feet from her - occasionally spitting out a simple profanity to clear my head (it's like letting a little steam out of a soon-to-be-boiling tea pot for those who don't get my NEED to swear when I'm exercising).
Nope. I'm all alone in the basement. I have thumbed through three magazines (it forces me to NOT hold on to the treadmills handlebars while I'm walking and walking and walking and not going anywhere) an article I read has me pondering how different my life would have been if I would have stuck to a better diet in my teens and 20s. I'm thinking about watching one of Joy's DVRed episodes The Bachelor(ette?) - a show I have not watched since Ryan first gave Trista (or however you spell it) a painting of a white snow leopard and I decided that love was really for the foolish. I'm thinking about honors I will likely never receive and how flukish good luck and bad luck are in terms of the moments that make or break a life.
Then. It happens. My treadmill beeps. 5 minutes to go. Time to lower the incline and put the pedal to the metal. I flatten 'er out and open up the throttle to 6.2 MPH and I'm OFF! I don't want to run this last almost-half-mile. The key, I remind myself, to pushing through this and other misery in my life is to think about anything BUT the fact that I am miserable.
So I think, immediately, of The Talking Heads.
I should clarify something here . . . just about ANY time I want my mind to wander, I go to "Once in a Lifetime" by The Talking Heads. I don't know how or why that started. It was a LONG time ago, know that. I was probably inspired by an 80s movie or a sitcom montage or something but it is almost automatic at this point.
I don't even think about my glasses continually sliding down my sweaty nose. I don't think about the lack of television options. I don't waste another second thinking about our questionable hot water heater. No-no. I'm now pondering water flowing underground, my beautiful wife, how I got "here" and how I can carry the water from the bottom of the ocean.
Soon enough I'm thinking about how excited I am to see "The Hangover" this weekend and then I'm singing Rihanna (they play that "Live Your Life" song from her and T.I. in the trailer) and then I'm thinking about Mike Tyson (he's in the movie) and then how sad it is that his daughter died from some flukish treadmill accident and then I'm thinking there is now one more reason for me to hate this thing I'm dripping sweat on and my mind transitions to how much I like the shorts I'm wearing (they "wick" sweat) and then I'm thinking about the clothes I want to get for the summer (think golf shirts - LOTS of them) and then I'm remembering the time I went to the Reading Outlets with Chris Delenick when we were in college and then I am focused on the outlets up 95 in Connecticut that Bruce, the boys and I would drive to on a Saturday morning for him to pick up his latest New England Patriot's t-shirt, trash can or other trinket and my brain goes to Tom Brady (not in THAT way) and how he was an unheard of player until he became this phenom and how greatness comes out when it is ready to show itself and then I'm thinking about Heft on Wheels which reminds me that I still need to get the rear tire on my bike fixed so I can start riding my bike again and then I'm thinking, again, about exercise and how much I enjoy yoga lately and how much I don't want to run anymore tonight.
BEEP. Time's up. The treadmill starts slowing itself down automatically. My wish is granted . . . I can stop running for the evening. I sucked it up and finished the entire trek. I'm sweating. I'm panting. I'm ready to sit down - if not lay down - if not DIE. And I step off the treadmill and I wonder "How did I get here?"