That time I was on a treadmill


When I go to the gym, it is not uncommon for me to hit the treadmill for a little while beforehand and warm up before starting on my strength training circuit. I say that as if I have this stringent training plan, which I don't, but I do have a nicely compartmentalized regimen that makes me feel slightly more productive with my workouts.

On such a day, I pick out a treadmill, noting the variance of spaces between individuals and machines. Heaven forbid I pick one right next to another person, even though there is one open next to it. You only pick a machine directly next to another person if a) There are no other options, or b) The guy on that machine is so hot you have to be closer in order to ogle him properly. The non-existent, yet very existent rules of the gym are prevalent.

Of course the treadmill that is an acceptable distance from the next gym member, also does not have its television working. In theory, this is probably for the best. Sometimes a reminder to unplug and go al natural is beneficial for this desk bound employee.

I do take the liberty of pulling out the "Whole Living" magazine to peruse through. Inside I stumble upon an article talking about mantras. It lists the usual benefits and reasons behind using a mantra, most of this is self-explanatory. They do quote Kara Goucher and her race mantra:
"I always have a power word that brings me back to my center and focus. For the marathon it is courage. To be courageous to hang in for the long haul, to be courageous to run my own race, to be courageous to believe in myself."
I like this. If I was not so squeamish about tattoos, I would even go so far as have "be courageous" branded onto my arm.

In middle school I had my own mantra when I ran particularly hard (for a 12 year old) workouts:
"If it were easy, everyone would do it."
I would chant this in my head as the coach yelled on to continue with 200m and 400m sprints. It sounds slightly elitist, like "I am so much better than you because you could never complete this workout." When in reality it was my young mind reminding me that I signed up for this gig, and I have to see it through to the end.

But there is no end. I am running on a treadmill more then a decade later still trying to find the right words to give my inner voice. My own mantra.

So while I will not be adding any tattoos to my body any time soon, I think I can borrow Kara's saying, "Be Courageous".

I say all this now, because I am contemplating signing up for my first ever full marathon. I know I can bring myself to take the journey mentally, but I want to believe I can get there physically as well. If I push that submit button, I have a feeling I will be relying upon a lot of internal mantras over the next six months.

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