Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Collective

When I arrived at the gym today I was pretty psyched to see a relatively empty parking lot. "That's a good sign...probably lots of open treadmills" I thought to myself. When I walked up the stairs into the workout room I was greeted with a virtual sea of open treadmills. Literally, not one of them was occupied. (Me thinks the New Year's resolutions may be starting to wear off...) Again, I was pretty pleased. So, I gazed over all the treadmills trying to decide which one I'd choose. Not one of the new ones--they have these obnoxious screens that seem like they're right up in your face. Not one of the really old ones--they only accomodate the stride length of a dwarf (seriously, I'm not sure who can run on these things). So I chose one of the less-than-brand-new-but-long-enough-to-actually-run-on ones. All the treadmills at my gym have this great view through a glass wall overlooking the pool area below. Pretty nice, really. Especially since the view from a treadmill often includes either an off-white cinderblock wall or the sweaty booty of the person in front of you. I consider myself lucky to be able to run on a treadmill with such a serene view.

I got on and started my run. Not another soul around. This still seemed ideal, until about half way through my run. I was kind of struggling. I was only running at my base pace, but it just felt...hard. Then I looked around and realized I was really missing "the collective". The collective energy, the collective treadmill noise, the collective sweat. It occurred to me that I actually like a full gym. I like having the sense that we're all in there together moving toward a similar goal. And, it never hurts to have people in there that are working just a little harder than you are to give you the motivation to push yourself a little further. I hadn't realized, until I was faced with an empty gym, just how much I like being part of that "collective". I think that's a lot of what's so exciting about running in races (which I have not done in a long time). There's such a great sense of energy at those kind of events. So, maybe the next time I arrive to a full gym parking lot, instead of groaning, I'll smile and look forward to waiting my turn to get on one of the treadmills. As long as it's not one of the new ones...or the short ones...

Man, I had lots of thoughts today regarding the blog. I finally took out a piece of paper and started writing them down, because they were all rattling around in my head. I'd thought I would write more tonight, but after two soccer games for Weston this evening, I'm pooped! And I wasn't even the one out there playing! By the way, Weston could quite possibly be the most entertaining kid to watch play soccer. He's not real interested in actually kicking the ball, but he does like to sommersault at will and tell lots of jokes to his teammates. Jeremy is basically a saint for coaching. Just sayin.

A friend of mine signed me up to do a spin class with her tomorrow morning. Never been to one before. Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck at spin class today! I'm sure you'll be can't be any harder than cycling across Maryland for the weekend without actually training for it :)

  2. ha ha! yes, cycling across Maryland w/o training for it was not my brightest idea ever...and on a mountain bike with nobby tires! it was still fun, though. well, we'll see, but i think my spin class plans may be derailed today. told Grace i'd go eat lunch w/her at school and i don't think that will allow for me to squeeze in spin. maybe just a short date with the treadmill...

  3. I decided not to mention this morning that spin class isn't my favorite activity. The few times I have done it it has kicked my butt. As you said, that can be bit depressing when you feel like you are in pretty good shape! I'm glad you made it though and perhaps with a bit of practice it will get easier. Or just stick to running, that's my preference!